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What to say when people say, "You're so LUCKY you can be a SAHM!" - Page 6

post #101 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunnmama View Post
If the "lucky" word is too much to swallow, why not just say "We've sacrificed a lot to make it work, but I agree I am very blessed."
This is the best reply I've seen.
post #102 of 164
Sigh.

If a virtual stranger makes a comment during small talk at a party that indicates that she feels that being a SAHM is not an option for her family, CAN'T WE JUST BELIEVE HER???????????

Or are we trying that hard to keep the Mommy wars going?
post #103 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoopin' Mama View Post
Sigh.

If a virtual stranger makes a comment during small talk at a party that indicates that she feels that being a SAHM is not an option for her family, CAN'T WE JUST BELIEVE HER???????????

Or are we trying that hard to keep the Mommy wars going?
Good point, but then again we wouldnt have this thread now
post #104 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoopin' Mama View Post
Sigh.

If a virtual stranger makes a comment during small talk at a party that indicates that she feels that being a SAHM is not an option for her family, CAN'T WE JUST BELIEVE HER???????????

Or are we trying that hard to keep the Mommy wars going?
You know, I don't think this is about keeping the Mommy wars going. I think it's about everyone wanting/needing to feel respected for the efforts and sacrifices made in their lives. As pps have said, technically, we all have "luck" to thank in some degree, and we're going to keep having this same conversation/argument over and over until we stop being defensive and listen to what people are actually saying. If a SAHM feels like she is being told she is lucky in a dismissive way, can't we just believe her, too? I SAHM, and I have been told by WOHM friends, whose situations I know very well, that I am lucky to stay home, and it's often dismissive. I've also been told by WOHM strangers that I'm lucky to stay home. Sometimes, it's dismissive. I'm not an idiot. I don't have to know everything about someone else's life to know if I'm being spoken to in a condescending way. Other times, it's not clear why they are commenting in that way, so I assume the best and say "thank you".
Yes, there are plenty of people whose situation makes SAHM impossible, and if one of these people was making the comment about how lucky I am to be able to stay home, I would absolutely agree with them. But often it is other folks making the comment, and I think it's important to acknowledge that in those circumstances, the term "lucky" sometimes means something much different, and it's perfectly valid to feel upset about that.
post #105 of 164
We get a lot of "how can you afford that on one salary" Our cost of living is really low but still we are technically low income but we can still afford a ton of stuff extra.
post #106 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jane's4 View Post
You know, I don't think this is about keeping the Mommy wars going. I think it's about everyone wanting/needing to feel respected for the efforts and sacrifices made in their lives. As pps have said, technically, we all have "luck" to thank in some degree, and we're going to keep having this same conversation/argument over and over until we stop being defensive and listen to what people are actually saying. If a SAHM feels like she is being told she is lucky in a dismissive way, can't we just believe her, too? I SAHM, and I have been told by WOHM friends, whose situations I know very well, that I am lucky to stay home, and it's often dismissive. I've also been told by WOHM strangers that I'm lucky to stay home. Sometimes, it's dismissive. I'm not an idiot. I don't have to know everything about someone else's life to know if I'm being spoken to in a condescending way. Other times, it's not clear why they are commenting in that way, so I assume the best and say "thank you".
Yes, there are plenty of people whose situation makes SAHM impossible, and if one of these people was making the comment about how lucky I am to be able to stay home, I would absolutely agree with them. But often it is other folks making the comment, and I think it's important to acknowledge that in those circumstances, the term "lucky" sometimes means something much different, and it's perfectly valid to feel upset about that.
You have made some very good points, and I agree that someone who is making sacrifices would much more appreciate an acknowledgment of that, rather than being dismissed.

It's just that I've seen this argument a few times on MDC, so I get a little passionate about it. I think we all need to remember, that we cannot judge a person's situation. Not all pregnancies are planned, perhaps the fancy lifestyle observed are remnants of the days before they had children (clothes, cars, etc). Maybe they get a gift certifacte for birthdays and holiday for manicures, pedicures, expensive hair treatments. You cannot tell by looking at someone if they are helping to support a sister battling drug addiction, a parent in a special care facility, a niece or nephew trying to make a go of it in college, etc.

But if the OP, and others, have felt it was said in a condescending tone, well then sure, that sucks.
post #107 of 164
[QUOTE=Sharlla;6701178]We get a lot of "how can you afford that on one salary" QUOTE]

We get that too and I answer it honestly. I say our housing payment is very low, its some people's car payment. That is our only debt. That is how we do it.
post #108 of 164
I say "thank you! I do feel very lucky to be able to SAH w/my son.."
post #109 of 164
I just say that "i love it. Wouldn't want it any other way at this time"
post #110 of 164
I get that all of the time.

I usually respond something like:

Well, my husband and I both work very hard so that I can stay home and raise our kids full-time. We make a lot of sacrifices, but it is worth it.

As for the *I couldn't do it, what do you do all day, doesn't it drive you nuts?*

I usually come back with - it is the hardest job I've ever had, and sometimes I wish I could take a coffee break or even a vacation! The pay does suck, but the perks, oh, the perks are the best! When I look at my kids, I know I am doing what's right for our family.
post #111 of 164
there before the grace of <insert higher power> go i. people's situations can change in the blink of an eye.




has it really been 3 months?
post #112 of 164
I get upset as well. But it depends in what context it was said. Before we moved to NZ from South Africa we talked to my hubby's cousin when she was there for a visit. Our biggest concern was will hubby earn enough not to take a second job and that I can still be a SAHM. She kept on telling me no you cant be one anymore. Everyone has to work so you cant just idle at home. Yip me freaking idling.

When I explained to her that we will make sacrifices to realise our dream. The more she said that she makes sacrifices and it is about time I need to make it. They take care of the kids at school for you yada yada yada. I think all of you know how that conversation go.

When we said how much hubby is looking at earning mimimum and will we survive on that I just got a really shocked look and they told me that they must be dumb then because they only earn that combined and no one earn that here. (well he is earning that). I never ever told them they were dumb or that she isnt a great mom. She was highly upset when she gave me a album with stuff about her child. Like his first steps ect. I said this is wonderful but I still want to be the one there seeing all this.

I have absolutely no problem with a working mom. Her godmother is a working mommy. But it isnt for me at this stage. I will start working from home after studies. But to make me out as a bad mom because I dont make the sacrifice of going out to work is nonsense. We make different sacrifices as a working and SAHM mom and we do it for the better of our families and what we want out of life.

Okay I went off topic here.
post #113 of 164
I don't have kids yet, but I don't plan to SAH. The majority of my circle of friends don't SAH, though some do. I can tell you the motivation for many people I know who say "You're so lucky!" is that they don't have the words to express a more drawn-out thought...
"I'm afraid of what my friends will say if I make the choice to stay home!"
"I always said I wanted to keep working, and now I don't, so I'm afraid to take the plunge!"
"We aren't comfortable making that choice, but I wish I could!"

You know? I don't think you should dismiss someone's "you're lucky!" comment as necessarily dismissive or condescending. I really do believe most people mean well.
post #114 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunnysideup View Post
I think many people use the word "lucky" to mean "fortunate."
I agree... fortunate, or blessed; even if that sometimes means fortunate and/or blessed to have the will and determination to make it happen despite sacrifices, etc, out of what we perceive to be in our children's best interest.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cpop View Post
"But I wish more people realized that they do have the opportunity if they are willing to do what it takes to make it happen"

If the frustration you guys experience from this type of comment is the above, then why not say something like
"You know we weren't sure we could swing it financially but after a lot of planning and cutting back on non-essentials we found we could do just fine.
It takes some extra work but is really worth it!"

That way you could actually start this type of conversation with someone who really thinks it isn't an option, and that way you might help the woman start thinking about whether it is possible or not in her life.
And, on the other hand, you will be making it clear that it is a choice that some families could make if they were willing to let go of some more extravagant expenditures.
Just my $0.02
I'm going to make an affort to remember that... I like the idea of possibly assisting another mom to have a paradigm shift. Sometimes the debate between the 2 sides seems like it comes from being (too?) rooted in one's paradigms, kwim?

Quote:
Originally Posted by artgoddess View Post
...Sure you may work hard at it, sure you may give up a few luxuries, but those 90% in the world who are lucky to get rice, probably work harder than you and your DP combined and still their kids go to bed hungry.

Sing it sista!

Knowing things like that makes me not give a rats ass if Susy Jones down the street doesn't get it that her car and mortgage payments alone are more $$ than what DP and I live on for the whole month. Those are her choices and these are mine, and we are both lucky women.
Halleluja, mama!

For my part, I guage the person, what my perception of him/her, and where they may be coming form, and I pick from: 1) Thanks. 2) It's pretty stinkin' rad. 3) Thanks, it's the coolest job ever. I've never had a boss that was cool with me wearing pajamas to work... 4) Well, we've really paid our dues to be able to do this, it's always been really important to me (and my dh) to be a stay home parent. 5) You don't think you could do it? or Have you ever thought of staying home?
post #115 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaInTheBoonies View Post
But then you dis all the single parents out there. I do think it is polite to acknowledge you have something many others do not have. It is rude and mean to pretend like you don't.
When I was a single mom, I worked my ass off and was broke all the time so that I could have a crappy job where I could take ds with me. He was with me because it was my priority. I'm a stay at home mom now because it's dh's and my priority to have a parent home with the kids.

There's nothing rude and mean with saying that you're a sahm because that's what you want for your family.
post #116 of 164
I've been kind of bemused by this thread on a number of points.

For the individuals who find "lucky" to be problematic (regardless of the tone in which its stated), I'm not sure why it seems so strongly felt that they need other people, virtual strangers or mere acquaintances, to somehow validate/acknowledge that they may have made sacrifices to stay at home. I know I made several -- first by having a kid at all, and then by SAH-ing. I don't need the other ladies I meet to acknowledge it.

Where it is the tone rather than the words used that's the issue, when someone's being dismissive simply b/c I'm SAH, then they aren't worth my time or energy, and I either physically (if possible) or emotionally walk away (usually pretending I'm wearing the 4 inch stilletos I used to wear to a closing with obnoxious opposing counsel. Nothing like making yourself 6'2" to work the intimidation factor.)

However, if I had decided to WOH, and someone had responded to a polite remark that they are lucky to SAH with:

"But I wish more people realized that they do have the opportunity if they are willing to do what it takes to make it happen"

My best friend would have said something like: "But I SO ENJOY hearing him cry for me as I abandon him at the day care center. How will I do without it?"

I would (I hope) have said something like: "Give that there are no long term studies in the U.S. with scientifically acceptable methodology that demonstrate appreciably better outcomes for kids resulting from SAH-ing, we did not believe its necessary to "make it happen."
post #117 of 164
If someone were to tell me that I was lucky upon hearing that I SAHM, I would give them a huge hug and smother them in kisses.

All I ever get is undermining, belittling, negative remarks, as I live somewhere where it is the norm to go back to work when the babe is 3 months, whether your income is going completetly to childcare or not. All SAHMs I know, without exception, are North American ex-pats living here.

I hear, "Shouldn't they be with other kids?" "Aren't you bored?" "Aren't they bored?" "Oh, I need to be with other adults!"

So even if it wasn't sincere, and even if it is a weighted comment, if someone even implied that SAH was positive in any way, I'd say, "Thanks! I really enjoy it."

If only I had a chance to say that!
post #118 of 164
As I read this entire thread, I can't help remembering a conversation I had with a store clerk when I was expecting. She asked me what my plans were for after the baby came, and I said I'd be staying home with him. She said, "Oh, you're so lucky," which kind of rubbed me the wrong way, as I thought about all the careful budgeting and planning my DH and I had been doing so we could afford for me to stop working. Not to mention our modest home, our decade-old but paid-off cars, etc. She probably thought we were well-off because it was Nordstrom and DH was buying an expensive suit (his *only* suit, which he needed to wear when meeting clients). So anyway, I responded along the lines of, "I think it's just a matter of what you're willing to sacrifice." I realized as soon as I said it that it sounded pretty smug and obnoxious. And the clerk didn't say anything else.

Man...did I ever eat those words. DH was laid off when DS was 6 weeks old. I went back to work 2 weeks later so we would not be without health insurance, and so we would not drain our savings TOO fast while DH looked for new employment. It has been a long, long struggle ever since.

Sometimes all the planning and sacrificing in the world still doesn't make SAH an available "choice."
post #119 of 164
The few time I come accross that, I just say that es, I am lucky that dh and I have been able to find a way for me to stay home.
post #120 of 164
I think it feels that way anytime that someone seems glib about something for which you've worked tremendously hard.

I've worked inhumanly difficult hours and made unconcionable sacrifices for my career. Only now after sixteen years of training - essentially my entire young adulthood - am I starting to garner any financial rewards for my work. It's really rubbed me the wrong way when some folks have acted as though I'm somehow 'lucky' or 'entitled' to be practicing in my chosen profession.
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