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post #81 of 242

 

Quote:
 

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

  

 I can make a good guess, particularly since I do have experience with things that many people would have categorized as something that pushed them out of sahm, and were surprised it didn't for me.

 

And like I said, I'm not doing this because i read it in a book.  If divorce or death happened, yes I'd be hugely upset.  And I acknowledge that it could happen to me.  I do know that my response is going to be different from hers, because I am a different person, and I view things, do things, and respond to things differently than she does.

post #82 of 242


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottyG View Post

    I'm not sure I can see the distinction.  If you go to college, and fall in love with journalism, make a career out of it, and then the market crashes... what control of your destiny do you have?  Your job is gone, you're too old to start a new career very easily, you have a set of skills that are no longer valued, and you think, "how can I possibly support my family?"  Sounds a lot like being a SAHP to me, with "the market crash" replaced by "the divorce."  You're still trusting that "someone else will care for you financially" it's just that instead of trusting one person (your spouse) you're trusting a bunch of people (your company, your peers, your industry).

 


I read this last night, disagreed with it, but it's taken me all day to figure out why.

 

When *the world* changes (your chosen career, the economy, etc.)  it's not personal. It's just stuff that happens.

 

Marriage is completely different. It is deeply personal. It's based upon faith and trust in the person you know the best. A SAHM is putting her financial future in the hands of someone who she thinks she can trust, who she thinks she shares values with, who she thinks values what she is doing. When the marriage breaks down (for whatever reason) and the other person doesn't care what happens to her, and sometimes to the children, it is personal betrayal.

 

There is a HUGE difference between trusting "your company" and selecting one person, promising to love them forever, making sacrifices to build a life together, and having that fall apart.

post #83 of 242
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottyG View Post

    I'm not sure I can see the distinction.  If you go to college, and fall in love with journalism, make a career out of it, and then the market crashes... what control of your destiny do you have?  Your job is gone, you're too old to start a new career very easily, you have a set of skills that are no longer valued, and you think, "how can I possibly support my family?"  Sounds a lot like being a SAHP to me, with "the market crash" replaced by "the divorce."  You're still trusting that "someone else will care for you financially" it's just that instead of trusting one person (your spouse) you're trusting a bunch of people (your company, your peers, your industry).

 


I read this last night, disagreed with it, but it's taken me all day to figure out why.

 

When *the world* changes (your chosen career, the economy, etc.)  it's not personal. It's just stuff that happens.

 

Marriage is completely different. It is deeply personal. It's based upon faith and trust in the person you know the best. A SAHM is putting her financial future in the hands of someone who she thinks she can trust, who she thinks she shares values with, who she thinks values what she is doing. When the marriage breaks down (for whatever reason) and the other person doesn't care what happens to her, and sometimes to the children, it is personal betrayal.

 

There is a HUGE difference between trusting "your company" and selecting one person, promising to love them forever, making sacrifices to build a life together, and having that fall apart.


I have to agree with you, Linda.  I've never put total trust in an employer, or even a organization for which I contributed much (when I was in the arts).  I don't trust any job or profession.  I've been around the block enough times to know that I'm pretty much at the mercy of those employing me, even if I give MY ALL and that employer seems to have some sort of greater good in mind (think non-profits).  Employment and excelling thereof is only something that is with in your control in the respect that only you can control the fact that you either stay or move on.  Employers are not about trust or guarantees or whatever, no matter how caring they seem in their approach.  The bottom line is their only concern, even if they are the most non-profit charitable concern ever.  If they can't pay you, they can't pay you.  The relationship stops there.  It is not about trust and goodness and all that.  They are an employer, nothing else.  Marriage is a much different dynamic.  You have all that love and devotion and until death do us part stuff.  This is not present in the employer/employee relationship.  Sorry, but you can't compare interpersonal relationships with commercial relationships.  They are not the same.  Plain and simple.  I've never trusted my peers, my industry, my employer.  I work and they pay me.  The relationship ends there.  No work, no pay.  Love and devotion are not like that.  I'd stick it out with DH until the end.  My employer?  As much as I value them on various levels, our relationship is limited to work/pay.  That's it.  It doesn't make it bad, it is just the terms of the relationship.

post #84 of 242

 I just read through the whole thread.

 

It is pretty hard for a lot of us to face reality.

 

The author doesnt want to take back the time she spent with her kids.

 

I think so many here are taking this personally.

Sometimes it's hard to read something like this.

Being a sahm is a tremendous risk that puts a lot of us in a tough place later.

Whether we will still have our DH's  or not, we still all come to the point when our kids will be grown up and we have to flounder a bit, to find exactly who we are with out them.

It is a huge risk. I think it's worth it. I hope it's worth it.

I'm being grateful for what I have right now.

 

 

 

post #85 of 242

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

I read this last night, disagreed with it, but it's taken me all day to figure out why.

 

When *the world* changes (your chosen career, the economy, etc.)  it's not personal. It's just stuff that happens.

 

Marriage is completely different. It is deeply personal. It's based upon faith and trust in the person you know the best. A SAHM is putting her financial future in the hands of someone who she thinks she can trust, who she thinks she shares values with, who she thinks values what she is doing. When the marriage breaks down (for whatever reason) and the other person doesn't care what happens to her, and sometimes to the children, it is personal betrayal.

 

There is a HUGE difference between trusting "your company" and selecting one person, promising to love them forever, making sacrifices to build a life together, and having that fall apart.


I agree, there is a HUGE difference.  I have never really trusted my employers, and I trust my wife more than anyone else in the world, probably more than I trust myself.  And a divorce must be WAY more devastating than being downsized, for exactly that reason.

 

But to me, this article is not about the personal emotional ramifications of divorce when you're a SAH parent.  Those must be awful, and terrible, and debilitating.  But this article is specifically addressing the financial ramifications.  That's what I meant when I said that you're out of control of your destiny in both situations.  The personal fallout from such an event as this author describes must be horrible.  But she's talking about financial fallout.  And I just can't see the distinction between the financial fallout of a market crash vs. the financial fallout of a SAH parent getting divorced.  

 

There are a WHOLE LOT of other ways in which they are very different situations, which you've articulated nicely.  But financially, I don't see a big difference.  Both involve taking risks, and putting yourself out on a limb, and getting great rewards if you succeed, and dealing with awful financial consequences if you fail.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mom2happy View Post

Sometimes it's hard to read something like this.

Being a sahm is a tremendous risk that puts a lot of us in a tough place later.

Whether we will still have our DH's  or not, we still all come to the point when our kids will be grown up and we have to flounder a bit, to find exactly who we are with out them.

It is a huge risk. I think it's worth it. I hope it's worth it.

I'm being grateful for what I have right now.

 


Just to be clear about this, too: I'm not disagreeing with this statement at all.   It's a huge risk, that I hope is worth it, and it puts a lot of us in a tough place later.  Entirely true.  I just don't think it's a uniquely risky decision.  I think we all make numerous life decisions that are huge risks that we hope are worth is, and might put us in a tough place later.  Being a SAH parent is one of those risks.  There are many others too. 

post #86 of 242



 

 


Just to be clear about this, too: I'm not disagreeing with this statement at all.   It's a huge risk, that I hope is worth it, and it puts a lot of us in a tough place later.  Entirely true.  I just don't think it's a uniquely risky decision.  I think we all make numerous life decisions that are huge risks that we hope are worth is, and might put us in a tough place later.  Being a SAH parent is one of those risks.  There are many others too. 



I think it's a unique risk. It is pretty specific. Some of us are making the choice to sah vs pursuing a secure spot for our own futures.  

post #87 of 242

Something I was just thinking about is: I wonder if there are many working moms who are struggling financially after a divorce, similar to how this writer is?  I mean, maybe not in the same way b/c they actually have secured a job, but, I guess I assume that families that have always been 'two-income' probably base their lives off that.  Meaning, their mortgage and lifestyle depends on both parents working, and when there is a divorce or death (or disability or otherwise), they are left to figure out how to manage on essentially half of the finances they are used to relying on.

 

Just another perspective, b/c I'm not convinced that keeping or starting a career while having small children means any kind of stability in the event of the unexpected, like divorce.  It may be easier b/c you can move to, say (maybe a worse case scenario), a one bedroom apartment and live off your income and find a way to pay off the student loans and credit card debt and whatever else has been accumulated over the years of having two parents contributing financially, but if a family has lived off one income and their bills and such reflect that, they aren't necessarily in a worse position - assuming the spouse that has been a SAHP can obtain employment. 

post #88 of 242
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottyG View Post

 

I agree, there is a HUGE difference.  I have never really trusted my employers, and I trust my wife more than anyone else in the world, probably more than I trust myself.  And a divorce must be WAY more devastating than being downsized, for exactly that reason.

 

But to me, this article is not about the personal emotional ramifications of divorce when you're a SAH parent.  Those must be awful, and terrible, and debilitating.  But this article is specifically addressing the financial ramifications.  That's what I meant when I said that you're out of control of your destiny in both situations.  The personal fallout from such an event as this author describes must be horrible.  But she's talking about financial fallout.  And I just can't see the distinction between the financial fallout of a market crash vs. the financial fallout of a SAH parent getting divorced.  

 

There are a WHOLE LOT of other ways in which they are very different situations, which you've articulated nicely.  But financially, I don't see a big difference.  Both involve taking risks, and putting yourself out on a limb, and getting great rewards if you succeed, and dealing with awful financial consequences if you fail.

 


This is the way I see it. Besides, we're now talking a market crash/major layoff/whatever financial downturn vs. a divorce (probably because a divorce is what the author is dealing with). What about a death? My financial situation wouldn't be much different if dh died than if we divorced - I'd have a bigger lump sum, because he has life insurance, but I wouldn't have any support or anything coming in for me or the kids, which I probably would (short term) if we divorced. I just don't see that being a SAHP is so much different than many other financially risky decisions people make. WOH parents who get a divorce can take a financial hit, although not to the same extent. Marrying the wrong person in the first place can cost you a fortune (I can't even describe how much better off I'd be, financially, if I hadn't married my ex...not because we divorced, as my situation only got better after that, but because we got married in the first place.)

post #89 of 242

I agree with a PP that to be really blunt, the author's career choices would likely be eviscerated at this point in time, whether or not she SAH.  WOH moms get penalized too (as she points out in her own article), and mainstream, stereotypical journalism is bleeding out quickly and what jobs remain are fiercely competative.  (Let's not also forget the ageism bias that women are up against far more than men as well.)

 

WOH moms often are devastated financially from a divorce as well.  They are not magically prevented from financial ruin of divorce more so than SAHMs.  In fact, the impact of them may be more because there are even less safety net stuff available to someone with a halfway decent income pre-divorce than a "displaced homemaker".

 

I feel sorry for the author.  She's going thorugh a devastating, stressful time.  I think it's a little simplistic and naive to look back and say, "Oh, if I'd only never SAH this wouldn't be happening."  I sincerely doubt that.  The blunt truth is that most women whether or not they work outside the home are extremely vulnerable economically if they get divorced.  Women still face enormous prejudice in the job market, esp. when it's cut-throat, and anyone who says that a single mom (of any stripe) doesn't face additional bias (both unjustly and pragmatically) from employers is being pretty ignorant.

 

I hope that the author gets through this difficult time and is able to eventually find some amount of peace in time--and that she doesn't heap too much blame upon herself for "causing" this.  the truth is, even if she were a professional woman this whole time, she still probably would be facing some pretty severe challenges, esp. newly single with children to care for.  When you are in crisis, you question everything.  It's natural to question SAHing too, though I think extrapolating that while ignoring the very real struggles and difficulties faced by WOH moms after divorce is a really big mistake.  Understandable when you are in the thick of your pain, but that does skew your perception of reality.

post #90 of 242
Honestly, what I got out if that article was "the consequences of a failed marriage are severe." It frustrates me a bit that the author doesn't seem to identify the breaking up of her household as the central problem.

Divorce hurts women and children, yup, I knew that. Making decisions about how we live as a family, especially such a major thing as whether or not you have a SAHP, based on the possibility of divorce makes about as much sense to me as making decisions based on the possibility that one of us will drop dead tomorrow. There are some things that you can do to ameliorate these situations - the IRA, the life insurance policy, the joint savings and assets built up over time - but in the end, yes, you and your kids will suffer if you lose Dad, however it is that you lose him. There's just no getting around it.
post #91 of 242
Thread Starter 

I think what she is seeing is her husband, who is making a nice living and comparing it to her own situation. She gave it up, willingly, for her kids. She and her husband were neck and neck before the kids and she dropped out of the race. Her husband didn't give up his job and didn't suffer the same consequences.

post #92 of 242
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigerchild View Post

I agree with a PP that to be really blunt, the author's career choices would likely be eviscerated at this point in time, whether or not she SAH.  WOH moms get penalized too (as she points out in her own article), and mainstream, stereotypical journalism is bleeding out quickly and what jobs remain are fiercely competative.  (Let's not also forget the ageism bias that women are up against far more than men as well.)

 

WOH moms often are devastated financially from a divorce as well.  They are not magically prevented from financial ruin of divorce more so than SAHMs.  In fact, the impact of them may be more because there are even less safety net stuff available to someone with a halfway decent income pre-divorce than a "displaced homemaker".

 

I feel sorry for the author.  She's going thorugh a devastating, stressful time.  I think it's a little simplistic and naive to look back and say, "Oh, if I'd only never SAH this wouldn't be happening."  I sincerely doubt that.  The blunt truth is that most women whether or not they work outside the home are extremely vulnerable economically if they get divorced.  Women still face enormous prejudice in the job market, esp. when it's cut-throat, and anyone who says that a single mom (of any stripe) doesn't face additional bias (both unjustly and pragmatically) from employers is being pretty ignorant.

 

I hope that the author gets through this difficult time and is able to eventually find some amount of peace in time--and that she doesn't heap too much blame upon herself for "causing" this.  the truth is, even if she were a professional woman this whole time, she still probably would be facing some pretty severe challenges, esp. newly single with children to care for.  When you are in crisis, you question everything.  It's natural to question SAHing too, though I think extrapolating that while ignoring the very real struggles and difficulties faced by WOH moms after divorce is a really big mistake.  Understandable when you are in the thick of your pain, but that does skew your perception of reality.


As a WOHM, I have to agree with this, all of it in fact. The thing that I fear the most is not the economic factor, but the lack of parental support, something that is extremely important in my present life and in DD's life.  I have the extreme benefit of working in a position which allows me flexibility and family time.  DH has the same benefit.  If I had to do it on my own, the cards would be much different.  In fact, I don't even like to think about it because I know I could not maintain the level of involvement with my family that I enjoy now.  Even more, if something were to happen to me, I know that DH could "handle" it but that DD's childhood would probably suffer as a result.  I know that a lot of single parents do things very well on their own and are raising fantastic kids, but I've grown accustomed to a certain a way living and the adjustment in the event of a loss of a spouse would be hard for me to bear.  Putting a roof over our heads and feeding the family is one thing...the other non-financials challenges would probably cause me more stress.

post #93 of 242

I have so many mixed feelings after reading this article, as a young woman (22) who is CHOOSING to be a SAHM (because I knew that I would be happier being with my child - than being apart for my occupation) - I have also been treated as though I am some sort of deformed mutation of society (because it is certainly not the norm for my generation). However, I do understand where the author is coming from; divorce occurs (in way too high of a rate) but child support/alimony doesn't cover everything. Especially when the children in question are teenagers (kids only get more expensive, because they have much different needs as age increases) - not being able to find a job because you're simultaneously overqualified and underqualified (which is the problem that I've run into, when working - I was too qualified for most positions, from having a college education; but underqualified because I had spent a good portion of my life moving - and therefore not having jobs for an extensive amount of time). Do I one day want to return to my impassioned career (I'm currently a midwifery student) - absolutely! However, for the time being, I'm satisfied and thrilled with being a Mama (to-be) and a wonderful, feminist housewife.

post #94 of 242

This article really made me think, and so have all the responses.  I'm especially interested in reading the responses about building stability as a SAHP.

 

I want to be home with my DD.  I love it.  Every moment, even the hard ones.   If I went back to work now, daycare/paying for a second car/etc would eat up every penny.  So for us it was a no-brainer.  I do a tiny bit of freelance work and it is incredibly stressful to balance because we don't have childcare.  But I do it because I'm trying to keep my foot in the door, so in a few years when she starts school, I can get back into the workforce.  I'm less afraid of DP and I splitting up, and more afraid of one of us dying young, getting sick, or going crazy.  It happens.  All three have happened in both of our families.  And I'm not just worried about me.  I'm worried about both of us.  What would he do if something happened to me? 

 

I think this isn't just a concern for families with SAHPs.  In this economy, it's everyone's concern.

 

Now DP feels GREAT about our financial position because he is the first in two generations to not be on public assistance.  His mom grew up in the projects and he grew up on food stamps.  That wasn't fun for anyone.  DP practically glows when he talks about his work, which he doesn't love love, but finds stimulating and pays decently enough for us to get by.  He is so proud of himself and I am so proud of him too.  But we have no health insurance and no savings.  No cushion.  We are one accident or chronic illness away from needing to be on public assistance or having to move into someone's basement.  Would it be the worst, most terrible thing in the world? No, not as long as both of us were there to weather it.  But that doesn't mean we shouldn't want to try and prevent something like that if we can.

 

I know we'll never get back this time with DD, and I don't think I'll ever regret it, but it's not regret that I fear.  Sometimes I do wonder if we're doing the right thing.

post #95 of 242

 

"...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? 

post #96 of 242
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigerchild View Post

I agree with a PP that to be really blunt, the author's career choices would likely be eviscerated at this point in time, whether or not she SAH.  WOH moms get penalized too (as she points out in her own article), and mainstream, stereotypical journalism is bleeding out quickly and what jobs remain are fiercely competative.  (Let's not also forget the ageism bias that women are up against far more than men as well.)

 

WOH moms often are devastated financially from a divorce as well.  They are not magically prevented from financial ruin of divorce more so than SAHMs.  In fact, the impact of them may be more because there are even less safety net stuff available to someone with a halfway decent income pre-divorce than a "displaced homemaker".

 

I feel sorry for the author.  She's going thorugh a devastating, stressful time.  I think it's a little simplistic and naive to look back and say, "Oh, if I'd only never SAH this wouldn't be happening."  I sincerely doubt that.  The blunt truth is that most women whether or not they work outside the home are extremely vulnerable economically if they get divorced.  Women still face enormous prejudice in the job market, esp. when it's cut-throat, and anyone who says that a single mom (of any stripe) doesn't face additional bias (both unjustly and pragmatically) from employers is being pretty ignorant.

 

I hope that the author gets through this difficult time and is able to eventually find some amount of peace in time--and that she doesn't heap too much blame upon herself for "causing" this.  the truth is, even if she were a professional woman this whole time, she still probably would be facing some pretty severe challenges, esp. newly single with children to care for.  When you are in crisis, you question everything.  It's natural to question SAHing too, though I think extrapolating that while ignoring the very real struggles and difficulties faced by WOH moms after divorce is a really big mistake.  Understandable when you are in the thick of your pain, but that does skew your perception of reality


Yup.  Especially the bolded.  I'm in the middle of my job hunt right now, for my career.  I just finished law school, I have good experience, and I'm looking for a job in the professional world.  Maybe it was a dumb choice, maybe I shouldn't have gone to law school (if I hadn't I wouldn't have ds though, and he's the best thing to come out of it!) and I won't be telling ANYONE that I'm a single mom until I'm 6months into a job AT LEAST.  Truly.  It's hard to pretend to be something I'm not, but I have to do it.

post #97 of 242
Quote:
Originally Posted by kay4 View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by cappuccinosmom View Post

Sad.

 

But it doesn't dissuade me from staying home with my kids.  I view life, lifestyle, value, and parenting very differently from her.  I'm not home because someone told me to be home.  If something dreadful happens, we will move on, adjust, and acclimatize, and I will have no regrets.



I totally agree with this.


Same here. 

post #98 of 242

Although I gave up a good job to stay at home with my son, I don't regret it.  My mom worked full time, putting all six of us in daycare.  I have countless childhood memories of the babysitters' houses, much fewer of her.  She died when I was 11 weeks pregnant. I never, ever wish that we had more money when I was growing up, but I do wish every single day that we had more time together.

 

The author of the article sounds bitter about trying to find work in a dying industry in a terrible economy.  I sympathize with her, and I just hope I'm not in her shoes when I return to the workforce.  But I'm still happy with my decision to stay home.  


Edited by 4myfinn - 1/28/11 at 4:00pm
post #99 of 242
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4myfinn View Post

  I have countless childhood memories of the babysitters house, much fewer of her.  She died when I was 11 weeks pregnant, and I never, ever wished that we had more money when I was growing up.  But I do wish every single day that we had more time together.

 

 

Thank you for sharing this.

post #100 of 242

My mother stayed on the "tiger track", working from being a receptionist to owning a very large company in a large metro city.  She literally was never home.  She was gone from 6 am to 9 pm every day except Sunday and that day was for grocery shopping, cleaning and laundry.  Now that she is retiring, she looks back with so much regret.  She is very wealthy (we aren't but she is) but she can't buy back the time she missed with me or my sister.  She has money, but her family connections are sparse to non-existent.  Money is a cold bedfellow.

 

I think this article represents the quintessential "grass is greener" "hindsight is 20/20" piece playing off the Mommy Wars.  All of us look back with regret on choices we have made.  It is up to each to decide what regrets we will have.  I am sorry that she regrets staying at home because she is struggling now, but I look forward and even if I am a single parent with three children to support (always possible in my circumstances), I feel comfortable that SAH now is worth it to me, personally.

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