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SAHMing--Do you think being a SAHM is a luxury? - Page 3

post #41 of 185
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilylove View Post
Back to your regularly scheduled thread
Oh, good. I posted this thread, and I hope it isn't a violation of the UA.

Is it appropriate to post that here? If not, I'll remove it.
post #42 of 185
For us it was never a question I would stay home. My husband was enlisted in the Marines when our son was born, and we were pretty much breaking even then. factor in daycare, gas, and the fact that we already only had 1 car, and I would have been earning minimum wage, it was the obvious choice, and each month we were thankful to pay rent, bills, and put food in the fridge. some months, we had to under pay a bill or two, just to make the food happen.

when my daughter was born, we were making more, he was no longer in the Marines. But we now owned a home, been here almost 2 years. things were tight. Still only had 1 car, but he had a company van, we had a little left over after food, bills and mortgage, but not much at all. Then dh switched jobs and we were making nearly $6,000 less all of a sudden. I still couldn't have made more than minimum wage, so we struggled through, and finally 2 years later we're back to breaking even. we've actually saved money since our son started school. Imagine that.

It's not a luxury, but it's what we wanted, and agreed upon before they were born. And it means so much to me to be able to provide what my mother couldn't because she had to work (single parent) and couldn't have all this time with me.
post #43 of 185
No. I don't think its a luxury. I don't think its easy either. Luxury implies something that seems to negate the importance and difficulty of staying home and caring or children.
post #44 of 185
For me it does feel like a luxury. When I was pregnant I thought I would never get to stay home with my son, but thank God I was able to by the time he was six months old. We still have our satellite tv, high speed internet, our home is paid for as is our vehicle so we don't have it as difficult as some families do at this time. If that changed however and we had to give those things up I still wouldn't return to work, I think it's vitally important to my family's well being for one of us to be in the home full time. I wish that it wasn't a luxury however, I would love it if every family had the opportunity for a parent to be at home full time if they chose. It breaks my heart to see families who want so badly to care for their own children full time but can't afford to. My niece is going through this right now and even though her three month old doesn't have to be in daycare (she's cared for by my sil) it still makes me so sad that my niece doesn't get to be with her baby, I remember how hard that was.
post #45 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by hotmamacita View Post
No. I don't think its a luxury. I don't think its easy either. Luxury implies something that seems to negate the importance and difficulty of staying home and caring or children.
:

I think that society today views being a SAHM a luxury. I don't believe for a minute that being able to raise your own children on a daily basis is a luxury. Difficult, for sure, but not a luxury. I will even go so far as to say that I think it is a right and that it is despicable that today's society, not just in this country, but all over the world, does not allow for that to be done by all families.
post #46 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by hotmamacita View Post
No. I don't think its a luxury. I don't think its easy either. Luxury implies something that seems to negate the importance and difficulty of staying home and caring or children.
ITA w/ this. I don't think there is anything luxurious about it. It's a choice that we made for our family. It's hard work and there are a lot of sacrifices we continue to make in order for me to be a SAHM. That's not to say that I don't feel fortunate to be in this position, but I agree that saying it's a luxury implies that this is an easy or simple situation to be in.
post #47 of 185
ok after reading all the posts and really thinking about I guess i wasn't considering all of society or the world for that matter, I was considering middle - upper class.

I think it is a luxury in a class sense, I don't think it should be though.

I guess if you look at only the people who COULD afford to stay home and have a CHOICE then no its not a luxury its a choice and a hard one to make.

I wish parents didn't have to make the choice though.

I saw a lecture once bye someone from momsrising.org with all kinds of research about how important it is to children to have a parent home with them, how they get sick less and recover quicker and all kinds of other things.

I think it would be great if our society was more open to parents bringing kids to work etc. Doing things politically to cause it to be more of a choice and not a luxury. I would love to not ahve to choose. I would love to do both.

so i guess i still dont like the word luxury but i would consider it a privilege for sure. An unfair one.

and I would love to think that we live in a fair world were if you just work hard enough you can have anything you want but due to all the isms we live with, that is not true for all or even most people. You work your butt off and some still have a lot more to work against them just because of how or where or to whom they were born, what sex, what skin color etc.
post #48 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by yukookoo View Post
I saw a lecture once bye someone from momsrising.org with all kinds of research about how important it is to children to have a parent home with them, how they get sick less and recover quicker and all kinds of other things.

The first three years of a childs life are the biggest in brain development, and in my mind, who better to shape that child than his mother or father? If possible of course. when it's not possible, for example, my mother was separated just after my first birthday, and had to go back to work. she didn't have a choice, I still needed to eat!

My children were recently part of their aunts high school psychology experiment. All they really did was put a bunch of different kinds of toys in the classroom, and watched how the kids interacted with each other, and then after a while, with the students in the class. They got down with the kids, and played with them, talked to them. And some went around asking the older children questions. Such things like " which beaker has more fluid in it" when one was tall and skinny and the other short and stout, but had the same amount of fluid.

Now, my son was the oldest, he's 6 but we're in a different district and were on spring break. But of all the children there, mine were the only ones who'd had their mother or father as a full time SAHP. All the students noticed differences in how they interacted with not only each other as siblings, but the student in the class, me, and other children. They seemed to be more relaxed and have more social skills compared to the other children.
post #49 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by hotmamacita View Post
No. I don't think its a luxury. I don't think its easy either. Luxury implies something that seems to negate the importance and difficulty of staying home and caring or children.
I don't think acknowledging that most people in this country and in the world don't even have a choice in the matter negates the struggle of the work itself at all. It is a luxury. It is a privileged choice to make, which means that it's in keeping with at least one definition of the word luxury, though perhaps not the general definition:
Something expensive or hard to obtain.

Perhaps privilege is a better word for it...
post #50 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by annakiss View Post
I don't think acknowledging that most people in this country and in the world don't even have a choice in the matter negates the struggle of the work itself at all. It is a luxury. It is a privileged choice to make, which means that it's in keeping with at least one definition of the word luxury, though perhaps not the general definition:
Something expensive or hard to obtain.

Perhaps privilege is a better word for it...

post #51 of 185
Seriously. There are poor, middle class, and rich women in other countries who stay home with their kids and have for centuries. There are cultures and sub-cultures who respect mothers caring for young children and cultures who do not. This whole thing is nothing new.

To frame the issue as a luxury/privilege issue really takes away from the heart of the matter and lumps other serious economic, racial and societal issues in a nice tidy and simple problem. I don't things are that simple.

In fact, I know darn well things are that simple.
post #52 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by annakiss View Post
I don't think acknowledging that most people in this country and in the world don't even have a choice in the matter negates the struggle of the work itself at all. It is a luxury. It is a privileged choice to make, which means that it's in keeping with at least one definition of the word luxury, though perhaps not the general definition:
Something expensive or hard to obtain.

Perhaps privilege is a better word for it...
Can you elaborate on this please? I mean, this seems hard to quantify I guess. There's certainly room for debate when trying to determine if families do or don't have a choice to have one parent SAH. I think there is some legitimacy to the argument that some people cannot SAH b/c of lifestyle choices they make, but would be able to if they gave up some things. And I'm not saying this to negate the fact that some families really cannot have a parent SAH no matter what. I just wonder why you think "most people" don't have the choice. BTW, I'm not trying to be snarky. I'm genuinely curious as to whether you've seen studies or something. And ITA that privilege is a better word for it. I would say that it is a privilege to be able to SAH w/ DD, even though I think it should be a right. That's another topic, though.
post #53 of 185
I agree with some of the other posters that staying home with your children is a privilege. Most people I know with children have to work. They are single parents and they have to put food on the table and a roof over their heads.I wish it wasn't that way. I wish those who really wanted to stay with their kids could do it. I sit on the fence. There are some days that I'm happy that my ds and I can just go from playground to playground or roam around town doing whatever we like and other days I think about what will happen if I stay out of my field for too long. Yet that is the sacrifice I made when I adopted my child. I guess I had more prep time than most people so we knew when he would arrive and had time to work out who would be home with him ( turns out both of us are) with my dh home 4 days a week.
I wish I could clone myself a few times. I really need that kitchen floor scrubbed more often.
post #54 of 185
posting blind...

Yes...and no.

On the one hand, we do sacrifice a lot so that I can stay home. So in that way it is not a luxury. However, although we are "poor" by American standards, I consider our lifestyle comparatively luxurious. My dh's mother was a "SAHM" (though she wouldn't recognize the term) but she worked very, very hard trying to make sure there was food to eat, gardening, going to market, walking miles for clean water, etc. My life is super-luxurious compared to hers.
post #55 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by zinemama View Post
Oh, hey Heather, I didn't mean to imply that it was easy for everyone. I certainly don't think so! I know there are folks out there like you who
go through way hard economic times to sah.

I'm saying that for *me* I see being able to sah as the direct result of a combination of privilege, hard work and a lot of luck. Not that this is the case for everyone. So when I look around at all the folks who will never be able to have a parent at home because both parents have to work like crazy just to keep a roof over their heads, yes, my situation feels like a luxury.

Of course not everyone is going to feel the same way.
and for me as well. I came from a good background, both dh and I went to good schools K-undergrad. Both of us had sahmoms growing up and we had several opportunities that a lot of americans or people in the world would not have. We got to this point because of our families. Granted we have and do work very hard to have what we have. Neither of us have debt, loans or anything like that and we landed in the real estate market 10 plus years ago when it was affordable to buy a house. So yes, for me its just a way of life. But for others not in my shoes, yes its a luxury having what I have.
post #56 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by hotmamacita View Post
Seriously. There are poor, middle class, and rich women in other countries who stay home with their kids and have for centuries. There are cultures and sub-cultures who respect mothers caring for young children and cultures who do not. This whole thing is nothing new.

To frame the issue as a luxury/privilege issue really takes away from the heart of the matter and lumps other serious economic, racial and societal issues in a nice tidy and simple problem. I don't things are that simple.

In fact, I know darn well things are that simple.
I understand that these matters are not simple and I'm not trying to suggest that it should be a privilege. I don't think it takes away from the heart of the matter, I think it is just another thing that some people can choose to do which highlights the problems of socio-economic and racial divisions.

I realize that though there are all sorts of women who SAH from many different backgrounds, I think that in this country most people can't afford not to work. On the other hand, many can't afford to work, others can't find jobs, and then there's the echelon of folks who have the privilege of choosing what they do, when, how, and why.

It's the matter of freely choosing to SAH or not that is privileged and should not be. In reality, we should support mothers and children and their needs.
post #57 of 185
I would love love love to be able to stay home. With DD I did all kinds of jobs that allowed me to bring her with me and we still didn't make enough, We did the spilt shift thing too, even though i am college educated i had to take lower paying jobs that i could bring dd too or work nights at. Now that we have the new baby i'm trying my best to work out staying home, but it looks like we will have to split shift again.
It seems we are at a crossroads, I could go back to school and work towards a better paying job or we could move into the projects or hope for section 8 so I can stay home. I'm glad to see so many responses from SAHM's that appreciate that it is just not an option for some families. It is welfare or work for us, and dh makes a "fair" wage for this area.
post #58 of 185
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rastamama View Post
I would love love love to be able to stay home. With DD I did all kinds of jobs that allowed me to bring her with me and we still didn't make enough, We did the spilt shift thing too, even though i am college educated i had to take lower paying jobs that i could bring dd too or work nights at. Now that we have the new baby i'm trying my best to work out staying home, but it looks like we will have to split shift again.
It seems we are at a crossroads, I could go back to school and work towards a better paying job or we could move into the projects or hope for section 8 so I can stay home. I'm glad to see so many responses from SAHM's that appreciate that it is just not an option for some families. It is welfare or work for us, and dh makes a "fair" wage for this area.


I think you speak the truth, and are in the same boat as many, many parents. And I wish there was some sort of policy change that we could enact to make working and parenting a little more compatible.
post #59 of 185
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by annakiss View Post
I think that in this country most people can't afford not to work. On the other hand, many can't afford to work, others can't find jobs, and then there's the echelon of folks who have the privilege of choosing what they do, when, how, and why.

It's the matter of freely choosing to SAH or not that is privileged and should not be. In reality, we should support mothers and children and their needs.
:
post #60 of 185
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amys1st View Post
and for me as well. I came from a good background, both dh and I went to good schools K-undergrad. Both of us had sahmoms growing up and we had several opportunities that a lot of americans or people in the world would not have. We got to this point because of our families. Granted we have and do work very hard to have what we have. Neither of us have debt, loans or anything like that and we landed in the real estate market 10 plus years ago when it was affordable to buy a house. So yes, for me its just a way of life. But for others not in my shoes, yes its a luxury having what I have.
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