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SAHMing--Do you think being a SAHM is a luxury? - Page 10

post #181 of 185
Well for us, it is not that the day care is not a shared expense. Of course it would be and it was in the past when I did work. We only have one account. It is that if I were to work, day care would cost more than I would make, which means that we would be taking home less money than we are right now, and we can't afford that.

Yes I do plan on going back tow ork when the kids are in school.
post #182 of 185
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by woobysma View Post

So, now I woh/wah PT. I consider THAT a luxury. Just 3 years ago, working less than 40 hours would have meant my kids went hungry/homeless.

Thanks for saying that. That is why I consider the ability to stay at home, or the ability to work anything less than full time, to be a luxury.

Anything less than full time means you have time with your children, away from work, and that is a luxury.

Not everyone can do that by just cutting out certain expenses.

If anything in my situation changed...if I became divorced, separated, widowed, or when our savings run out, I won't be able to be a SAHM anymore.

I can't just cut cable, etc to extend my time as a SAHM. I will need to work to bring in a salary to basic necessities.

So, SAH is indeed a luxury for me, based very much on coincidence, timing, and a bit of luck.
post #183 of 185
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by woobysma View Post

I do get kind of offended when I hear people say "well, if you'd just sacrifice, you could be a sahm", because *I* wouldn't be the only one sacrificing. The prospect of me not working for pay is not something I just chat about late at night with strangers online. It's a conversation that our whole family has had. In addition to silly things like latte's and cell phones & some not-so-silly things like retirement and college savings, here's what my family would have to give up for me to quit working PT:

health insurance (which helps keep DP functioning since his job is physically exhaustive and it pays for DS1's ADD treatments/consultations, which have been a blessing for him at school)
our big yard (we'd have to rent an apartment)
maybe the dog (he's too big for most apartments)
sports for DS1
time with DP (he'd have to take on some side jobs and work more, so he wouldn't be home every day at ~2pm)
possibly family (we may have to move to a cheaper COL area, so the boys would lose out on 2 sets of grandparents and several aunts/uncles/cousins, which all live within 5 miles)

When those are the sacrifices you're looking at, rather than boob-jobs and fancy cars and dinners out, the decision becomes waaaaay more complicated. At least it has, for us.

Good post. I feel the same way, and we're in a similar boat. We're supplementing hard core with savings right now, and that isn't a permanent SAHM situation. I'll be going back to work as soon as I can line up the right, child-friendly, or at least child-acknowledging job. And that is ok because to me, being a SAHM is a luxury, not a lifestyle. I'm sure some of you will disagree. But I think that is so true. I don't expect to be a SAHM. I hope that I can be a SAHM, but if my income is needed, then I work, no matter what. And it's not just about salary either...at some point, my child will be old enough that I can better balance family and work, and then I'll return to the career that I went into in the first place because of reasons outside of needing money.

I feel it was such a luxury to be able to take a few of the early years off while my child was little, and I feel it was a luxury to really have the time to commit fully to AP.
post #184 of 185
However. There are so many people who work harder than dh or I ever did and still don't make enough to allow one parent to be at home. I really take exception to the idea (not that anyone on this thread has said this) that having a sah parent is as easy as cancelling the cable, giving up one car, and not taking expensive vacations.
Its not that easy. Its much deeper and much harder than the money aspect. But those sufferings are hard to put into words and some of the words would really provoke some whether intended or not.
post #185 of 185
Thread Starter 
With regard to parents who "look" like they could afford to have one parent stay at home if only they didn't have an SUV, big tv, implants, or X luxurious or high priced possessions, I had this thought earlier today.

...A husband and a wife (or two domestic partners) might NOT have the same financial habits or material desires in a marriage.

I was thinking specifically of WOHMs who say they can't afford to SAH, but from outside appearances, it appears they have enough money because of their possessions.

Maybe it's the husbands spending the money?

I'm just thinking of my own situation. I am a SAHM, but it's not because my DH can afford it on just his salary. We are using savings from when I worked, and I'll probably have to go back to work soon.

My husband would love a big tv, etc. So, I can totally see the possibility that I could return to work out of necessity, and while the majority of my income would be going for living expenses and day care, the little extra DH and I make with both of us working might allow him to buy that tv, etc.

So, I'd look like a mom who wanted to SAH but couldn't afford it due to consumer decisions (even though they weren't my decisions).

Sometimes a husband and a wife have different priorities.
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