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Article: Regrets of a SAHM. Thoughts? - Page 6

post #101 of 242
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smithie View Post

 

"...as a young woman (22) who is CHOOSING to be a SAHM..."

 

... as an old woman (33) who has been a SAHM for seven years, I say, you stop caring whether or not other women your age think you are a mutant creature. orngtongue.gif

 

But as the poster right before me points out, you DON'T stop thinking about a lack of savings or a lack of life insurance. My DH is insured like J-Lo's booty, I'm insured less so but way more that most SAHPs, and we save more aggressively than most of our age/income peers, because in choosing to divide the labor into paycheck and childcare spheres we have created a situation where we will need lots of reserves to draw on if EITHER the paycheck-person OR the childcare-person stops pulling their weight and the remaining spouse needs to recalibrate the household. I would need money to live on. He would need money to secure childcare. We'd both have a real hard couple of years if tragedy struck our family - but honest to God, who wouldn't? Is interdependence not the GOAL of the family unit? 


This. Our finances are really stretched right now, and we need to put more away than we're currently doing. My first priority is to up my life insurance. If I were to die tomorrow, dh would be hooped. He'd have to find childcare for three children, including a toddler (expensive!), and probably hire some help, at least for a while, with the cooking and the house. I'd be hooped if I lost him, too - don't get me wrong - but he has better life insurance than I do, so it wouldn't be quite as sharp a shock. We're definitely very interdependent, and of course tragedy strikes a family hard (and I do include divorce). Heck - losing Aaron was where we got into some financial stress in the first place - too many charges on credit when we were both emotionally devastated and not thinking clearly and trying to keep life rolling for the other three kids.

post #102 of 242

From another perspective, my mother did SAHM. It was mostly b/c she was heavily bi-polar, but she was home nonetheless.

She obvs had a lot of ups and downs and she was not perfect. Sometimes it was really hard b/c it was more like I was taking care of her.

 

We were absolutely dirt poor. My dad made hardly any money and worked his butt off every single day. I always appreciated (even then) that my mom stayed home with us. When she wasn't sick everything was great and she was very loving. Material things meant nothing to me and they still don't. We ate a lot of really cheapo food (pasta like every single night) and wore hand me downs but so what. We had amazing times together.

 

She died when I was 15. That was 8yrs ago now and I am still so thankful I had the time with her I did at home. All I really have to hold onto is what I view as her wanting to spend time with us so badly she sacrificed and we sacrificed a lot. Time spent with her would have been replaced with time alone, better food, and maybe my own room or a nicer apartment. That does not mean anything to me. I have a lot of friends who hate that they never spent time with their moms/dads b/c they were always in daycare or with some other person.

 

My two siblings however do view money and material things as very important and are both work a holics. Only one has a child though. So I guess people view things differently. All I know is how grateful I am that I can be home because I would hate to be missing this. 

 

I will say though the "plan" was always for my mom to live with us and help out with the kids...so if I had that who knows.

post #103 of 242

 

Im loving the quote that interdependence is the goal of the family unit!
post #104 of 242

Interesting.  I also felt kind of snarky reading it because she sounded so very bitter that her writing was uninspiring. 

 

We more or less did a post-nup after I had been home a couple of years because we formed a family trust for the purpose of making things easier to leave to our kids and my husband transmuted his pre-marriage property (still personal because it was from an inheritance) into community property (against the advice of our lawyer).  So in a very real way I am taking far less of a risk than most who stay home because I happened to marry someone with sufficient assets that I will be ok no matter what. It's kind of a weird thing to acknowledge because it makes me sound like a gold digger.  I didn't actually know he had the money till after we were engaged.  I will say that I am way more comfortable with the decision to stay home given my circumstances.  I'm not sure I would make the same choice if we were less secure.  I grew up in poverty and I don't particularly want to raise my kids that way.  I grew up in poverty because my stay-at-home-mom had zero job skills.  So I went to college, got a teaching credential, and went to grad school.  I may have to move pretty far but I should be able to get a job somewhere if I need to return to the workforce at some point.  I will totally concur that it's about weighing risk.  I think the benefits far outweigh the (potentially major) risks.

post #105 of 242


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post


The article is mostly is telling her story, and as such, I don't see that there's a lot to agree or disagree with. It's just how her life played out. The responses on this board have struck me as very odd, a lot of blaming, a lot of "it couldn't happen to me." 

 


 

Boy, do I agree with this.  I don't think the author was judgmental - just telling how it happended to her, and if that construes itself as a warning about the reality that's out there then hey, so be it.  I don't understand the posters who are saying that her values - supposedly money over her children - are not in line with theirs.  The whole point is that her values HAVE been to put time with her children first, which to her meant to work part-time so that she could be present for them.  But that when divorce happens, and your kids are grown up, your choices have long-term repercussions - longer than the kids' childhoods.  I don't think there's anything wrong with talking about that reality.  For those commenting who have never been divorced, in some cases it comes across as smug - I would have planned better, and so forth.  One person mentioned that she could have been putting money away... I can attest that divorce is expensive.  Is it better than living with someone with mental problems, alcoholism and/or abusive behavior?  Heck, yes!  But I guess it's easier to say what someone "should" be doing financially when their own "hubby" is still bringing home the bacon.  Sort of like watching someone drown, from the safety of a lifeboat.

 

Honestly, if it makes anyone uncomfortable, I think it's the realization that actually: It could happen to you. 

 

 

 

 

 


 

post #106 of 242
Quote:
Originally Posted by MissLotus View Post


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post


The article is mostly is telling her story, and as such, I don't see that there's a lot to agree or disagree with. It's just how her life played out. The responses on this board have struck me as very odd, a lot of blaming, a lot of "it couldn't happen to me." 

 


 

Boy, do I agree with this.  I don't think the author was judgmental - just telling how it happended to her, and if that construes itself as a warning about the reality that's out there then hey, so be it.  I don't understand the posters who are saying that her values - supposedly money over her children - are not in line with theirs.  The whole point is that her values HAVE been to put time with her children first, which to her meant to work part-time so that she could be present for them.  But that when divorce happens, and your kids are grown up, your choices have long-term repercussions - longer than the kids' childhoods.  I don't think there's anything wrong with talking about that reality.  For those commenting who have never been divorced, in some cases it comes across as smug - I would have planned better, and so forth.  One person mentioned that she could have been putting money away... I can attest that divorce is expensive.  Is it better than living with someone with mental problems, alcoholism and/or abusive behavior?  Heck, yes!  But I guess it's easier to say what someone "should" be doing financially when their own "hubby" is still bringing home the bacon.  Sort of like watching someone drown, from the safety of a lifeboat.

 

Honestly, if it makes anyone uncomfortable, I think it's the realization that actually: It could happen to you. 

 

 

 

 

 


 


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post #107 of 242

The writer said this-

"The economic crisis will erode women's interest in "opting out" to care for children, heightening awareness that giving up financial independence -- quitting work altogether or even, as I did, going part-time ..." How is having an outside job, the same as being a stay-at-home mom?

 

I'm not sure how being a stay-at-home mom has anything to do w/ retirement. I put money away yearly, just like my husband does. His income is for bettering everyone; just like me staying home is bettering everyone. I homeschool, and from that commitment on my part, my oldest dd has received academic scholarships to every college she applied to. I have my own retirement savings. I can't imagine not doing that. My name is on the house. I own my car outright. 

 

The writer said this-

"As of my divorce last year, I'm the single mother of two almost-men whose taste for playgrounds has been replaced by one for high-end consumer products and who will be, in a few more nanoseconds, ready for college. My income -- freelance writing, child support, a couple of menial part-time jobs -- doesn't cover my current expenses, let alone my retirement or the kids' tuition. It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single woman in possession of two teenagers must be in want of a steady paycheck and employer-sponsored health insurance."

 

I'm not sure how she can't cover her expenses (she needs to cut back). She should have been saving for retirement long before her boys were almost men. Why is her husband not helping w/ the kids' tuition? Why aren't the boys working to pay for their college tuition? Her kids are covered for health insurance by her ex. Hmm, this just doesn't make sense. Also, if she is really struggling financially, and her boys have excellent grades (and high ACT/SAT scores) then college tuition shouldn't be an issue.

post #108 of 242

Personally, I think the article doesn't make a lot of logical sense.  She is blaming her current lack of job on staying home with her kids, while she has NO idea if that is the reason she can't find a job or not.  Lots of people can't find jobs.  I think in a crisis it's normal so say things like "if only this has happened" or "if only I had done this", but really she has no way of knowing if things would be different know if she had worked full-time.   She could have worked full-time, lost that job and STILL had trouble finding a new job.  That scenario is pretty common in this current economy. She seems to be making the rather erroneous assumption that if she had stayed full-time, she would have had the same job for 15 years (or more)...she has no way of knowing if that would have happened.  And, in this day and age, it happens less and less. 

 

HIndisght is 20/20 they say.  It seems a bit irrational to me to think "I really want to stay home, but I'm going to put my kids in daycare on the the chance that 15 years later we get divorced, the economy tanks and I have trouble finding another job"   If you want to work...work. If you want to stay home (and can do it financially) stay home.   But, basing decisions on something that may or may not happen seems really fear-based to me.  Would she really trade in all that time with her kids, just so she could have a job now and not be up at 3 AM worrying.  She's not even that bad off.  She has money in the bank and a roof over her heads.  If she can't pay for her kids college, it's not the end of the world.  They can work, get scholarships, get loans...whatever.

 

And, she didn't even leave work.  She worked part-time, so she still has her 'foot int he door"  *At that time* that was really solid advice and a good idea.

 

She could land a job next week, and then this will all be behind her.  I do believe her article is nothing more than the panic-stricken writings of a women in a crisis with all the "if onlys" running through her head.

post #109 of 242
Quote:
Originally Posted by sublimeliving View Post
 

 

I'm not sure how she can't cover her expenses (she needs to cut back). She should have been saving for retirement long before her boys were almost men. Why is her husband not helping w/ the kids' tuition? Why aren't the boys working to pay for their college tuition? Her kids are covered for health insurance by her ex. Hmm, this just doesn't make sense. Also, if she is really struggling financially, and her boys have excellent grades (and high ACT/SAT scores) then college tuition shouldn't be an issue.


This is not reality.  College scholarships are HARD to come by - unless you have damn close to a 4.0, and are a national merit finalist.  Thats not reality for very many people.  Many people do well, but aren't spectacular.  And college scholarships also aren't very easy to keep since most of them require maintaining a certain GPA - which is hard for college freshmen.  I mean, unless people without near perfect academic records shouldn't go to college, or if you think its the author's fault her children won't qualify for a scholarship?  College tuition is getting more and more expensive, and its not easy to pay for.  Even with academic scholarships, room and board costs a lot too (unless they go to school close to home and live at home - which depends on whether they get a scholarship at the school near home).  Scholarships are NOT easy to get, and even if there is lots of financial struggles, her children are more likely to come out of college with $100,000 in loans - not free money. 

post #110 of 242
Quote:
Originally Posted by Super~Single~Mama View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by sublimeliving View Post
 

 

I'm not sure how she can't cover her expenses (she needs to cut back). She should have been saving for retirement long before her boys were almost men. Why is her husband not helping w/ the kids' tuition? Why aren't the boys working to pay for their college tuition? Her kids are covered for health insurance by her ex. Hmm, this just doesn't make sense. Also, if she is really struggling financially, and her boys have excellent grades (and high ACT/SAT scores) then college tuition shouldn't be an issue.


This is not reality.  College scholarships are HARD to come by - unless you have damn close to a 4.0, and are a national merit finalist.  Thats not reality for very many people.  Many people do well, but aren't spectacular.  And college scholarships also aren't very easy to keep since most of them require maintaining a certain GPA - which is hard for college freshmen.  I mean, unless people without near perfect academic records shouldn't go to college, or if you think its the author's fault her children won't qualify for a scholarship?  College tuition is getting more and more expensive, and its not easy to pay for.  Even with academic scholarships, room and board costs a lot too (unless they go to school close to home and live at home - which depends on whether they get a scholarship at the school near home).  Scholarships are NOT easy to get, and even if there is lots of financial struggles, her children are more likely to come out of college with $100,000 in loans - not free money. 


Not if her income is low enough as she seems to be complaining it is. I got through college free with a pretty pathetic high school g.p.a. but high ACT score because our income was $16,000 and I still could have at twice that. Lots of kids have to work hard for scholarships and help pay their way. And in most divorce decrees of people I know both partners split tuition or the one who makes the most money pays (like my stepfather for my brothers).
post #111 of 242

I am one of the people who say it couldn't happen to me, but not from blithe ignorance. I didn't SAH for 6 years because I needed to be on solid financial footing. There are three issues for me: divorce potential, death of partner potential, and business issues since we own a business. We've faced business issues before, and had to build back up reserves. But we *had* reserves, pantry supplies, savings accounts to pay required bills, etc. I wouldn't go without health insurance personally. We have good life insurance on both parents. We have written documents on how the business and housing would be split in a divorce. I would never try to stay in the very expensive area we are in currently (and I wouldn't have to leave this metro area or worry about court approval to move the distance I'm talking about either). 

 

I actually think one of the writer's issues in finding work now, and I work in a related field mind you, is the fact that she did part-time work on piddly little stories all along to make "easy income." That's probably actually hurt her in the long run, because that's what her old contacts all think of her for, rather than the heavy hitting work. It's a form of burning bridges that happens to a lot of part-time women. Had she not needed to make that income, she would have been freer to turn down the piddly stuff but thrown her energy into one or two big, heavy-hitting stories per year. She would have made less money that year, but she would have stayed top of mind for "when something really fantastic comes along that needs impeccable work, call [writer], because she only does top notch stuff." She also didn't branch out to other related industries and types of writing, which would likely have helped her career-wise. 

 

I can see a couple of things I don't really understand about what she's done--why is she still living in the same house? Why wasn't college funded over the last 15-18 years, why are they just paying for it now? Where is the ex's role in paying for it? Same for retirement--why not funded before? Also, if she's struggling as badly as she is, then as much as she might not like loans, they are just a necessity for her kids now and they are not the end of the world. 

post #112 of 242
Quote:
Originally Posted by kittywitty View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Super~Single~Mama View Post




This is not reality.  College scholarships are HARD to come by - unless you have damn close to a 4.0, and are a national merit finalist.  Thats not reality for very many people.  Many people do well, but aren't spectacular.  And college scholarships also aren't very easy to keep since most of them require maintaining a certain GPA - which is hard for college freshmen.  I mean, unless people without near perfect academic records shouldn't go to college, or if you think its the author's fault her children won't qualify for a scholarship?  College tuition is getting more and more expensive, and its not easy to pay for.  Even with academic scholarships, room and board costs a lot too (unless they go to school close to home and live at home - which depends on whether they get a scholarship at the school near home).  Scholarships are NOT easy to get, and even if there is lots of financial struggles, her children are more likely to come out of college with $100,000 in loans - not free money. 

Not if her income is low enough as she seems to be complaining it is. I got through college free with a pretty pathetic high school g.p.a. but high ACT score because our income was $16,000 and I still could have at twice that. Lots of kids have to work hard for scholarships and help pay their way. And in most divorce decrees of people I know both partners split tuition or the one who makes the most money pays (like my stepfather for my brothers).

I had great ACT scores and came from a very poor household and I qualified for nothing but loans shrug.gif. I put myself through college (no parental assistance here). There is nothing that says a divorced parent need help with college tuition at all...unfortunately. Ya can't generalize.

Oh...and I had a high gpa too. Grants and scholarships are almost impossible to get.
post #113 of 242
Quote:
Originally Posted by sublimeliving View Post
 

I'm not sure how being a stay-at-home mom has anything to do w/ retirement. I put money away yearly, just like my husband does. His income is for bettering everyone; just like me staying home is bettering everyone. I homeschool, and from that commitment on my part, my oldest dd has received academic scholarships to every college she applied to. I have my own retirement savings. I can't imagine not doing that. My name is on the house. I own my car outright. 

 

 

I'm not sure how she can't cover her expenses (she needs to cut back). She should have been saving for retirement long before her boys were almost men. Why is her husband not helping w/ the kids' tuition? Why aren't the boys working to pay for their college tuition? Her kids are covered for health insurance by her ex. Hmm, this just doesn't make sense. Also, if she is really struggling financially, and her boys have excellent grades (and high ACT/SAT scores) then college tuition shouldn't be an issue.


If you are a stay-at-home mom and are not earning income, where do you get the money to put away yearly?  How did you pay for your car outright?  I'm guessing from your husband.  You say your husband's income is for bettering everyone - the article's author does not have a husband.  Her ex's income is not for "bettering everyone".  Not everyone has been married a long time, with time to establish themselves financially, and even some who have been married a long time do not have a spouse who makes much money.  I'm guessing you are able to make the commitment to home school because your husband is backing you financially, and that is somethng to be thankful for - just be aware that not everyone is in that situation.  If he wasn't providing that income, would you be able to be a SAHM plus put away money for retirement, and buy a car and a house?  Where exactly would all that money come from?  Don't forget that even if you went to work, a good portion of that money would go to childcare, because if you're divorced, no one else is at home to watch the kids.  Even if your kids went to school, there would still be before-school and after-school care, plus childcare for school vacations.  Not all husbands are generous, and ex-husbands noticeably less so.  And maybe you would be quite surprised what some divorced fathers get away with financially.

 

I am just curious, because I am divorced and like the article's author, do freelance writing and editorial work in an attempt to be present for my child.  If there is some way I can approximate being a SAHM as WELL as make enough money not only to pay for my child's expenses, as well as buy myself a house, car and put away money for retirement, I honestly would love to hear about that.  (Bear in mind that there are location restrictions I must mind, like many divorced parents, so that my child can regularly see his father - and so moving to a less expensive area or closer to my family are not options, and well-paying jobs in my town are nil; commuting to a better job would mean being gone each day from about 7am - 7pm).  It is also interesting to note that I know a recently divorced mother in my town; she has three children and was a dedicated SAHM for all of them (two are teenagers now).  She and her husband owned a house, everything seemed "storybook" - they got divorced a few months ago and let's just say that she is not as set as she thought.  She and the three kids are in a tiny 2-br. apartment now, she is still paying off the legal fees, and it's mighty hard to get a good job off the ground when you still have three kids at home you take care of alone, never mind having been out of the work force all those years.  If someone told her that on top of her current struggle, she "should be putting away money" and "cutting back on expenses", she would laugh in their face.  Any SAHM mom who thinks she'd be doing as well as her husband financially, should she ever get divorced, is fooling herself.  Ask anyone who's actually been there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

She is a divorced mom - I think it's easy to imagine how hard it is to cover expenses.  Saying that she needs to cut back, without knowing anything about her spending habits, is puzzling.
 

post #114 of 242
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chamomile Girl View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by kittywitty View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Super~Single~Mama View Post




This is not reality.  College scholarships are HARD to come by - unless you have damn close to a 4.0, and are a national merit finalist.  Thats not reality for very many people.  Many people do well, but aren't spectacular.  And college scholarships also aren't very easy to keep since most of them require maintaining a certain GPA - which is hard for college freshmen.  I mean, unless people without near perfect academic records shouldn't go to college, or if you think its the author's fault her children won't qualify for a scholarship?  College tuition is getting more and more expensive, and its not easy to pay for.  Even with academic scholarships, room and board costs a lot too (unless they go to school close to home and live at home - which depends on whether they get a scholarship at the school near home).  Scholarships are NOT easy to get, and even if there is lots of financial struggles, her children are more likely to come out of college with $100,000 in loans - not free money. 

Not if her income is low enough as she seems to be complaining it is. I got through college free with a pretty pathetic high school g.p.a. but high ACT score because our income was $16,000 and I still could have at twice that. Lots of kids have to work hard for scholarships and help pay their way. And in most divorce decrees of people I know both partners split tuition or the one who makes the most money pays (like my stepfather for my brothers).

I had great ACT scores and came from a very poor household and I qualified for nothing but loans shrug.gif. I put myself through college (no parental assistance here). There is nothing that says a divorced parent need help with college tuition at all...unfortunately. Ya can't generalize.

Oh...and I had a high gpa too. Grants and scholarships are almost impossible to get.

Does it depend on what state you live in, then? Because here in IL I had a full ride. I was eligible for loans but did not need them for my degree.
post #115 of 242
Quote:
Quote:

 I had great ACT scores and came from a very poor household and I qualified for nothing but loans shrug.gif. I put myself through college (no parental assistance here). There is nothing that says a divorced parent need help with college tuition at all...unfortunately. Ya can't generalize.

Oh...and I had a high gpa too. Grants and scholarships are almost impossible to get.



This was exactly my situation too.  My parents were not divorced at time I was putting myself through college but there was no requirement that married or divorced, they were required to pay for my college tuition.  And they didn't.  Of course I applied for grants and scholarships and I think I got a couple of Pell grants for $500 each.  But they aren't handing out scholarships like candy and when many other students have good scores also, there aren't enough to go around.  So it's entirely conceiveable that the writer of the article is trying to put her sons through college on her own.  Even if they're working or get a few grants or maybe a scholarship here or there, unless they both get a FULL scholarship, paying for college will be very, very expensive.  I worked full-time PLUS had a part-time job while in college, and with loans barely eked through.  So making it sound as if she and her boys simply aren't trying hard enough ...just leaves me shaking my head.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

post #116 of 242
Quote:
Originally Posted by MissLotus View Post



Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by kittywitty View Post

 I had great ACT scores and came from a very poor household and I qualified for nothing but loans shrug.gif. I put myself through college (no parental assistance here). There is nothing that says a divorced parent need help with college tuition at all...unfortunately. Ya can't generalize.

Oh...and I had a high gpa too. Grants and scholarships are almost impossible to get.



This was exactly my situation too.  My parents were not divorced at time I was putting myself through college but there was no requirement that married or divorced, they were required to pay for my college tuition.  And they didn't.  Of course I applied for grants and scholarships and I think I got a couple of Pell grants for $500 each.  But they aren't handing out scholarships like candy and when many other students have good scores also, there aren't enough to go around.  So it's entirely conceiveable that the writer of the article is trying to put her sons through college on her own.  Even if they're working or get a few grants or maybe a scholarship here or there, unless they both get a FULL scholarship, paying for college will be very, very expensive.  I worked full-time PLUS had a part-time job while in college, and with loans barely eked through.  So making it sound as if she and her boys simply aren't trying hard enough ...just leaves me shaking my head.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


That should not have quoted me-I'm not the one who said that. wink1.gif At the very least I'm a perfect example of someone who didn't "work harder".

I never said they weren't trying hard enough. But she didn't seem (correct me, it's been a week since I read this) like her kids were even in college yet, so she hasn't had to face that hurdle-there may already be scholarships and financial aid for them. I must say that my stepdad was very honest that I would never go to college because his income was too high and he refused to pay for my school, so I would have to get a job and pay every penny or wait until I was, I think 25, until his income no longer mattered. I had children before that and that's how I got out of that situation. If I hadn't had kids, I never would have been able to go to school. I didn't try during high school because I was already told I would never be able to go to college. So I skipped most classes even though I could fly through them with A's. But here, at least, for your average income financial aid is more widely available. That's obviously not the case everywhere. Of course that's before the economy turned and I know dh's college he works at is having financial aid issues-the state just isn't compensating the schools what they should. So who knows how that may work for kids a few years from now. And if they go to a community college, it's much less expensive to knock out the lower level courses. I'm surprised more students that don't have family to cover all the costs don't do this. One of my brothers is an undecided major at U of I. His debt is obscene and he still has no idea what he wants to do. Luckily one of his uncles is helping foot the bill!
post #117 of 242

Quote:

 

Originally Posted by MissLotus View Post

If you are a stay-at-home mom and are not earning income, where do you get the money to put away yearly?  How did you pay for your car outright?  I'm guessing from your husband.  You say your husband's income is for bettering everyone - the article's author does not have a husband.  Her ex's income is not for "bettering everyone".  Not everyone has been married a long time, with time to establish themselves financially, and even some who have been married a long time do not have a spouse who makes much money.  I'm guessing you are able to make the commitment to home school because your husband is backing you financially, and that is somethng to be thankful for - just be aware that not everyone is in that situation.  If he wasn't providing that income, would you be able to be a SAHM plus put away money for retirement, and buy a car and a house?  Where exactly would all that money come from?  Don't forget that even if you went to work, a good portion of that money would go to childcare, because if you're divorced, no one else is at home to watch the kids.  Even if your kids went to school, there would still be before-school and after-school care, plus childcare for school vacations.  Not all husbands are generous, and ex-husbands noticeably less so.  And maybe you would be quite surprised what some divorced fathers get away with financially.

 

I am just curious, because I am divorced and like the article's author, do freelance writing and editorial work in an attempt to be present for my child.  If there is some way I can approximate being a SAHM as WELL as make enough money not only to pay for my child's expenses, as well as buy myself a house, car and put away money for retirement, I honestly would love to hear about that.  (Bear in mind that there are location restrictions I must mind, like many divorced parents, so that my child can regularly see his father - and so moving to a less expensive area or closer to my family are not options, and well-paying jobs in my town are nil; commuting to a better job would mean being gone each day from about 7am - 7pm).  It is also interesting to note that I know a recently divorced mother in my town; she has three children and was a dedicated SAHM for all of them (two are teenagers now).  She and her husband owned a house, everything seemed "storybook" - they got divorced a few months ago and let's just say that she is not as set as she thought.  She and the three kids are in a tiny 2-br. apartment now, she is still paying off the legal fees, and it's mighty hard to get a good job off the ground when you still have three kids at home you take care of alone, never mind having been out of the work force all those years.  If someone told her that on top of her current struggle, she "should be putting away money" and "cutting back on expenses", she would laugh in their face.  Any SAHM mom who thinks she'd be doing as well as her husband financially, should she ever get divorced, is fooling herself.  Ask anyone who's actually been there.

 

Once you are divorced, I don't think you can do SAHM and be on solid financial footing. The writer of the article is saying that she was "SAHM" (although she wasn't, really), for 15 years while she was married and her husband made the family income. And then she says that that was a bad decision, because 15 years later she ended up divorced. Those of us who are SAHMs and think it *is* a good financial decision are explaining why our choices are different from hers and asking what she was doing with those 15 years to ensure a good life for her and her children now. Apparently not saving for retirement (yes, that has to come from a partner who is making the income if one is a SAH partner, and you have to agree on what to do with family finances in order to SAH in a financially smart way), nor for college funds for the children, or gaining work skills for the future, or keeping good ties with previous and potentially future employers. 

post #118 of 242

You said, "I mean, unless people without near perfect academic records shouldn't go to college, or if you think its the author's fault her children won't qualify for a scholarship?"

What? I think anyone that wants to go to college should go. If they don't have the grades or scores to get scholarships, they should pay for it.  Most of the colleges that my dd applied to offer scholarships to kids starting w/ an ACT score of 23 (36 is perfect) and a GPA of 3.5 (on a 4.0 scale). That criteria is just above the national average for ACT score. To keep the scholarships, most colleges require a 2.5-3.0 average. That's just above average too. State schools are a little harder (because they have more people applying for them) than private schools to get scholarships. Saying that scholarships are "HARD to come by," only deters others from looking into it. I think people should start looking when their kids are in 8th grade, at what the requirements are for each school. Kids have a better chance when they know what they're up against. Most kids in gifted programs start taking the ACT in 7th grade. The great thing about the ACT is, the student only has to mail in their highest score. Many of the kids w/ perfect ACT scores have taken the ACT 5 times before graduation. I, in no way, fault the author for her sons grades or ACT scores. I also don't think the author should blame anyone (including her ex) for her sons not having money for college. Her sons can work, at a job, and pay for it. It wouldn't be wise for them to take out $100,000 in loans either. EEK, I don't know who would do that; unless it was for medical school (or some other job making six figures).

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Super~Single~Mama View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by sublimeliving View Post
 

 

I'm not sure how she can't cover her expenses (she needs to cut back). She should have been saving for retirement long before her boys were almost men. Why is her husband not helping w/ the kids' tuition? Why aren't the boys working to pay for their college tuition? Her kids are covered for health insurance by her ex. Hmm, this just doesn't make sense. Also, if she is really struggling financially, and her boys have excellent grades (and high ACT/SAT scores) then college tuition shouldn't be an issue.


This is not reality.  College scholarships are HARD to come by - unless you have damn close to a 4.0, and are a national merit finalist.  Thats not reality for very many people.  Many people do well, but aren't spectacular.  And college scholarships also aren't very easy to keep since most of them require maintaining a certain GPA - which is hard for college freshmen.  I mean, unless people without near perfect academic records shouldn't go to college, or if you think its the author's fault her children won't qualify for a scholarship?  College tuition is getting more and more expensive, and its not easy to pay for.  Even with academic scholarships, room and board costs a lot too (unless they go to school close to home and live at home - which depends on whether they get a scholarship at the school near home).  Scholarships are NOT easy to get, and even if there is lots of financial struggles, her children are more likely to come out of college with $100,000 in loans - not free money. 

post #119 of 242
Quote:
Originally Posted by sublimeliving View Post

You said, "I mean, unless people without near perfect academic records shouldn't go to college, or if you think its the author's fault her children won't qualify for a scholarship?"

What? I think anyone that wants to go to college should go. If they don't have the grades or scores to get scholarships, they should pay for it.  Most of the colleges that my dd applied to offer scholarships to kids starting w/ an ACT score of 23 (36 is perfect) and a GPA of 3.5 (on a 4.0 scale). That criteria is just above the national average for ACT score. To keep the scholarships, most colleges require a 2.5-3.0 average. That's just above average too. State schools are a little harder (because they have more people applying for them) than private schools to get scholarships. Saying that scholarships are "HARD to come by," only deters others from looking into it. I think people should start looking when their kids are in 8th grade, at what the requirements are for each school. Kids have a better chance when they know what they're up against. Most kids in gifted programs start taking the ACT in 7th grade. The great thing about the ACT is, the student only has to mail in their highest score. Many of the kids w/ perfect ACT scores have taken the ACT 5 times before graduation. I, in no way, fault the author for her sons grades or ACT scores. I also don't think the author should blame anyone (including her ex) for her sons not having money for college. Her sons can work, at a job, and pay for it. It wouldn't be wise for them to take out $100,000 in loans either. EEK, I don't know who would do that; unless it was for medical school (or some other job making six figures).

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Super~Single~Mama View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by sublimeliving View Post
 

 

I'm not sure how she can't cover her expenses (she needs to cut back). She should have been saving for retirement long before her boys were almost men. Why is her husband not helping w/ the kids' tuition? Why aren't the boys working to pay for their college tuition? Her kids are covered for health insurance by her ex. Hmm, this just doesn't make sense. Also, if she is really struggling financially, and her boys have excellent grades (and high ACT/SAT scores) then college tuition shouldn't be an issue.


This is not reality.  College scholarships are HARD to come by - unless you have damn close to a 4.0, and are a national merit finalist.  Thats not reality for very many people.  Many people do well, but aren't spectacular.  And college scholarships also aren't very easy to keep since most of them require maintaining a certain GPA - which is hard for college freshmen.  I mean, unless people without near perfect academic records shouldn't go to college, or if you think its the author's fault her children won't qualify for a scholarship?  College tuition is getting more and more expensive, and its not easy to pay for.  Even with academic scholarships, room and board costs a lot too (unless they go to school close to home and live at home - which depends on whether they get a scholarship at the school near home).  Scholarships are NOT easy to get, and even if there is lots of financial struggles, her children are more likely to come out of college with $100,000 in loans - not free money. 




OK this is totally off topic (and really this whole discussion about her specific situation is pointless in the face of her premise) but I an honestly say I would never ever in a million years make my kid start taking the ACT in seventh grade. I took it once lol.

Putting that kind of academic pressure on a kid that young is sick imo. Plus it assumes that there are only certain colleges that matter (or that college is the only acceptable path). I've seen way too many kids self destruct under that kind of pressure. Its not worth it.
post #120 of 242
Quote:
Originally Posted by kittywitty View Post


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Super~Single~Mama View Post




This is not reality.  College scholarships are HARD to come by - unless you have damn close to a 4.0, and are a national merit finalist.  Thats not reality for very many people.  Many people do well, but aren't spectacular.  And college scholarships also aren't very easy to keep since most of them require maintaining a certain GPA - which is hard for college freshmen.  I mean, unless people without near perfect academic records shouldn't go to college, or if you think its the author's fault her children won't qualify for a scholarship?  College tuition is getting more and more expensive, and its not easy to pay for.  Even with academic scholarships, room and board costs a lot too (unless they go to school close to home and live at home - which depends on whether they get a scholarship at the school near home).  Scholarships are NOT easy to get, and even if there is lots of financial struggles, her children are more likely to come out of college with $100,000 in loans - not free money. 



Not if her income is low enough as she seems to be complaining it is. I got through college free with a pretty pathetic high school g.p.a. but high ACT score because our income was $16,000 and I still could have at twice that. Lots of kids have to work hard for scholarships and help pay their way. And in most divorce decrees of people I know both partners split tuition or the one who makes the most money pays (like my stepfather for my brothers).


This is not today's reality.  Government grants are getting less and less, and much harder to come by.  Loans are becoming the norm.

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