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Article: Regrets of a SAHM. Thoughts? - Page 2

post #21 of 242
I'm very sorry for her that she has those regrets, but it's hard for me to relate to this article at all. We have almost none of the same values and I just can't put myself into her shoes because her mindset is so foreign to me.

I do hope her children aren't crushed by the fact that she's essentially told the world that she wishes she'd put them in daycare to pursue a paying career. I'm sure their memories of having her at home are priceless to them, and even if they don't seem to appreciate it now (what teenagers do, typically?) it wasn't wasted time or effort IMHO.
post #22 of 242
Thread Starter 

 

OK I think there might be a misunderstanding here. She said she loved every minute of being at home with her kids. She does not regret the time spent. She regrets the lack of financial planning essentially. Just wanted to clear that up.
 
I do think that this article was written from a dark place. There is no resolution for her, currently. And I enjoy reading from differing perspectives. I do not want to be served up rosy lighted pictures of being a SAHM (or anything!) all the time.  I want to know what I;m up against in anything that I do. Like I said, I'm a planner. That means looking at the potential disasters and figuring out how to avert them as well as looking at all the good that can come from *any* decision.
post #23 of 242
Quote:
Originally Posted by HannahW View Post

Hmm... I find it interesting that those who agree with this artical, are also afraid of getting divorced. I am a wahm. I do daycare. I see mothers going off to work everday. I do not envy them in the least. I am increadably blessed and happy to be where I am. I do not worry about getting a divorce because I love my hubby and he loves me. We would never do anything to end that.



I remember saying that. We split up almost 11 years ago. I honestly don't think that will ever happen to dh and I, for many reasons - but not just because we love each other. Love is awesome...but it's not all it takes.

 

Now, I'm going to go read the article, but I'm about 99% sure, just from the comments, that it won't be applicable to me in any way.

post #24 of 242

I think the economy is the real culprit here. She's in a bad industry and it's a bad time. 

 

My hubby stays at home and works only seasonally because he can't find a decent job. There's quite few people in that boat. I agree with the PP who said that US isn't interested in doing things that would actually help this situation: ie, maternity leaves, family leave etc. 

post #25 of 242


and Canadian. we have a full 12 months maternity (i didn't take advantage of it though bc i wasn't working before having my kids and had used the EI already from when i was) that not only can be split with dad but that they're talking about raising to 18 months, money from the govt for having children and numerous other incentives for mothers :)
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peony View Post

. The answer IMO is something the majority of this country has no interest in, higher taxes, paid long maternity leaves, reasonable daycare, and less work hours, and a family friendly society similar to what some european countries do. 

 

post #26 of 242

Seems to me that the author has much bigger issues to deal with and is scapegoating being a SAHM to make herself feel better. 

 

Her career is in a field that is disappearing. Perhaps instead of looking back and saying "Choosing to be a SAHM was a bad decision" she should more accurately say "Choosing a career in journalism was a bad decision." In addition, from reading this piece of her work, my personal opinion is that she isn't that great of a writer, which could also be contributing to her inability to find work. 

 

The things she talks about in regard to job hunting are things that millions of Americans are dealing with on a daily basis. It has everything to do with the state of our economy and nothing to do with being a SAHM. My DH lost his job a few years ago and, like the author, has submitted countless resumes and received just a few interviews and NO job offers. He is a college graduate and used to make $80,000 a year. He is now working at a retail store making $14.00 an hour with no benefits. And it took him 2 years to get that retail job.

 

There are countless stories to be found of former CEOs who are now delivering pizza or cleaning houses for a living. That's just the new reality of living in the good ol' USA.

 

The author needs to stop throwing herself a pity party and perhaps be grateful for what she has instead of what she missed out on. And if she could stop throwing SAHMs under the bus in the process, that'd be a bonus. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

post #27 of 242

Well, I read it.

 

I think most of the points about future income are actually pretty obvious. I don't personally know anybody who chose to stay home without thinking about them. But, other than that, as I expected, the article didn't strike home with me at all. I have never intended to pay for my children's post-secondary education, and I never had a career. I had a job. I didn't want one. DS1 is almost 18, and I missed an awful lot of the first 10 years of his life, and I'll never get it back. I look back on my decisions 17+ years ago, and I'm not any happier about them than the author of the article...except that the only other option i had was welfare (and wouldn't have qualified for that, until I got rid of small savings). I think the real key to any decision is to go into it with your eyes open, and accept that it's going to have both positive and negative consequences.

 

I suck at SAHMing, which bums me out. But, as bad as I am at this, and as hard as it is for me...it's still better than working at a job I didn't particularly want for another 10 years, on top of the 14 I put in.

post #28 of 242
Quote:
Originally Posted by geekgolightly View Post


 



OK I think there might be a misunderstanding here. She said she loved every minute of being at home with her kids. She does not regret the time spent. She regrets the lack of financial planning essentially. Just wanted to clear that up.


 


I do think that this article was written from a dark place. There is no resolution for her, currently. And I enjoy reading from differing perspectives. I do not want to be served up rosy lighted pictures of being a SAHM (or anything!) all the time.  I want to know what I;m up against in anything that I do. Like I said, I'm a planner. That means looking at the potential disasters and figuring out how to avert them as well as looking at all the good that can come from *any* decision.



 


I see where you're coming from and maybe because I, too, am a planner, I'm finding it really hard to relate to this person. DH and I will never divorce, because it's against our religious beliefs and barring some sort of extreme abuse issue, we will be together until death separates us forever. This is not me sitting in judgment of divorced people; it's just me stating a fact that I have utter faith in. So the divorce issue is just totally foreign to me.

Second, she's a freelance writer who's won numerous awards and been published all over the place. Hardly what I'd call unemployed. If anything, she was a part-time WAHM. So there again, she's coming from a completely different place than I am and it's hard to relate. She could have been squirreling away money here and there, which is something I do and I don't even have a real income. It has nothing to do with being a SAHM and everything to do with being frugal and planning for the future no matter what it may bring.

I don't know. I'm glad you got something out of the article! But to me, it just seems like she's unhappy about the job market and her own prospects for employment and is blaming the fact that she chose to stay at home for the wretched state of the economy. Everyone is having trouble finding work, not just privileged award-winning freelance writers for Salon. (And since when is freelance writing a career with good job security anyway? I know plenty of writers who are thrilled to make any money at all.) shrug.gif

 

post #29 of 242
Quote:
Originally Posted by MamieCole View Post

Seems to me that the author has much bigger issues to deal with and is scapegoating being a SAHM to make herself feel better. 

 

Her career is in a field that is disappearing. Perhaps instead of looking back and saying "Choosing to be a SAHM was a bad decision" she should more accurately say "Choosing a career in journalism was a bad decision." In addition, from reading this piece of her work, my personal opinion is that she isn't that great of a writer, which could also be contributing to her inability to find work. 

 

The things she talks about in regard to job hunting are things that millions of Americans are dealing with on a daily basis. It has everything to do with the state of our economy and nothing to do with being a SAHM. My DH lost his job a few years ago and, like the author, has submitted countless resumes and received just a few interviews and NO job offers. He is a college graduate and used to make $80,000 a year. He is now working at a retail store making $14.00 an hour with no benefits. And it took him 2 years to get that retail job.

 

There are countless stories to be found of former CEOs who are now delivering pizza or cleaning houses for a living. That's just the new reality of living in the good ol' USA.

 

The author needs to stop throwing herself a pity party and perhaps be grateful for what she has instead of what she missed out on. And if she could stop throwing SAHMs under the bus in the process, that'd be a bonus. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Well I don't see that she is throwing anyone under the bus. Her point actually applies very well to your situation. Your DH lost his job and has had to settle for $14 an hour retail. If you had an established career than your family would be in a better financial place regardless of his job loss. Stay at home parenting is a financial crapshoot.
post #30 of 242
Quote:
Originally Posted by peainthepod View Post





 

It has nothing to do with being a SAHM and everything to do with being frugal and planning for the future no matter what it may bring.I don't know. I'm glad you got something out of the article! But to me, it just seems like she's unhappy about the job market and her own prospects for employment and is blaming the fact that she chose to stay at home for the wretched state of the economy. Everyone is having trouble finding work, not just privileged award-winning freelance writers for Salon. (And since when is freelance writing a career with good job security anyway? I know plenty of writers who are thrilled to make any money at all.) shrug.gif

 


Her ex-husband has not had the same bad luck due to the "economy" because he was not put on the mommy track. They are in the exact same field and worked for the same publication! The reason she was forced into freelance is because she put the needs of her kids over the needs of her job and was punished because of it.
post #31 of 242
I know that's her claim, Chamomile Girl, but I have to take it with a grain of salt. Maybe her husband is a better writer. (It happens!)

Anyway, that wasn't really my point. Unemployment right now is sky-high and rising every day. Millions are on food stamps. Tent cities are sprouting all over the country. This woman is not the only person having trouble finding work--most people are. And there's no guarantee that she wouldn't have been laid off even if she'd decided to stay off the "mommy track" and put her kids in daycare instead of staying home with them.
post #32 of 242

I wouldn't be so quick to assume she is unemployable b/c she took time off to raise her kids.  Like it's been said, it has a lot more to do with the economy and her chosen profession being one that is sorta "on the way out", at least as she knew it before starting a family.

 

There are plenty of people who do not have huge gaps on their resume but who have been laid off and can't find another job as a teacher, nurse, lawyer, and so on.  Those are even careers that used to be in demand, yet they are no longer and even new grads in these areas, who are young and eager and have the most up-to-date education aren't landing positions.  The problem is, that when they started school 4+ years ago, they didn't have a crystal ball to see what the economy had in store.  Now, someone who has been out of the work-force for years having babies is slightly more disadvantaged, but really, not my much - especially depending on their skill set and references and so on.  Just b/c her DH still has a job doesn't mean he will a year from now, and he may very well have the same difficulties finding someone to hire him as his wife does. 

 

*so I didn't actually read the article yet, the Lexus commercial was messing up my computer and I closed the page. 

 

post #33 of 242
Unless you're independently wealthy or have a skill guaranteed to get you a job when you need one, staying at home is a gamble. It just is. Even before the economy went to hell it was. How long ago did The Price of Motherhood come out?

It's a gamble that works out very well for some women - I'm one so far - but I think it does women an incredible disservice to gloss over the fact that choosing to stay home can often have consequences like this woman's story.
post #34 of 242
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chamomile Girl View Post


Well I don't see that she is throwing anyone under the bus. Her point actually applies very well to your situation. Your DH lost his job and has had to settle for $14 an hour retail. If you had an established career than your family would be in a better financial place regardless of his job loss. Stay at home parenting is a financial crapshoot.
Or she could have been laid off, too. It's not a financial crapshoot more than any other job. I don't know anybody...at all actually, whose job hasn't been affected by the economy. I could name them all, but really, me being a SAHM has allowed us more flexibility in finding and keeping jobs wherever we could find them. Which is hard with dh working in education.
Quote:
Originally Posted by peainthepod View Post

I know that's her claim, Chamomile Girl, but I have to take it with a grain of salt. Maybe her husband is a better writer. (It happens!)

Anyway, that wasn't really my point. Unemployment right now is sky-high and rising every day. Millions are on food stamps. Tent cities are sprouting all over the country. This woman is not the only person having trouble finding work--most people are. And there's no guarantee that she wouldn't have been laid off even if she'd decided to stay off the "mommy track" and put her kids in daycare instead of staying home with them.

Exactly. And I just want to reiterate what Storm Bride said, too. I went to school and worked for the first 3 years of my parenting life. I miss every minute I was gone. I had to work 70+ hours a week, mostly nightshift, for one of those years and it was terrible. I liked my job, but I don't remember anything about my son's first year of life. Anything. Complete blank. But my ex refused to work and bills had to be paid. I'm never going back to that place. Even if we have to live in a tent in my mom's backyard!

And she said in the article that some years she barely made what she did as a waitress. I don't know what waitresses make where she lives, but my mom made MAD money as a waitress in our tiny town! One of my best friends is also a waitress and working like 20 hours a week makes almost as much as my dh. So there's obviously an income gap between what this lady is talking about as suffering and what most other people in this town & country live.

And a huge yeahthat.gif to MamieCole.
post #35 of 242
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chamomile Girl View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by MamieCole View Post

Seems to me that the author has much bigger issues to deal with and is scapegoating being a SAHM to make herself feel better. 

 

Her career is in a field that is disappearing. Perhaps instead of looking back and saying "Choosing to be a SAHM was a bad decision" she should more accurately say "Choosing a career in journalism was a bad decision." In addition, from reading this piece of her work, my personal opinion is that she isn't that great of a writer, which could also be contributing to her inability to find work. 

 

The things she talks about in regard to job hunting are things that millions of Americans are dealing with on a daily basis. It has everything to do with the state of our economy and nothing to do with being a SAHM. My DH lost his job a few years ago and, like the author, has submitted countless resumes and received just a few interviews and NO job offers. He is a college graduate and used to make $80,000 a year. He is now working at a retail store making $14.00 an hour with no benefits. And it took him 2 years to get that retail job.

 

There are countless stories to be found of former CEOs who are now delivering pizza or cleaning houses for a living. That's just the new reality of living in the good ol' USA.

 

The author needs to stop throwing herself a pity party and perhaps be grateful for what she has instead of what she missed out on. And if she could stop throwing SAHMs under the bus in the process, that'd be a bonus. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




Well I don't see that she is throwing anyone under the bus. Her point actually applies very well to your situation. Your DH lost his job and has had to settle for $14 an hour retail. If you had an established career than your family would be in a better financial place regardless of his job loss. Stay at home parenting is a financial crapshoot.


Ahhhh...but you are assuming that I didn't/don't have an established career nor the option of getting back into the workforce if I so choose.

 

Unlike a lot of people, we were not two-income dependent prior to having our babies. We consciously made decisions that would enable me to stay home with them before we had them. The entire time my DH was out of work, we consciously chose to find a way to NOT have me go back to work and we did what we needed to do to make that happen. Avoiding daycare and having me be the stay at home parent is hugely important for us.  More important than "being in a better financial place"  right now. My going back into the workforce was and is our last resort. It is totally worth the "crapshoot" for us. As long as we are able to provide a warm home, food and good quality of life for our boys, we will continue to find ways to allow me to be a stay at home mom for them while they are little and hopefully a homeschooling mom for them as they get older. Does that mean that they may have to take out student loans to go to college? Maybe. Does this mean I might have a hard time getting back into the workforce when my boys are grown? Maybe. Does this mean we might not be able to retire as early as we'd like? Maybe. I don't know what the world is going to look like in 10-20 years. I don't know what is going to happen to the economy or our family situation down the road.

 

What I do know is that right now I have two small children that I chose to bring into this world and I feel it is my responsibility to raise them. It is our choice that our family be the main influence and role model for them in their formative years (and hopefully beyond). I'll make any sacrifices necessary to see that happen. 

 

post #36 of 242

 

part of it is the economy, but, i also wonder if part of it isn't that she needs to change her perspective.  it is really hard, no matter how much you  make, once you get divorced, particularly for the mother - she usually gets the kids, so she bares the brunt of the financial obligation. i know she probably gets child support, but still, it doesn't cover what a solid 2 income (or 1 and a half) makes before hand.  you can't still live the upper middle class life you had before you were divorced.  and why should she pay for her kids school? or, maybe they have to go to community college then transfer.  not everyone gets to live away from home at a 20,000/year school.  i just think that a lot of her worries are a matter of POV.  the biggest event that can push a woman into poverty is to divorce.  

the problem isn't the choices she made - it is the system that we have here.  her story is just one example of how our society doesn't value women or children, women's work or families in general. 

post #37 of 242
Quote:
Originally Posted by MamieCole View Post


 

What I do know is that right now I have two small children that I chose to bring into this world and I feel it is my responsibility to raise them. It is our choice that our family be the main influence and role model for them in their formative years (and hopefully beyond). I'll make any sacrifices necessary to see that happen. 

 



This is so offensive its unreal.  I also believe that it is my responsibility to raise the children that I bring into the world.  I AM raising my son - just as much as you are raising yours.  Truly.  I know that SAHM's don't think WOHM's raise their kids - but we DO.  Finding a job that supports us in that, is very very difficult - but we have to try.  SAHMing isn't practical for many people for many reasons - and while its great that its what you want to do, and that you've been able to make that happen - not everyone can.  Saying that WOHM's don't raise their kids is terrible - we do.  Just not by ourselves b/c thats not how its meant to be either, we employ a village and hope it works out.  Just like you hope it works out for you to stay home.

 

As for waitressing - its not profitable everywhere.  Where I live, you don't make hardly anything unless you work the busy shifts with high tipping customers b/c all your income is based on tips (restaurants here are allowed to pay like $2-3/hour and expect you to make it up in tips, AND report your tips - not a lot of money in that).  It CAN be very profitable, but its not everywhere.

post #38 of 242
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by raelize View Post

the problem isn't the choices she made - it is the system that we have here.  her story is just one example of how our society doesn't value women or children, women's work or families in general. 



I think this is pretty key.

 

Still, this is the society in which we live. We have to make these crappy choices. Choose to mother our kids the way we as SAHM's see fit and risk our financial future, or work and miss what we never wanted to miss. I know that *for me* I can't work as well as I want and parent as well as I want at the same time, so I choose my kids and gamble my future. 

 

In this crap scenario we, as women, are given, I am trying to learn from those before me and make as many decisions as I can that will enable me to plan the future that I want for myself financially. 

 

I don't mean to leave out SAHD's though! They also hobble themselves. It's just that this is traditionally a female issue.

 

post #39 of 242
Quote:
Originally Posted by Super~Single~Mama View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by MamieCole View Post


 

What I do know is that right now I have two small children that I chose to bring into this world and I feel it is my responsibility to raise them. It is our choice that our family be the main influence and role model for them in their formative years (and hopefully beyond). I'll make any sacrifices necessary to see that happen. 

 



This is so offensive its unreal.  I also believe that it is my responsibility to raise the children that I bring into the world.  I AM raising my son - just as much as you are raising yours.  Truly.  I know that SAHM's don't think WOHM's raise their kids - but we DO.  Finding a job that supports us in that, is very very difficult - but we have to try.  SAHMing isn't practical for many people for many reasons - and while its great that its what you want to do, and that you've been able to make that happen - not everyone can.  Saying that WOHM's don't raise their kids is terrible - we do.  Just not by ourselves b/c thats not how its meant to be either, we employ a village and hope it works out.  Just like you hope it works out for you to stay home.

 

As for waitressing - its not profitable everywhere.  Where I live, you don't make hardly anything unless you work the busy shifts with high tipping customers b/c all your income is based on tips (restaurants here are allowed to pay like $2-3/hour and expect you to make it up in tips, AND report your tips - not a lot of money in that).  It CAN be very profitable, but its not everywhere.


I'm sorry you are offended by me stating what I am my husband have chosen to do for our family. I think you might be reading way more into my words than is actually there. As a matter of fact, I know you are. I never said or implied that you or anyone else who chooses or is forced to work outside the home isn't raising their children.

 

I've been a single mom who HAD to work outside the home. I was a single mom for 8 years. As a matter of fact, I chose to leave my ex husband to become a single working mom because I felt it was in my and my daughter's best interest. And guess what? During that time, other people helped me raise my daughter. My step mom, my mom, my dad, a pre-school teacher...all of them helped me take care of her while I was working. All of them had an influence on my daughter. And it was great for her.

 

And now, I am choosing to take a different route. I am choosing to stay in the home and not rely on other people to help me raise my two boys. If that offends you, I am honestly, truly sorry. I recognize not everyone has the choice. I recognize not everyone who has the choice makes the same one. I never said one was better than the other. 

post #40 of 242

I have to say that is really easy to say when you are living well, have food to eat, and a roof over your head.  

 

Well, that makes a few assumptions. lol.gif  Now, she is not starving, and she's obviously writing from somewhere.  She's "broke" the way Americans define "broke".  And she certainly has plenty of things to be unhappy about.  And that's an annoying place to be but I have been a sahm when we were 'broke'-er than most.  Not saying that to one-up anyone, but to point out that this for us *is* about lifestyle and value, and we shift our lifestyle to fit our values, not the other way 'round.  It's not always fun.  We've had some scary financial times.  I don't think we've ever actually made it above the poverty line yet.  We had marriage problems of the intensity that most people would have divorced over.  And I've been home through it all, and I don't regret any of it nor will I.  "Easy for you to say" doesn't stick well to me.  

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