or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Stay at Home Parents › Are You one of the 89%
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Are You one of the 89% - Page 2

post #21 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by Duckling'sMommy View Post
The quote I read said their kids would be "happier" if they worked. I wonder how the question was actually phrazed...
Yes, my kids would probably be happier if I worked. More money for them to buy junk, more time available for them to get into the 'fun' kind of trouble that mom doesn't allow, and Mom not nagging every day to clean their rooms. Sure, I can see them being happier.

Better off? No way.

I know my children, if I weren't a SAHM, they'd take the wrong fork in the road every time.
post #22 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pancakes View Post
Yes, my kids would probably be happier if I worked. More money for them to buy junk, more time available for them to get into the 'fun' kind of trouble that mom doesn't allow, and Mom not nagging every day to clean their rooms. Sure, I can see them being happier.

Better off? No way.

I know my children, if I weren't a SAHM, they'd take the wrong fork in the road every time.
... And I see it from the opposite perspective: That I trust my children in a way that no other care-provider could: Someone else would find it necessary to tell my children, "No, you can't go up the slide ... No, you can't make that fun mess ..." Other folks tend to feel it's necessary to make children learn about things they're not interested in, and do things they don't want to do. I don't trust other caregivers to respect my children's autonomy.
post #23 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
... And I see it from the opposite perspective: That I trust my children in a way that no other care-provider could: Someone else would find it necessary to tell my children, "No, you can't go up the slide ... No, you can't make that fun mess ..." Other folks tend to feel it's necessary to make children learn about things they're not interested in, and do things they don't want to do. I don't trust other caregivers to respect my children's autonomy.
Yes! This is true in my home as well. My boy has a lot of energy and would be miserable in the rule-oriented situation you described. My mother is very relaxed so when he needs babysitting he goes to grandmas

Jen
post #24 of 156
I didn't identify at all with the way this poll described SAHMs. I don't think I am part of that 89% who think their kids would be better off if they worked...unless they mean financially? That's the only way I can think of that makes sense.

But I do think that I would be better off if I worked.

I liked working. I miss it. I would like to go back to work. I wish my DH could be a SAHD for a while and I wish he could balance his job better with me so that I could work.

post #25 of 156
I'm happier staying at home with my DD.

However...I think it depends on the actual mother case by case. There are moms out there that are better when they aren't with their kids all the time, some people just can't stand that much "attention" that kids give.

My opinion.
post #26 of 156
Quote:
I think it depends on the actual mother case by case.
:

I think it has a lot to do with the level or support or community (family, friends, etc) that you feel.

I think anthropologically, humans raised children with the guidance and help of their family, or tribe, or village.

Modern families are spread out geographically, or emotionally disconnected for a myriad of reasons which leave some of us disconnected from a support system.

I have friends and other people I know who are SAHMs whose children have loving and accessible grandparents who contribute to raising the children. These moms have way more balanced lives and seem to be happier being a SAHM. Even the SAHMS who don't have family near by but who have supportive husbands seem happier to me.
post #27 of 156
I know my children would not be happier or better off if I worked either at home or outside the home. I have an almost grown child who went to daycare and then public school from the time he was 18 months old until he was almost 13 years old while I worked and went to college. He was not a happy child. We had a difficult time together. He's now floundering in his transition from boy to man. My younger children have had the benefit of an always sahm and they are much happier, easier to get along with, more cooperative and helpful.

I can't say absolutely that it is only me being sahm that has made the difference. There are other differences in the lives of my oldest and my 2 younger children. However, I do think it has played a major role. If I had valued being a sahm when I had my first child as much as I do now, I think things with him would've been very different.
post #28 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarineWife View Post
I know my children would not be happier or better off if I worked either at home or outside the home. I have an almost grown child who went to daycare and then public school from the time he was 18 months old until he was almost 13 years old while I worked and went to college. He was not a happy child. We had a difficult time together. He's now floundering in his transition from boy to man. My younger children have had the benefit of an always sahm and they are much happier, easier to get along with, more cooperative and helpful.

I can't say absolutely that it is only me being sahm that has made the difference. There are other differences in the lives of my oldest and my 2 younger children. However, I do think it has played a major role. If I had valued being a sahm when I had my first child as much as I do now, I think things with him would've been very different.
I go back and forth about this.

I am a SAHM, by choice, and I think it is valuable for my child. But sometimes I wonder if I'm doing a disservice to myself and my child.

Yes, there are many benefits to having a stay at home parent, particularly, in my opinion, in the younger years. I can see the need for a SAHP in the teen years, though, too.

But I frequently worry that by removing myself (willingly) from the work force and from my career if I'm doing a disservice to myself and most importantly my child if we ever NEED me to get a job. I worry about our financial stability, especially when it comes to providing food, shelter and other necessities for my child.

The longer I am a SAHM (with all the benefits), the more obsolete my resume becomes (with all the detriments).

It's a worry...so I can see why some mothers in the survey may feel their children would be better off if they worked.
post #29 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by That Is Nice View Post
But I frequently worry that by removing myself (willingly) from the work force and from my career if I'm doing a disservice to myself and most importantly my child if we ever NEED me to get a job. I worry about our financial stability, especially when it comes to providing food, shelter and other necessities for my child.

The longer I am a SAHM (with all the benefits), the more obsolete my resume becomes (with all the detriments).
Do you really think that if you needed to work you couldn't find a job? You may not be able to pick up right where you left off. You might even have to start over to a certain extent but I doubt that you wouldn't be able to find any work. Living your life based on what might happen in the future is not a way to live. It distracts you from being present in the here and now so that you can enjoy it. I prefer live in the present doing my best to enjoy every moment of it specifically because I don't know what will happen in the next.
post #30 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarineWife View Post
Do you really think that if you needed to work you couldn't find a job? You may not be able to pick up right where you left off. You might even have to start over to a certain extent but I doubt that you wouldn't be able to find any work. Living your life based on what might happen in the future is not a way to live. It distracts you from being present in the here and now so that you can enjoy it. I prefer live in the present doing my best to enjoy every moment of it specifically because I don't know what will happen in the next.
Could I find any work or a job when I need to? Yes. I could find a job.

Could I find a job that would alone support my child and myself, and support us well with no other assistance? That I can't say with 100% certainty. I am, and would be, worried about that if the necessity arose and I were in dire straits.

I agree that living life based on what could happen is no way to live, but I also think making plans and having a Plan B strategy is a good idea.

I know how competitive good jobs with living wages and benefits are. I used to be competitive. Now, with a few (valuable) years as a SAHM under my belt, I'm way less competitive. Still just as smart, and capable, and experienced, but less competitive.

I think my outlook is framed by realities of life and what could happen. I have seen hard times before and I know how hard it can be. I know marriages can turn bad, divorce is expensive, raising a child alone is difficult and expensive.

I have zero external support other than my husband. There is no family that I can rely on even for a minute so, yes, I think often about if being a SAHM is a future financial and career mistake.

I have found that being a SAHM makes me more vulnerable than when I had a good career and made my own money. The more years that I am removed from my career and making my own money, the more vulnerable I feel while at the same time knowing it is good for my child, but only when the financial aspect is removed.

Being a SAHM for my child is not good financial sense, but it makes sense in other ways. Still, that feeling of vulnerability is hard to swallow and ignore.
post #31 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by That Is Nice View Post
Could I find any work or a job when I need to? Yes. I could find a job.

Could I find a job that would alone support my child and myself, and support us well with no other assistance? That I can't say with 100% certainty. I am, and would be, worried about that if the necessity arose and I were in dire straits.
I guess this is the key for me. Would I want to get some sort of assistance? No. Would I take it if I need it? Absolutely! I have before. I worked part-time waiting tables and received food stamps when my oldest was young. It wasn't a glamorous life. We didn't have a lot things. We lived in a questionable neighborhood but it was subsidized and all I could afford. I wouldn't want to go back to that. (Although, sometimes I do think it would be nice if we didn't have so much, if we could simplify our lives.) However, I'm not going to sacrifice the now for the possibility of that happening sometime in the future. As long as I know that, if need be, I can somehow provide food, shelter and clothing for my children I know we will be all right. I don't worry about the extra stuff. There's no point in worrying about something that isn't happening now and I have no control over.

BTW, I think being a sahm provides you with many marketable and competitive skills. It may take some creativity and hard-selling to get employers to see it but it can be done.

How does being a sahm make you more vulnerable? Have you actually had experience with that or is it that you feel you are more vulnerable?
post #32 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarineWife View Post
I guess this is the key for me. Would I want to get some sort of assistance? No. Would I take it if I need it? Absolutely! I have before. I worked part-time waiting tables and received food stamps when my oldest was young. It wasn't a glamorous life. We didn't have a lot things. We lived in a questionable neighborhood but it was subsidized and all I could afford. I wouldn't want to go back to that. (Although, sometimes I do think it would be nice if we didn't have so much, if we could simplify our lives.)


Me, too.

I would never let pride or any other emotion get in the way of providing for my child. If we needed assistance, and there was no other way, I'd sign up.

Ideally, though, I could figure out a way without assistance in a permanent way.

Not that I'd have much choice, anyway, I know that assistance programs aren't what they used to be and that the time limits and eligibility requirements, not to mention the other strings you go through, are vastly different than most people think.

Even with assistance programs, eventually, I'd have to find a job that paid a living wage, and probably more than that, to realistically support my child and myself.

I'm not saying that's impossible...I had a great career and well paying job before I became a SAHM. I'm just not sure I'd be able to find that type of job when I needed it, and I really see my SAHM years as a major hindrance to that.
post #33 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarineWife View Post

BTW, I think being a sahm provides you with many marketable and competitive skills. It may take some creativity and hard-selling to get employers to see it but it can be done.
I think being a SAHM is a valuable thing, but I am less certain that it provides us with marketable and competitive skills.

I honestly don't think that's the case at all, although I wish it were and I wish I could say that I believed it.

I know that is sometimes said, and I have also read newspaper and magazine articles about the untapped employment potential of SAHMs, but I don't know if I fully believe it.

At least it doesn't calm my qualms and worries about my resume becoming more and more obsolete as I stay at home as a mother.

I know that when I was working, I had the experience of sitting on a few interview panels to interview candidates for temp and research positions that we were hiring for. And I remember there were a couple of candidates who had long gaps on their resume. When asked during the interview about the gaps, they responded that they had been raising children. That wasn't something the men OR the other women on the interview panel put any sort of value on, and none of those women were hired. They lacked current experience.

So, that personal example stays in my mind.

I know that my own personal job skills are less competitive after a few years of being a SAHM. Like I said, I know that my resume is a bit rusty. Yes, I can spruce it up with great sounding language and I can explain in strong cover letters, but it won't be as relevant as people in my field who have spent the last few years on actual projects in the field as opposed to breastfeeding, changing diapers, feeding, playing with, and nurturing a child.

I can talk all things AP, and natural parenting, but those aren't things I put on my resume, or that would get me a job in my field.

So, I do feel like I'm less competitive and marketable for being a SAHM, though I wish I weren't and I wish that weren't the case in general.
post #34 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarineWife View Post
How does being a sahm make you more vulnerable? Have you actually had experience with that or is it that you feel you are more vulnerable?
Well, just being out of the workforce, not contributing for the time being to social security, not earning more vesting years in a retirement program, not adding to a 401k, not adding seniority and years of experience to my resume.

I feel less competitive than I used to be. I hate to think of my resume being obsolete.

Sure, I have the same experience and education as before, and I'm just as qualified to do a job in my field, but I may not look that way to employers who would hire me. So, that makes me feel vulnerable.

My financial security isn't as secure as it was when I worked, had a strong resume, and earned a good living on my own.

Now I am, at least for the time being, dependent on another person (DH) for income and support.

If something happened to that, my Plan B would take some time to get up and running and I worry about the interim.

I can protect myself and my child in the event of tragedy (knock on wood) by buying a life insurance policy, but what about a soft economy, or divorce, or the rising cost of living. What about long term illness or disabilty? These things play in my mind more now that I'm a SAHM because I'm not as well equipped to rise above them as I was when I worked and earned a paycheck.

Obviously, I value being a SAHM above this worry, or I wouldn't have become a SAHM and left my job...but I feel more vulnerable.
post #35 of 156
I absolutely feel you on the vulnerability factor, That Is Nice. It is completely terrifying for me, especially given the fact that I am living in an area with what has been described as a "combatively" competitive job market. I've already been out of work (save for an occasional freelance gig and one internship) for 4 years due to health issues/pregnancy/SAH parenting, and I really feel like the clock is ticking for me in terms of my ability to compete. People frequently tell me, "Oh, your daughter will be in school in 3 or 4 years, this too shall pass, you can get back into your career then," but I don't find that reassuring. If a 4 year gap makes it difficult now, what's a 7 or 8 year gap going to do to my prospects?

Part of the puzzle, for me, also is that I have a husband who is significantly older than I am and (due to some previous poor financial choices) has no retirement fund to speak of. That ups the vulnerability factor for me in a big way. Beyond that ... it's such a loaded, complicated issue. I keep telling myself "Please just be grateful that we can get by on one income [albeit barely!] without you having to work," but forcibly trying to conquer my feelings of inadequacy and fear just doesn't work, not in this economy, and not with my personality. I supported myself financially 100% from the time I was 18 until I was 30, and grew up in a family that valued financial and personal independence (especially for women), so being a SAHM is a tremendously uncomfortable position for me to be in socially and culturally. The question then becomes, for me: do I work on diffusing that fear so my situation can become emotionally bearable and I can sleep at night, or do I work on changing my situation in order to have the same effect?

I used to think the former, but now I'm leaning towards the latter. Of course, the realities of job-searching and freelancing with no childcare and a 2-year-old underfoot are ... challenging ... to say the least, but maybe that's a post for the WOHM forum.
post #36 of 156
I don't know. Maybe I live in some ignorantly blissful state but that's one of the things that really doesn't worry me and I have a dh in a very dangerous job. We even talk about what I would do if he got killed. I have a plan. He's got life insurance. I trust that we'll get by.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jennlindsey
The question then becomes, for me: do I work on diffusing that fear so my situation can become emotionally bearable and I can sleep at night, or do I work on changing my situation in order to have the same effect?
And that's something only you can determine for yourself and your family. I know what I would/do choose. I choose to diffuse any feelings of fear that I may have about being a sahm (I had a lot in the beginning) because it's what I truly want to do. I have experienced what it's like to work in a low-paying, thankless job and a high-paying, stimulating career while caring for my child. I hated working. I can see what that did to my oldest ds and to our relationship. I, apparently, did not handle that situation very well. I want better for my younger children. I can see the difference in my younger children's moods and attitudes. I can feel the difference in myself.

What about really working on diffusing the fear and see if that helps? If, after a while, you feel it's not helping, then you could look into changing the situation some other way.

I believe that most children do better when they have a sahm for at least first 3 years of life and then a sahp for the remainder. Don't get me wrong, though. I am not saying that all women should love being a sahm. I do think it would be easier for us to love it if it was valued more and/or if we refused to accept that it's not valuable.

I think it's sad that our society puts so little value on caring for children. On top of sending the message to sahps that they are not doing anything really important or difficult, childcare workers are grossly underpaid and, therefore, underqualified many times and teachers are undervalued and underpaid.
post #37 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by jennlindsey View Post
I absolutely feel you on the vulnerability factor, That Is Nice. It is completely terrifying for me, especially given the fact that I am living in an area with what has been described as a "combatively" competitive job market. I've already been out of work (save for an occasional freelance gig and one internship) for 4 years due to health issues/pregnancy/SAH parenting, and I really feel like the clock is ticking for me in terms of my ability to compete. People frequently tell me, "Oh, your daughter will be in school in 3 or 4 years, this too shall pass, you can get back into your career then," but I don't find that reassuring. If a 4 year gap makes it difficult now, what's a 7 or 8 year gap going to do to my prospects?

Part of the puzzle, for me, also is that I have a husband who is significantly older than I am and (due to some previous poor financial choices) has no retirement fund to speak of. That ups the vulnerability factor for me in a big way. Beyond that ... it's such a loaded, complicated issue. I keep telling myself "Please just be grateful that we can get by on one income [albeit barely!] without you having to work," but forcibly trying to conquer my feelings of inadequacy and fear just doesn't work, not in this economy, and not with my personality. I supported myself financially 100% from the time I was 18 until I was 30, and grew up in a family that valued financial and personal independence (especially for women), so being a SAHM is a tremendously uncomfortable position for me to be in socially and culturally. The question then becomes, for me: do I work on diffusing that fear so my situation can become emotionally bearable and I can sleep at night, or do I work on changing my situation in order to have the same effect?

I used to think the former, but now I'm leaning towards the latter. Of course, the realities of job-searching and freelancing with no childcare and a 2-year-old underfoot are ... challenging ... to say the least, but maybe that's a post for the WOHM forum.
I hear you. I feel much the same way about everything that you said.

:
post #38 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarineWife View Post
I believe that most children do better when they have a sahm for at least first 3 years of life and then a sahp for the remainder.
I agree 100% with this. 100%. It was extremely important to me that my child have a SAHM while breastfeeding and for the first few formative years. It was something that I was very deliberately planning for, even before I had children. It is something that I had to cajole my DH into accepting. It is something that I've endured negative and catty comments here and there for.

And it is something that I gave up (temporarily) a career I really liked, I had worked in for years, I had put in long hours for, taken out massive student loan debt for, and gave up a good salary for.

I've lost respect from colleagues (I shrug it off), respect from my DH (I don't shrug that off as easily), and have had to put up with comments from DH that he makes the money, etc.

That is how important being a SAHM for the early years was to me. I'm glad I did it. I'll never regret it.

I just feel that being a SAHM has had consequences on my career and financial stability, even if I don't regret it and made the choice consciously.

The gap on my resume is there. And it will set me back in my career, but hopefully not too badly.
post #39 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarineWife View Post
Don't get me wrong, though. I am not saying that all women should love being a sahm. I do think it would be easier for us to love it if it was valued more and/or if we refused to accept that it's not valuable.
There are so many reasons to love being a SAHM. I have many, many things I love about this wonderful opportunity I have to share my child's childhood so fully.

I have many working friends who are mothers who do not have this blessing in their life that I have. I do not take it for granted. They would love to spend the time with their children that I get to spend every day with mine.

On the flip side, though, they have things through working that I would love...time away, professional achievement, a day care or pre-school to rely on when they have personal affairs to attend to where children can not easily be taken with, etc.

There are pros and cons...things I love and don't love about each situation.

But even with that, I still feel there is a vulnerability to being a SAHM when it comes to economics, finances, and career.

To be a SAHM is to remove oneself from the economic engine, and money drives this world. The fact that as SAHMs we're not even collecting social security is bothersome to me, but the main vulnerability to me is being less competitive and less marketable in the employment sector. That is the biggest downfall to being a SAHM.
post #40 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarineWife View Post
I think it's sad that our society puts so little value on caring for children. On top of sending the message to sahps that they are not doing anything really important or difficult, childcare workers are grossly underpaid and, therefore, underqualified many times and teachers are undervalued and underpaid.
:
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Stay at Home Parents
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Stay at Home Parents › Are You one of the 89%