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Article: Regrets of a SAHM. Thoughts? - Page 4

post #61 of 242
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Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post



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Originally Posted by geekgolightly View Post



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Originally Posted by geekgolightly View Post


The distinction is that you are in the driver's seat. You are not hoping and praying that your partner will make the decision you want them to make. You can not control their career decisions in order to ensure your destiny. Yes, life throws curveballs, that is part of life, but what is NOT a normal part of life is just blindly trusting that someone else will make sure that you will be cared for financially. 

 

That she was out of the full time tiger attack on her career and instead on the mommy track, which meant that her career was not developed and she is now hobbled. Her ex husband is not bearing the same issue. He is doing well career wise/financially I assume he is faring better than she ever will again. 

 

It was her choice to trust him to take care of her. I am having a hard time coming to terms with trusting someone to care for me in that manner. And for very good reason. There are many stories like these and IMHO, anyone who chooses to stay at home and does not ensure their own financial security, either by prenup, postnup, or some other way of solely owning monies for all the work she or he does at home is cutting off their own legs. I plan on sorting this for myself.



I'm well aware that the "mommy track" is a real phenomenon. However, if this article is a good sample or her writing, she may well have been knocked off the "tiger track", because her writing isn't very impressive. Maybe her ex is also a better journalist, yk?

 


Yet another person attacking her writing. She has won awards. She gave it up. She was the one who took the career hit.

I really hope that no more strawman arguments come up.


I really don't give a crap why she's broke, and it's not a "strawman". I think her writing sucks. I wasn't aware that I was under an obligation to like it, just because she's won awards. (I don't always like Oscar winners, either.) I'm astonished that she ever made a living with her writing, let alone a good one. (And, yes - I know my writing sucks, too - but I'm not expecting anyone to pay me for it.)

 

Where can I see what awards she's won, btw? I was busy with dd2 when I read the article, but I've noticed several people have referred to that, and I didn't notice it. It honestly astonishes me.


Oh, I thought you were contributing to the discussion by saying you think her writing sucks and that is probably why she doesn't have a job. But if you're just randomly giving your opinion without trying to posit a point, then by all means. It's an ad hominem attack rather than straw man. I don't like those either, much.

post #62 of 242
I have to agree with geekgolightly that attacking the author's writing or chosen profession has very little to do with the premise of her argument, which is that SAHM's are financially screwing themselves should they decide (or be forced) to be sole breadwinners in the future.

And she (the author) is absolutely right.

There has been way to much discussion here of unspecific amorphous "values" and lots of naive belief that such a thing could never be true for you (insert reason here). So what to both? It is a huge social issue that needs attention. Poverty because of this choice pretty much only happens to women (even if a man decides to SAH he does not generally take the same kind of career hit), so its a womens' rights/equality issue. And an important one.

So if it bothers you, what are you going to do about it?! That is what I am trying to figure out...and I don't mean on a personal level but a social one.
post #63 of 242
Quote:
Originally Posted by geekgolightly View Post

For me, though, I can see my husband leaving me before he cheats on me. He has a pretty strict moral code and I doubt he could be dishonest like that. I do not doubt though, that he would leave me if I turned on him, or whatever other life circumstances come about. We are not religious and have no reason to stay other than our desire to remain faithful to one another. I think religious people have a bit more edge here? I don't want to assume, but I can see how this might give them more faith in the institution of marriage as it is central to their system of faith.

 

 

I think there may be some truth in that, geekgolightly.  I think that perhaps people of "faith" tend to base their decisions more in faith (of what will happen in the future), than say, those who tend to take a harsher critical view of the future.  I was raised in a certain faith but I no longer subscribe to it.  I think perhaps my view of future events is slightly more cynical?  I'm a child of a parent who suddenly abandoned the family and perhaps that colors my view.  This was at a time when divorce was unthinkable.  As this thread evidences, there is a hard divide between those who believe that their future is not at risk (or if it is, it don't worry about it) and those who take a more cautious approach.  I don't think there is a problem with either as long as the parties ultimately acknowledge their responsibility to take stock in the result.  (sorry, that's the semi-libertarian coming out me!).  But, I do think that this thread is going to be passionately divided because views of the future are always going to be very personal and there is going to be a certain amount of bias based on individual outlooks and present experience.  I say "present experience" because so far most of the responses have been from individuals who are presently engaged as a SAHP and have not been presented with the issues of the author (I didn't say all...just many).  I personally don't think that the risks are about industry (or career choice).  

 

I work in a traditionally highly paid profession and we are seeing joblessness in unprecedented numbers right now.  It has less to do with the economy and more to do with saturation of the market.  That being said, even the most promising people in my profession (mostly women) will suffer a set back (pay-scale and opportunity wise) when they are out of the industry for a number of years.  It is just a fact.  The same would hold for a man who was out of the same industry for a while, but the reality is, the majority of people who delay or opt out are women in child bearing years.  In my own business, experience and visibility matter a lot.  There's no way around it, no matter how high your intellect.  

 


 

post #64 of 242

It does make sense that if there were two applicants who had the same exact qualifications, education, etc., but one had been out of the workforce for 10 years, that person would likely be the one who didn't get the job - whether or not they were a SAHM, SAHD, or didn't work for any number of reasons.  I still don't believe that is the biggest reason this mom hasn't been hired and is struggling financially. It's a combination of events that happened along the way, the biggie being the unexpected divorce, right? 

 

So, while I do agree that deciding to be a SAHP comes with some big risks, we all know that nothing in life comes with a guarantee.  No one knows what the future holds; no marriage is rock solid; no one is free from possible tragedy.  It does seem like this mom has an advantage over many SAHM's (myself included), as she actually had a college degree and career before having kids, if I'm not mistaken.  So, one could say she wasn't taking too big of a risk b/c she did has something to fall back on.  Obviously, it hasn't worked out so well when it came down to it. 

 

I don't want to get into any kind of mommy wars, but I'll go out on a limb and guess that in the end, there are more mothers who regret not being home when their kids were little than the amount of mothers who, like the author of this article, regret giving up their career to be a SAHM. 

 

There really isn't any fool-proof solution to this problem of being screwed financially in the event life doesn't go as planned - unless you are independently wealthy, I guess.  You could work hard for 20 years straight and get laid off when your kids are teens, or you could be a SAHM for a decade or two and then struggle to find work - or, you could be lucky enough to not have either happen.  I don't really think there is anyone to blame. 

post #65 of 242

I think that financial insecurity -- the main reason in her article for not being a SAHM -- is something that SAHMs can address and manage with their husbands. For example, a SAHM could have a (spousal) Roth IRA that her husband can contribute to each month. It would be her own retirement account in her own name. Also, the husband/partner and the SAHM could agree that some of "his" income is "hers" -- to spend, to save, to do with what she likes. This way, she has access to some money and has the ability to make choices about financial security if she so chooses. It is not a whole additional income, but it is something.

 

I did like that her article brought my attention the relationship a SAHM will have with finances. However, it seems that her article is putting financial security as a more important parenting value than being present with the child. I know many good parents who put their kids in daycare. So that point is fine. But I don't agree with her overarching premise that more money = better for all.

 

I do understand the pressure she must feel as a single mom with kids and no steady job (that was my mom). So I feel for her. But I don't think SAHMing should be faulted. I think she made the right choice to stay home with her children -- it was the right choice at the time, for her.

post #66 of 242
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Originally Posted by geekgolightly View Post



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Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post



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Originally Posted by geekgolightly View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by geekgolightly View Post


The distinction is that you are in the driver's seat. You are not hoping and praying that your partner will make the decision you want them to make. You can not control their career decisions in order to ensure your destiny. Yes, life throws curveballs, that is part of life, but what is NOT a normal part of life is just blindly trusting that someone else will make sure that you will be cared for financially. 

 

That she was out of the full time tiger attack on her career and instead on the mommy track, which meant that her career was not developed and she is now hobbled. Her ex husband is not bearing the same issue. He is doing well career wise/financially I assume he is faring better than she ever will again. 

 

It was her choice to trust him to take care of her. I am having a hard time coming to terms with trusting someone to care for me in that manner. And for very good reason. There are many stories like these and IMHO, anyone who chooses to stay at home and does not ensure their own financial security, either by prenup, postnup, or some other way of solely owning monies for all the work she or he does at home is cutting off their own legs. I plan on sorting this for myself.



I'm well aware that the "mommy track" is a real phenomenon. However, if this article is a good sample or her writing, she may well have been knocked off the "tiger track", because her writing isn't very impressive. Maybe her ex is also a better journalist, yk?

 


Yet another person attacking her writing. She has won awards. She gave it up. She was the one who took the career hit.

I really hope that no more strawman arguments come up.


I really don't give a crap why she's broke, and it's not a "strawman". I think her writing sucks. I wasn't aware that I was under an obligation to like it, just because she's won awards. (I don't always like Oscar winners, either.) I'm astonished that she ever made a living with her writing, let alone a good one. (And, yes - I know my writing sucks, too - but I'm not expecting anyone to pay me for it.)

 

Where can I see what awards she's won, btw? I was busy with dd2 when I read the article, but I've noticed several people have referred to that, and I didn't notice it. It honestly astonishes me.


Oh, I thought you were contributing to the discussion by saying you think her writing sucks and that is probably why she doesn't have a job. But if you're just randomly giving your opinion without trying to posit a point, then by all means. It's an ad hominem attack rather than straw man. I don't like those either, much.


I've gotten turned around in circles, and I'm way exhausted (up too late tonight, for a school function). However, I'l attempt to clarify. I was participating (not sure what constitutes a contribution, as such) in the discussion. I wasn't bringing up a strawman. I can't believe that woman was ever paid to write anything, and I'm astonished that she kept her hand in all those years. When someone's situation changes this much over time, there are often many contributing factors. In my personal opinion, her crappy writing style is probably one of them. Apparently, some people think she can write, so I'm probably mistaken.

 

 

In any case, I have no idea why anybody, ever, had the idea that being a SAHM was a risk free venture. It requires about 30 seconds of thought, if that much, to realize that if one doesn't have an income of their own, one is vulnerable in ways that someone with an income is not.

 

I don't recommend that anybody martyr themselves. I'm not big on martyrdom. I'm doing this, because it's what I want to do. If dh should turn out to be a jerk in the long run, then I'll pay for it later...just as with many, many other things in life. If I were only doing this to martyr myself for my family, I wouldn't be doing it. I think any woman who stays home with her children, without either protecting herself (prenup/postnup) or accepting that it could financially blow up in her face at a later date, is being very, very foolish.

post #67 of 242
Quote:
Originally Posted by youngspiritmom View Post

I think that financial insecurity -- the main reason in her article for not being a SAHM -- is something that SAHMs can address and manage with their husbands. For example, a SAHM could have a (spousal) Roth IRA that her husband can contribute to each month. It would be her own retirement account in her own name. Also, the husband/partner and the SAHM could agree that some of "his" income is "hers" -- to spend, to save, to do with what she likes. This way, she has access to some money and has the ability to make choices about financial security if she so chooses. It is not a whole additional income, but it is something.

 

I did like that her article brought my attention the relationship a SAHM will have with finances. However, it seems that her article is putting financial security as a more important parenting value than being present with the child. I know many good parents who put their kids in daycare. So that point is fine. But I don't agree with her overarching premise that more money = better for all.

 

I do understand the pressure she must feel as a single mom with kids and no steady job (that was my mom). So I feel for her. But I don't think SAHMing should be faulted. I think she made the right choice to stay home with her children -- it was the right choice at the time, for her.


 

I think the bolded is a really good idea.  I do wonder though, how that would work for some.  I have read on here that there are people who choose to live in poverty in order to SAH - which probably means that there isn't any left over to put in IRA accounts for each party, or for mom to put in just her savings account.  I have never understood choosing poverty over working (to each their own I just don't get it), I want my ds to to have the best standard of living that I can provide for him - which doesn't mean he'll get a car the day he turns 16 (far from it), that doesn't mean he'll have a cell phone at 5, or that he'll grow up materialistic.  I would just like for him to have a good life - a nice place to live, good food to eat (nothing fancy, but I like to try new things occasionally), good schools, and the chance to do some fun and interesting things (aka fun, interesting family vacations.  NOT disneyland, I hate it there).  I would never choose poverty over working, and I honestly do not understand why people do.  Maybe I am a materialistic person who grew up in the upper middle class, but I really don't think so.

 

As for the second, I don't agree that is her premise.   She never said that its "better" to have more money - she's just telling her story about how difficult it is to re-enter the full time workplace once you've been gone for many years.  She's right. 

post #68 of 242

I thought it was a really good article.  I have always kept a foot in my career and as my children have grown older have increased my working hours--I am in private practice so I have that ability.  We went through an extended period of unemployment with my dh and if I had not kept up my career we would have been in big trouble.  There were many days of shift changing where I would hand off the kids to meet with clients in the evening while dh took over.  There were some years where I wished I could just chuck it and stay home full time.  As I look back I am so grateful I stayed in it.  I really don't feel that I missed out as a mom--during the early years my working hours were minimal, it was however stressful to juggle both worlds at times.  One of the greatest things about working part time was that my dh and dds have such a great bond from the times it was just them--without me to interject. 

 

I always encourage young women to look towards careers that will allow for them to mother as well, in my case I am a psychotherapist.  I never thought of it as protecting myself financially but as things turned out is really saved us.  Now dh is once again well employed and we have an even great appreciation for each other.

post #69 of 242


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gillian28 View Post

My stbx had a mental breakdown, an affair, and has now run off.  We were totally in love and had a healthy relationship until he had his mental breakdown.  I find it very naive of those of you saying 'oh well my dh and I are in love so we will never divorce'.  Bad things happen in life and you can't always prepare for it. ....  Now I'm a single mom, with no job, no work experience, and no support from my stbx who because of his mental breakdown is now unemployed .... .  And I will *never* stay at home again, it's too much of a risk.


I'm so sorry for the situation you find yourself in. I have a friend IRL who is in a very similar situation -- DH had a mental breakdown and now she is solely responsible for her children, financial and otherwise. She's back in school and doing well, living (and raising her kids) on student loans. I hope things go well for you.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Super~Single~Mama View Post
  She never said that its "better" to have more money - she's just telling her story about how difficult it is to re-enter the full time workplace once you've been gone for many years.  She's right. 


 

I agree. 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." 

 

As far as the *mommy track,* I see it more as the "parent track" because plenty of men choose to leave work at a decent time and lose out on promotions because of it, too. Not all moms do. It has to do with choices people make, not gender.  Most companies need a few key people who are willing to go the extra mile, who will go in on a weekend, take the customer call in the middle of the night, drop everything to be on the next plane to London. Those people rise and make more money. Mommies can do it, if their husband's are willing to be the parent who takes off when the child is sick, arrange dentist appoints, and just say "no, I can't do it, my kids come first."  Women are putting their work first now, and rising because of it  (of course, on mothering they would be blasted as being horrid parents) but I think it's great that different woman make different choices, and I think it's great that there are men who move for their wife's careers, etc.

 

My DH is an executive, and he he got where he is because he put his job first. There are sacrifices to be in those positions, but they are the same sacrifices regardless of gender. The few women with children who are at his level have husbands who put the kids first. I think that women do themselves a disfavor when they say that they want all the perks, but they aren't willing to set their priorities on those lines.  No one, regardless of gender, gets to the top by leaving work at 6:00. 

post #70 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." 


I agree with this part, for sure.  She has told her story, and her feelings about how her life has gone are very true, and strong, and powerful.  Her story is a valid one, and one worth reading.

 

That said, though, she very explicitly sells us her story as a "cautionary tale" a warning to anyone thinking about being a SAH parent that they shouldn't do it.  And that's the part I disagree with.  Yes, her situation is awful, and I really feel for her.  And yes, being a SAH parent has big risks involved.  But so much of life is about taking big risks.  If she just said, "be aware that these are some risks if you choose to SAH" then I'd say, "Yes.  That's true."  But she frames those risks as a reason everyone should avoid being a SAH parent, and that's where I take issue.  I took the risk into account, and determined that the benefits for me far outweighed the risk.  That's how I operate in all parts of my life, and becoming a SAH parent was no different.

post #71 of 242

That said, though, she very explicitly sells us her story as a "cautionary tale" a warning to anyone thinking about being a SAH parent that they shouldn't do it.



The real cautionary tale is to choose a profession that is forgiving to people who are out of the workforce or work part time for a period-- accounting, nursing and education come to mind.  If she had a nursing or accounting degree we probably wouldn't be reading this story.

 

I have a completely useless degree and got married right out of college-- my employment prospects are negative at this point.  I've already told my kids that we will pay for their education only if they work toward a financially practical degree-- if they want to major in literature or journalism they can do it on their own dime.

post #72 of 242



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by youngspiritmom View Post

I think that financial insecurity -- the main reason in her article for not being a SAHM -- is something that SAHMs can address and manage with their husbands. For example, a SAHM could have a (spousal) Roth IRA that her husband can contribute to each month. It would be her own retirement account in her own name. Also, the husband/partner and the SAHM could agree that some of "his" income is "hers" -- to spend, to save, to do with what she likes. This way, she has access to some money and has the ability to make choices about financial security if she so chooses. It is not a whole additional income, but it is something.

 While that is an excellent idea, it is only feasible if the husband makes enough money to contribute to a spousal Roth IRA, or there is enough room in the budget for discretionary spending.

post #73 of 242

I can't blame her for coming up with a salable angle and then pitching her article to Salon. She probably got paid for it and good for her, I say. She's obviously in some degree of economic difficulty. I still think that it's more the economy than anything, but in one respect, I do agree with her. If you are a woman and have a good job that pays well, it may not make sense to give it up when you have kids. I'm not sure voluntarily removing yourself from the workforce is a good idea when so many can't find jobs at all. Now, plenty of women don't have particularly lucrative jobs and choose to stay home, and plenty of men stay home because it make financial sense. In the end, it's up to the individual. But the individual should make that decision with an awareness of where our society is on these issues and how things can go badly wrong. 

post #74 of 242

I liked the article, but I don't think she's looking at it the same way I would.  I love staying home with my children and would pay any amount of money to have this opportunity.  That said, if my husband lost his job or became disabled, died or if we divorced, I'd be up a creek and scrambling to find some stability.  She gives us an idea of the cost of her staying at home, but it's not the whole story.  Older women often feel this way with or without a career.  They often start to feel invisible and unimportant.  I see some of her article as this...feeling undervalued. 

 

I took the opportunity as a SAHM to go back and finish my degree.  I'm considering going for a masters.  This alone gave me more stability than I had as a working partner before we had children.  Once I had the degree, it helped me feel less dependant on my husband.  When I first decided to stay home, I was really insecure about it.  I didn't want to spend his money, I worried that he'd find a successful business woman and leave me for her.  That's when I decided to work on myself so that if that did happen, I'd be fine.  Twelve years later, we're still happily married, but we can't control the other things that happen to people (death, illness). 

 

I admit that when I was reading the article, I was thinking "I can barely stand your negativity, I wonder if that's the true reason you're having difficulties finding work." 

post #75 of 242

I think it was fascinating, but I don't think she's right that her current "I wish I had" solution is the only way to go. It's all too individual.

 

I would ask someone newly considering SAHM--"how long do you want to stay home? what age do you think is most crucial to stay home? what will you do in financial straits?"

 

I wonder--why was the writer home for 14 years? Did she/why not think about the future and the potential for divorce or illness? Did she keep looking for part time work that would grow her skills not just make income?--doesn't sound like it; and in my experience, this can be a pitfall of working freelance. You keep looking for "easy" work to keep up income, whereas if you didn't have to worry about income, you could do skill-growing projects for little/no pay. 

 

I am a SAHM/homeschooling mom now, but I worked part time until my first child was 6 years old and my youngest 2. I took 6 month maternity leaves both times. That was all self funded, btw. I saved and planned to continue putting the same amount of money into the household that I had while I was working. I didn't SAH until we were in good shape, and I still freelance a tiny bit when it's valuable interest/passion/skills-wise.

 

I think I have all the bases covered financially. I co-own a business with DH, so legally, even though I don't work there day to day (I do help out though), I would have income or some type of buyout set up. I wouldn't live in this costly city if we divorced or DH passed away. I could move to housing 1/4 the cost while still in this general metro area. Our housing has plenty of value in it. Again, we made that decision carefully, living small and careful with mortgage. We make about 60-70% of the typical income in our area, and our choices reflect that, but I'm very happy with our choices, and small living space.

 

I might not be able to get a job in my former field, although I keep in touch with friends and colleagues, who keep telling me if I want a job, they want to hire me. But I have gained new skills in other related areas--ie, I used to do school curriculum, now I know more about adult ed and homeschooling. I could probably create myself a job doing several things I couldn't have done before I had children. We have college and retirement funds, but not huge ones, and if I had to stop adding to them suddenly, like in divorce, I would just not pay the full cost of college. It pays for what it pays for, and that's what I can do. (My goal, btw, is the same as my and DHs parents--enough to pay for 4 years at a state school. You want a private, you pay the difference. I went to Columbia U and paid for it myself... for a long, long time afterwards too!) I'm not sure where the writer's husband is in funding the kids college. Seems to me he should pay it all. /Or he should have been funding the saving for it all along.

 

I also know many women with grown children who left the workforce and then chose a different profession. Not needing to make an income allowed them to start different careers once their children were older or in school. Most of them make great incomes as well; some went back to school, some got other types of training. 

post #76 of 242

 

Quote:
  The responses on this board have struck me as very odd, a lot of blaming, a lot of "it couldn't happen to me."  

 Can't speak for anyone else.  But that is not what I'm saying.

 

I'm saying "My opinion is not the same at hers, and in the event that something did happen, my emotional reaction and my practical response would differ from hers."

 

post #77 of 242
Quote:
Originally Posted by frugalmum View Post


That said, though, she very explicitly sells us her story as a "cautionary tale" a warning to anyone thinking about being a SAH parent that they shouldn't do it.



The real cautionary tale is to choose a profession that is forgiving to people who are out of the workforce or work part time for a period-- accounting, nursing and education come to mind.  If she had a nursing or accounting degree we probably wouldn't be reading this story.

 

I have a completely useless degree and got married right out of college-- my employment prospects are negative at this point.  I've already told my kids that we will pay for their education only if they work toward a financially practical degree-- if they want to major in literature or journalism they can do it on their own dime.

 

yeah, that is what i have been thinking for my kids as well.  this thread has just kind of solidified that for me.  especially something like accounting or medical professions.  i have a cousin who's wife is an ER pediatrician.  she works one shift a week and makes as much as if she worked full time in a practice.  and she stays home with their kids the rest of the time.  my SIL is finishing her accounting degree with the plan that when they have kids she will be able to be work very part time when her kids are babies, and then work from home 20-30 hours a week once the kids are in school.

i have a graduate degree and have just started in an adjunct (1 evening/week) position at a local community college. it allows me to still stay home and my kids are with dh.  

 

post #78 of 242
Quote:
Originally Posted by cappuccinosmom View Post


I'm saying "My opinion is not the same at hers, and in the event that something did happen, my emotional reaction and my practical response would differ from hers."

 

 

but unless something has happened to you, you really don't know what your reaction would be.

 

I think her reaction is pretty normal, a stage that many SAHMs go through if their marriage falls apart.  The big question is: what does one do next?

 

She's in the oh sh*t, the choices I made left me without a decent income or any security stage. Some women get stuck there, some move on and re-create their lives. But most women go through that stage at least briefly. Very few humans can hit the hall and immediately go to what a wonderful opportunity life has given me for personal growth. 

 

I really see the sky as the limit. Lots of people write books or start businesses or do something totally out side the realm of 9-5 and end up making lots of money. I'm not convinced that taking years off in the middle of our lives means we are stuck without a solid income of our own forever.

 

 

post #79 of 242
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

 

As far as the *mommy track,* I see it more as the "parent track" because plenty of men choose to leave work at a decent time and lose out on promotions because of it, too. Not all moms do. It has to do with choices people make, not gender.  Most companies need a few key people who are willing to go the extra mile, who will go in on a weekend, take the customer call in the middle of the night, drop everything to be on the next plane to London. Those people rise and make more money. Mommies can do it, if their husband's are willing to be the parent who takes off when the child is sick, arrange dentist appoints, and just say "no, I can't do it, my kids come first."  Women are putting their work first now, and rising because of it  (of course, on mothering they would be blasted as being horrid parents) but I think it's great that different woman make different choices, and I think it's great that there are men who move for their wife's careers, etc.


I was thinking about this thread last night, and this occurred to me, too. She got put on the "mommy track", because she wasn't doing the job required for the "tiger track". I personally would have done the same thing, but it's not as though she was put on it out of spite. And...if my career were that important to me, I think I'd have hammered something out with my husband, to make sure my career were still in good shape. (I don't really know, because I can't even relate to wanting a career, let alone having it be a high priority.)

 

ETA: And, while I personally choose to SAH, I don't think moms who choose to make their career a priority are horrid parents. I do think it's very sad when both parents make their careers the top priority, because I think the kids get shunted too far down the list...but there's no law saying that the one who spends the lion's share of time with the kids has to be the mom.

post #80 of 242
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottyG 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." 


I agree with this part, for sure.  She has told her story, and her feelings about how her life has gone are very true, and strong, and powerful.  Her story is a valid one, and one worth reading.

 

That said, though, she very explicitly sells us her story as a "cautionary tale" a warning to anyone thinking about being a SAH parent that they shouldn't do it.  And that's the part I disagree with.  Yes, her situation is awful, and I really feel for her.  And yes, being a SAH parent has big risks involved.  But so much of life is about taking big risks.  If she just said, "be aware that these are some risks if you choose to SAH" then I'd say, "Yes.  That's true."  But she frames those risks as a reason everyone should avoid being a SAH parent, and that's where I take issue.  I took the risk into account, and determined that the benefits for me far outweighed the risk.  That's how I operate in all parts of my life, and becoming a SAH parent was no different.


 

I am really glad she wrote it because it got me thinking a lot this week about how I can be a SAHM and still feel that I am not damaging my ability to get back in the work force when I want. I'm lucky I chose nursing (or was practical enough when I made the choice to be an RN) and I think I will probably further my education, go ahead and get my BSN and become a school nurse. Which isn't as lucrative but by the time this baby, due in May, is in Kindergarten, I can start a job where I will still be home when the kids are including summers and breaks. School nursing isn't my dream job, but I will enjoy caring for children. My dream job just isn't compatible with *me* having kids. Hats off to anyone who can work a high pressure profession, like critical care nursing so often is, and be a good mommy. I pretty much sucked at it. 

 

My husband was looking forward to me staying at home, and who knows! Maybe I will for the rest of my days, but at least I was able to read this article and really start thinking about exactly what I was setting myself up for, and I now have some ideas I can execute when the time comes. I feel at peace. So, yeah, pretty thankful to Katy Read. And to everyone who posted here and to all the people, despite the vitriol who posted the letters to the editor, which i went through last night. Man, they were MEAN to her!

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