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I'm not lucky to stay at home - Page 2

post #21 of 260

I don't get it

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sustainer
Thank you so much for posting this thread! I am SO sick of the "must be nice" attitude that I get from people who are way better off financially than I am, as if I'm indulging in some kind of luxury. You don't have to be rich to stay with your small children, but you do have to have the right priorities. They're just fooling themselves in an attempt to avoid feeling guilty!
yea, fooling themselves so they don't feel guilty about their own "wrong" priorities is exactly what they are doing (thinsg like this get threads locked, BTW)

I understand if objecting to this langauge was about educating mothers who might want to sah that they can do it with some significant finacial and career sacrifice. But the objection isn't about educating mothers who want to sah. I imagine being irked about the rather benign and pro-forma "lucky" langauge is really our own frustration with the financial and career hardship we suffer as sah; and, as usual, this frustration is projected as frustration with other mothers rather than focuced where belongs - on the larger economic and cultural issues that make getting by on one income difficult and making being a sah such an isolating and career damanging proposition.
post #22 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by thatsuzygirl
I agree that it isn't luck but I as a WOHM I know that I always want to say something nice and encouraging to SAHMs and it usually comes out as "You're lucky."
Coming from me personally, "You're lucky" can mean:
I think you're doing a great thing and some days I wish I could too.
Enjoy staying home!
Your kids are fortunate that you are determined to stay home with them.
This is a good point! Different perspective.
post #23 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daisie125
ITA!! We live on a single income that is only slightly higher than minimum wage, if we can do it, anyone can. I'm not lucky, I sacrifice, and wouldn't trade it for anything.

I also can't stand it when people give me the whole "I couldn't live without __________" (cable tv, a second car, going out to dinner, etc) They obviously don't want to stay home that bad, then.
No they probably don't want to be sahm. So what. It is like when people say "I couldn't live without meat" as an explanation of why they aren't a vegetarian. OK, fine.

I actaully do suspect it is more complex than going without cable. I imagine that being a sahm isn't the kind of mother they want to be but that they can't quite articulate that and so use the finacial excuse (which they can articulate). Fair enough. Being a sahm is the kind of mother i want to be therefore I will be making huge sacrifices to do it. I imagien these sacrifices will be frustrating at some points and that sometimes I won't feel at all "lucky." But when it comes down to it, knowingw hat I want and how to get it makes me pretty lucky afterall
post #24 of 260
Another thought occurred to me:
"You're lucky" is better than the other phrase I've heard, "How can you stand being a SAHM? I wouldn't be able to do it."



I totally understand where you are coming from though, OP.

I think a lot of the frustration SAHM's feel is from people not appreciating the sheer work and determination that goes into keeping our chosen "profession". Out there (in real life) SAHM's are in the minority and things are no longer structured to benefit a one income family. As such it makes for hard, frustrating choices for everyone.
post #25 of 260
x posted with ya, mamawanabe.
post #26 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greensleeves
I think a lot of the frustration SAHM's feel is from people not appreciating the sheer work and determination that goes into keeping our chosen "profession". Out there (in real life) SAHM's are in the minority and things are no longer structured to benefit a one income family. As such it makes for hard, frustrating choices for everyone.
That is true.
post #27 of 260
Well, I feel lucky.

I'm not a SAHM just yet. My last day at work is June 21st.

But I feel very lucky that DH makes enough $$ for us to live comfortably and not extravangantly on his one income. I look forward to being a SAHM for several years. But I know that at some point I'll go back to work because I want to help put my kids through college (don't want a boat or a fancy vacation, but I really want them to go to college) and I can't see saving for that on just one income.

If anyone says that I am lucky when I am a SAHM, I am most definitely going to AGREE WITH THEM!!
post #28 of 260
I really don't believe that anyone is saying that they are not grateful for the opportunity to be able to choose to stay home. No one is talking about single parents, or people who truely do need two incomes just to buy food. That's a whole different scenerio. Yes, I'm grateful to be married to a man who is able and willing to support his family. I do not become irritated when a single mom or a mom having to work just to pay rent comments that I am lucky. I wish we lived in a world where she could stay home with her children.

I get irritated (and I believe this is what other posters are also referring too) when a mom who clearly does not *have* to work in order to have the basics such as food, clothing, and shelter. They choose to work for whatever reasons but it is not because they can not afford food. An old college friend of mine now has a child and she tells me all the time how lucky I am to be able to stay home as if she did not have that choice. She does have that choice but she does not choose it. Fine. Just don't go on and on about how it's all about luck and she does not have that luck. She has a brand new 3100 square foot house with 4 bedrooms, 3.5 baths, three car garage in an expensive development. Oh, and they have two vehicles....one is an SUV bought right after the baby was born. They just took a week long cruise to the bahamas. Her 2 year old has all the brand name clothing, her own TV and DVD player, her own computer, and don't forget her own bathroom. When they were having their house built I asked if they were planning on more children due to the size of the house. She said no, why? I said "well, 4 bedrooms and 3 and a half baths...I thought maybe you were making room for an expanding family. She told me that one bedroom was theirs of course and one for her daughter, the other was the guest room, and the 4th was the office. She stated to me matter of factly that her daughter needed her own bathroom. We all know a 2 year old girl needs her own bathroom.

So when she (and people in her life situation) tell me how lucky I am to stay at home it's ticks me off. Because they are not validating the sacrifices we make so that I can stay home. I can't talk about being broke. She's shocked if I even say that we don't order pizza once or twice a week becasue we can't afford it. I should go get a job then....so we can order pizza.

Just come out and be honest about the choices you make. It's fine to say "I don't want to stay home because I prefer to have nice things and be able to spend money when I want to." Don't act like you have to work when you don't *have* to.....in order to survive.
post #29 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kleine Hexe
It's fine to say "I don't want to stay home because I prefer to have nice things and be able to spend money when I want to." Don't act like you have to work when you don't *have* to.....in order to survive.
Actually, it isn't a socially acceptable thing to say (and the reasons motehrs work when they don't have to is more complicated anyway). We don't live in a society that validates the work of sahms . But we also don't live in a society that is really OK or comfortable with mothers working outside the home. You are kinda screwed as a mother - not pulling your weight if you sah, not fullfilling your duty of womanly/motherly to sacrifice if you woh.
post #30 of 260
Okay, then, what would be an acceptable thing to say?

Providing, of course, that the person in question does not "need" to work and has many things that you do not, and ....well, you get the picture. What should they say that wouldn't piss you off?

It seems to me there is a double standard here. That it is okay for a single mom who must work, or a very poor mom who needs the 2nd income for basic necessities - they can say "You're so lucky," and it would be OK, but if someone else - who you have deemed to be unnecessarily making more money than you think they should be making and living in a larger house than you think is necessary or having too many bathrooms - why can't they say it?

This thread just sleems like slam on working moms. Who are you to make judgments on who should work or not work?
post #31 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmd
Okay, then, what would be an acceptable thing to say?

Providing, of course, that the person in question does not "need" to work and has many things that you do not, and ....well, you get the picture. What should they say that wouldn't piss you off?

It seems to me there is a double standard here. That it is okay for a single mom who must work, or a very poor mom who needs the 2nd income for basic necessities - they can say "You're so lucky," and it would be OK, but if someone else - who you have deemed to be unnecessarily making more money than you think they should be making and living in a larger house than you think is necessary or having too many bathrooms - why can't they say it?

This thread just sleems like slam on working moms. Who are you to make judgments on who should work or not work?
Here's why there's a difference: if a mom, who cannot SAH, but would like to, says "you're so lucky" that's because I am lucky in that my circumstances allow me to make a choice that her circumstances do not allow her to make, even though she would like to.

If a mom who has enough $$ to SAH but chooses not to tells me I'm "lucky", she invalidates what was a very difficult choice to make and reduces it to luck of circumstances, despite the fact that our financial circumstances are the same.

If you feel compelled to say anything regarding luck about my choice as a SAHM, why not say how lucky my family is that I made that choice.
post #32 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kleine Hexe
Just come out and be honest about the choices you make. It's fine to say "I don't want to stay home because I prefer to have nice things and be able to spend money when I want to." Don't act like you have to work when you don't *have* to.....in order to survive.
I find this sentiment disturbing and judgmental.

The choices I make and have made have everything to do with my family's well-being and absolutely nothing to do with your definition of "having nice things and being able to spend money when I want to."
post #33 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kleine Hexe
I really don't believe that anyone is saying that they are not grateful for the opportunity to be able to choose to stay home. No one is talking about single parents, or people who truely do need two incomes just to buy food. That's a whole different scenerio. Yes, I'm grateful to be married to a man who is able and willing to support his family. I do not become irritated when a single mom or a mom having to work just to pay rent comments that I am lucky. I wish we lived in a world where she could stay home with her children.

I get irritated (and I believe this is what other posters are also referring too) when a mom who clearly does not *have* to work in order to have the basics such as food, clothing, and shelter. They choose to work for whatever reasons but it is not because they can not afford food. An old college friend of mine now has a child and she tells me all the time how lucky I am to be able to stay home as if she did not have that choice. She does have that choice but she does not choose it. Fine. Just don't go on and on about how it's all about luck and she does not have that luck. She has a brand new 3100 square foot house with 4 bedrooms, 3.5 baths, three car garage in an expensive development. Oh, and they have two vehicles....one is an SUV bought right after the baby was born. They just took a week long cruise to the bahamas. Her 2 year old has all the brand name clothing, her own TV and DVD player, her own computer, and don't forget her own bathroom. When they were having their house built I asked if they were planning on more children due to the size of the house. She said no, why? I said "well, 4 bedrooms and 3 and a half baths...I thought maybe you were making room for an expanding family. She told me that one bedroom was theirs of course and one for her daughter, the other was the guest room, and the 4th was the office. She stated to me matter of factly that her daughter needed her own bathroom. We all know a 2 year old girl needs her own bathroom.

So when she (and people in her life situation) tell me how lucky I am to stay at home it's ticks me off. Because they are not validating the sacrifices we make so that I can stay home. I can't talk about being broke. She's shocked if I even say that we don't order pizza once or twice a week becasue we can't afford it. I should go get a job then....so we can order pizza.

Just come out and be honest about the choices you make. It's fine to say "I don't want to stay home because I prefer to have nice things and be able to spend money when I want to." Don't act like you have to work when you don't *have* to.....in order to survive.
YES! Exactly! Thank you!

Obviously we all feel lucky/grateful that we are able to have basic necessities, unlike much of the world.

What we're talking about here is people who are *better* able than we are to afford staying at home, but they have different priorities and they choose to work outside the home. What we're complaining about is these people making comments to us about how lucky we are to be able to afford to stay at home, and the implication is that we must have more money than they have, when the opposite is actually true. They talk about it like it's a luxury we're indulging in. They don't want to admit that they have just as much or more money than we have, because that would mean that *they, too* could stay home with their children if it were just as strong a priority for them as it is for us.

They want to have it both ways. They want to have nice "stuff" and they don't want to make sacrifices, but they also want people to think "oh yes of course we'd stay at home with our children if we could AFFORD it." If they admitted that there are people all around them who have *less* money than they have who are staying at home with their children, that would be a constant reminder to them that they are CHOOSING to work outside the home.
post #34 of 260
I get this comment alot, I do consider who is saying it to me. From the single mom down the street, I wouldn't take offense, yes I am lucky that DH works very long hours to get a decent salary. From one of DH's business associates who tells me that "I'm lucky" and she always knew she would work, I do get offended. Every mom makes her own choices for the family, whatever they may be. Most of the time I don't consider myself lucky, being a SAHM for me was a choice, one I always knew I would make. I gave up a good salary as an RN to be a SAHM, that choice has definately changed our finances. We can't afford to buy a house on one salary where DH works so he commutes 35 miles each way. We haven't had a vacation in 2 years, even then it was visiting family, we aren't going on a cruise anytime soon. It's not the words "you're lucky" that offend me, it's the context in which they are used.
post #35 of 260
mamawanabe - you are a breath of fresh air to the SAHM forum.

I just don't see why it is important for me to have the validation of a woman who chooses to live a different lifestyle. If she wants to call it luck, so what. I don't look at being a parent (the way I want to parent) as a sacrifice, it's just being a mom. And for me that means I don't have the same extras I used to before I had my son, but I never give it a second thought, I'm too busy enjoying being with my son to worry about it.

There is a wonderful scene in Guess Who's Coming to Dinner between Sidney Poitier's character and his father. His father is going on and on about the sacrifices he and his mother made so that Sidney's character could have the advantages he had, and go to medical school, down to the fact that his mother never owned a good winter coat that kept her from freezing in the winter. it's a wonderful impassioned speech. Then Sidney's character says to his father, "I owe you nothing, you and mom did what parents supposed to do. You worked hard for your children so that they can have a better chance at life than you did, like I will do for my son." I'm paraphrasing, it's been a while since I've seen the film, but that scene has always stuck with me.

Wanting admiration and humility from a WOHM with a fancy car and house for me simply being a parent the way that works for my family would be like expecting my right-wing FIL to give me credit for the time I spent volunteering with the Democratic Alliance for Action. It's just not the same lifestyle, and complaining about not receiving the gratitude I wouldn't expect from own family smacks of thinking you are better than someone else because of those differences.
post #36 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmd
Okay, then, what would be an acceptable thing to say?

Providing, of course, that the person in question does not "need" to work and has many things that you do not, and ....well, you get the picture. What should they say that wouldn't piss you off?
Well, they could say "You have a lot of patience to be able to stay home. I couldn't do it." I've had someone say that to me and I was not offended nor did I think badly of her.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cmd
It seems to me there is a double standard here. That it is okay for a single mom who must work, or a very poor mom who needs the 2nd income for basic necessities - they can say "You're so lucky," and it would be OK, but if someone else - who you have deemed to be unnecessarily making more money than you think they should be making and living in a larger house than you think is necessary or having too many bathrooms - why can't they say it?
First, I never said anyone is "unnecessarily making more money than I think they should be making." They can't tell me I'm lucky because they make it sound like they have choice in the matter of whether they would like to stay home or not. They actually tell me that they can't afford to stay home. In such cases that is not true.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cmd
This thread just sleems like slam on working moms. Who are you to make judgments on who should work or not work?
I make no judgements about who should work and who shouldn't. Did I post that somewhere? Just don't pretend that it's a matter of grave financial difficulty that makes you go to work. I know a mom who chooses to go to work. Her DH makes more than enough for her to stay home, but she'd rather go to work. I'm glad she can decide what she prefers to do. She is honest about it. She's upfront and tells me that she tried to stay home for a year but she didn't like it. So she went back to work. I do not think she's a bad mother. I do not think she made a bad choice. She made a choice that fits her and her family. She has never said that I'm lucky to stay home. She has told me she admires my patience.

I have not seen anyone slam a work out of home mom on this thread.
post #37 of 260
I'm not saying that I want admiration, humility, or gratitude from WOHMs-by-choice. All I'm saying is that it's annoying when they say things like "lucky you!" or "must be nice!" with that attitude that I must be rich to be able to have such a "luxury," even though they're 10X better off financially than I am. : I just wish they would stop saying those things (with that attitude/tone of voice/mannerism).
post #38 of 260
Say our rich lawyer friend, Adam, tells us about his week-long vacation in the Bahamas. We respond "You are so lucky." Adam gets irked at us for not recognizing the sacrifices they went/go through (7 years of school, never going out in college so they could make the grades they needed, working 60 hours weeks in a high pressure environment). Adam vents on a message board that people need to aknowledge that it isn't circumstance but a choice he made, a choice that comes with sacrifices. Adam complains that his friend could make the same choice and so shouldn't call him lucky.

But I doubt Adam would get irked, at least not if he is happy. Which is why I think this thread is more about our frustrations with the unique challenges of sahm at the end of the 20th centruy than with the comments of our wohm friends.
post #39 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkpmomtoboys

If you feel compelled to say anything regarding luck about my choice as a SAHM, why not say how lucky my family is that I made that choice.
I actaully don't think a family is particularly "lucky" to have mom who choose to sah since a sahm doesn't, in itself, mean a happy and fully-thriving family. Just like I don't think a family is particualrly lucky to have an income of 150,000+ since a high income doesn't, in itself. mean a happy and fully-thriving family.
post #40 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamawanabe
Say our rich lawyer friend, Adam, tells us about his week-long vacation in the Bahamas. We respond "You are so lucky." Adam gets irked at us for not recognizing the sacrifices they went/go through (7 years of school, never going out in college so they could make the grades they needed, working 60 hours weeks in a high pressure environment). Adam vents on a message board that people need to aknowledge that it isn't circumstance but a choice he made, a choice that comes with sacrifices. Adam complains that his friend could make the same choice and so shouldn't call him lucky.

But I doubt Adam would get irked, at least not if he is happy. Which is why I think this thread is more about our frustrations with the unique challenges of sahm at the end of the 20th centruy than with the comments of our wohm friends.


Couldn't agree more.

Signed Artgoddess, the very Lucky to be able to SAHM.
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