My family lives on one income, and that's MY INCOME. We live in a diverse, liberal area where I don't encounter a whole lot of prejudice, but at least once a year I talk to someone who assumes--sometimes very persistently--that because I have a male partner, he must be earning at least as much as I do. There was a time in our parenting lives when he did, but now he's trying to freelance and learning new skills and has earned next to nothing for more than 2 years. Even at his peak earning, he was working for a small startup that did not offer health insurance, so my job was important to supporting the whole family.
Jolly GG wrote:
Exactly. I have a friend whose husband's income is low enough to allow them to receive SNAP (food stamps) while she is a SAHM to one preschooler. I respect their right to make that decision based on their values and personal needs (and the way they use their SNAP for quality food makes me proud as a taxpayer) but I would have a hard time living that way myself; it just wouldn't feel right to me.
As for WOHMs living in "luxury"--the one routine luxury in my lifestyle is that I go out to lunch at least once a week and my family goes out to dinner at least once a week, at restaurants in the $6-12 a meal range. Other than that, I feel that working plus parenting leaves me little TIME for luxuries! It often takes me months to get around to clothes shopping even when I need something. We have trouble getting around to home improvements that are functional; forget about decorating, except for the kid hanging up his drawings. We have only basic cable because we don't have time to watch much TV. We have one museum membership (partly to get a discount on the kid's summer program there) and rarely do other day trips because our weekends fill up with grocery shopping and household chores. We don't take lavish vacations because I get only so many days off and need them for visiting relatives and for illnesses.