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SAHM: a right or a privilege?

post #1 of 356
Thread Starter 
This has been on my mind lately. And I mean this in a very general way, not in a passing judgement on anyone else's life kind of way. But I have some people in my life who seem to feel that it is a right. That it is okay for them to SAH even if that means the rest of their family goes hungry or they don't pay rent. And I don't judge her for that, but it's made me question my beliefs. I am about as liberal as they come and I am 100% for public assistance programs. For whoever needs them, regardless of their story. But I just feel that this mother is putting her own desire to be a SAHM over her responsibility to the rest of her family. And so I guess for me, I really do think that being a SAHM is a privelege, and if you can not afford it, you probably shouldn't do it. And let me add a caveat that I understand that sometimes WOH costs more than SAH and that WOH raises a whole new set of issues, so sometimes SAH really is more economical, even if it leaves you struggling. Those are not the situations I'm wondering about. I'm talking about SAH even if it means neglecting the basic needs of the rest of your family (food, clothes, shelter).
I fear that I will get flamed for this. And I hope others know that I do not stand in judgement of your decisions, it's not my place, I'm just trying to work out in my mind my own personal view.
post #2 of 356
well for me i can't afford to NOT be a SAHM. daycare is so high, i'd probably have to buy a car, plus gas money, and i don't have a college degree. i would be working for nothing or possibly even paying to work.
post #3 of 356

Privilege

I wish it was a right. But I have to go with privilege. I know mamas and dadas that wish they could afford to stay home but can't. So I have to say that makes me feel privileged to be able to do so.
post #4 of 356
I definitly think it's a priviledge. and one I don't take for granted.
post #5 of 356
Quote:
Originally Posted by rainbowmoon View Post
I definitly think it's a priviledge. and one I don't take for granted.
me either! Sometimes I dont thank my DH enough for working so hard and allowing me to do what I love. Be w/ my kids
post #6 of 356
I agree with all of you...it is a priveledge that should be a right.
post #7 of 356
In our society it is a privilege, but I believe it is fundamentally a right. I also think it's a myth that if the mom just went out and worked, she would give her family a higher financial echelon. I would have to make a very big salary for our family not to have to pay for me to work (our child care expenses would be huge, even for non-perfect care).
post #8 of 356
IMO it is a right.......and i would rather live megerly and budget rather than have me work
post #9 of 356
It's definitely a privilege that should be a right. I am so grateful that I am able to stay at home with DH. I just quit a particularly miserable job and I just give thanks every moment that I didn't have to stay. Sure we have to buckle down and can't spend on things the way I would like but it is definitely a blessing to be able to SAH with my son. Everyone, however, should have the option.
post #10 of 356
But I just feel that this mother is putting her own desire to be a SAHM over her responsibility to the rest of her family.

I would think unless a woman was making her family starve and not thrive being at home should be a right...almost a duty.

I also believe for myself that if I could not afford to be at home I wouldn't have children....

I believe being at home is equally important to my children as my choice to breastfeed, natural choices, homebirthing, non-circumcision and all the other choices we have that benefit our children...

~Charlene~
post #11 of 356
It is every woman's right to be with her children. Therefore, it's a right.
post #12 of 356
Honestly. I'm one of those mamas that is really struggling. I feel like it is my right to be a SAHM and shame on the government for not being more supportive of that. I worked my ass off for 10 years often working 60-70 hour weeks at mediocre-to-good jobs. I feel that I am entitled to a little help from the government if I need it on a temp basis . I didn't plan on things to go so sour when DS was born. I didn't plan for my DH to be laid off when I was seven months pregnant. Even through that, I knew that I would still be a SAHM, it would just be harder. I started working towards transcription work two months after DS was born. That was April. Ijust got my first check on Monday. We are in a deep, deep hole to dig out of. I'm glad to say, we've done it without credit cards, but I'm not sure if that was best doing it that way. We are behind on bills and our phone was turned off.

With the help of my parents, DH and I took our first trip out of state to see my family 1500 miles away after 3 years of being stuck at home. A week after coming home, DH got WestNile and not only wiped out his last week of sick leave, he missed three weeks of work, unpaid as well. That's not really something we planned for or could imagine the scope of, either.

I feel like from the moment I knew I was pregnant, it was my job to be a SAHM. DH felt that way too.

I'm sorry, maybe I'm not saying this whole thing right. I have the world's most cranky 9 mth old right now, teething up a storm. I am very sad for him right now. Maybe I'll be back later to clarify.
post #13 of 356
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peepsqueak View Post
I agree with all of you...it is a priveledge that should be a right.
Ditto! I won't SAH forever because I want to make sure we're set for retirement later but I feel fortunate to be able to choose to do either.
post #14 of 356
[QUOTE=~Lolosoli~;6486232][I]
I believe being at home is equally important to my children as my choice to breastfeed, natural choices, homebirthing, non-circumcision and all the other choices we have that benefit our children...QUOTE]

I agree. My choice to be a SAHM is as central to HOW I parent as every other choice I have made.
post #15 of 356
Quote:
Originally Posted by romans_mum View Post
IMO it is a right.......and i would rather live megerly and budget rather than have me work
I am not a SAHM and I definitely think it is a privilege. It is one thing to live meagerly and budget but another story to not be able to make ends meet. Do you (collective) think it is a right for single moms too? I've been a single mom since baby was born and I did live off student loans and a small pay from internships for 2.5 years but since then I've worked. I do not think that families need to be well-off to have SAHMs just like families don't need to be well-off to have more than 2 kids, BUT I think being a SAHM at the expense of basic needs being covered is a really courageous decision that I would not be able to make.

All that said, I think that women desiring to be SAHMs that don't have that much money can make it happen if they elevate their consciousness from one of lack and limitation to one of abundance and creativity. YOu can make anything happen that you want to happen for you and your family.
post #16 of 356
Do I think its a right? No...I don't think it is and I don't know if I think that it should be. I do think, however, that it is most definitely a privilege.
post #17 of 356
For me I'd say a very wonderful priveledge! My DH sacrifices getting to stay home and play with DS so that I can. He goes to work and works his tail off just so I don't have to get a job and leave my LO with a sitter. I do agree that we wouldnt be able to afford me being a wohm because the amount of money I'd make would barely cover daycare.
post #18 of 356
I absolutely believe it is a right for single moms. ALL women have the right to be with their dear children. This may be the greatest right of all humanity. It is a shame that these days in our society, it is a privilege.
post #19 of 356
Quote:
Originally Posted by aywilkes View Post
I am not a SAHM and I definitely think it is a privilege. It is one thing to live meagerly and budget but another story to not be able to make ends meet. Do you (collective) think it is a right for single moms too? I've been a single mom since baby was born and I did live off student loans and a small pay from internships for 2.5 years but since then I've worked. I do not think that families need to be well-off to have SAHMs just like families don't need to be well-off to have more than 2 kids, BUT I think being a SAHM at the expense of basic needs being covered is a really courageous decision that I would not be able to make.

All that said, I think that women desiring to be SAHMs that don't have that much money can make it happen if they elevate their consciousness from one of lack and limitation to one of abundance and creativity. YOu can make anything happen that you want to happen for you and your family.
i was a SAHW then a SAHM while my husband was unemployed, we got by and we still get by.

ETA: It would cost us more for me to work as opposed to not, I can't drive, I've never worked a day in my life in the US, and I have no work experience except for hotel cleaning in new zealand. I only have my high school certificate (nz's version of the diploma) and i dont even know if a job would take that anyway.

so we got by on unemployment, and then nothing but food stamps and donations etc until dh got s seasonal pt job, thankfully a week before that ended he got a full time job.
post #20 of 356
I think it's a privilege for the parent, but a right for the child.
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