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 3

post #41 of 156
Who are these 89% of women? I've never met them.
post #42 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by That Is Nice View Post
I've lost...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.
I can see how you would have feelings of vulnerability from having to live with this attitude from the one person in your life who you are supposed to be able to trust to take care of you completely. I don't think that really has to do with being a sahm or whether or not you are financially secure. It is really about your husband/partner in life disrespecting you. I would address that directly and ruthlessly with my dh. He may not realize how disrespectful and hurtful his words and attitude are. If he does understand that and continues to do it, then he has some serious issues, imo.

I feel completely secure with my dh. I know that he will take care of me and my children no matter what. There is not even an inkling that he would ever take that away or that he thinks he has control over that and, therefore, control over me. My dh makes the money but I have control over it. He doesn't even know how much he makes. I have access to all of his financial accounts and can make changes without his knowledge. He has to ask me for account #s and passwords. Sometimes he says stupid things because he just doesn't understand. We've had several conversations about how he doesn't get things because he's a white, christian male in our society and that's automatically a privileged position. I call him on it every time.
post #43 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarineWife View Post
I can see how you would have feelings of vulnerability from having to live with this attitude from the one person in your life who you are supposed to be able to trust to take care of you completely. I don't think that really has to do with being a sahm or whether or not you are financially secure. It is really about your husband/partner in life disrespecting you. I would address that directly and ruthlessly with my dh. He may not realize how disrespectful and hurtful his words and attitude are. If he does understand that and continues to do it, then he has some serious issues, imo.

I feel completely secure with my dh. I know that he will take care of me and my children no matter what. There is not even an inkling that he would ever take that away or that he thinks he has control over that and, therefore, control over me. My dh makes the money but I have control over it. He doesn't even know how much he makes. I have access to all of his financial accounts and can make changes without his knowledge. He has to ask me for account #s and passwords. Sometimes he says stupid things because he just doesn't understand. We've had several conversations about how he doesn't get things because he's a white, christian male in our society and that's automatically a privileged position. I call him on it every time.

Yeah, I'm sure my rocky marriage plays into my feelings of vulnerability as a SAHM, but I do not think that is the full or singular reason for feeling vulnerable.

I have control over my household's finances. I take care of the bills and the books, so to speak. All assets are jointly held. I am completely aware of everything that comes in and goes out. My DH might make hurtful comments here and there, but he is just making noise and blowing hot air. Yes, it still is hurtful, but it isn't really the cause of the vulnerability, but perhaps contributes to it.

Even if I had a perfect marriage, I believe I would still feel this vulnerable, because to me it's a larger issue of removing myself from the job market for too long. What if my husband lost his job, or became disabled, or terminally ill, and wasn't able to work? I could still be married, and in a loving and long term relationship, but my absence from the workforce as a SAHM would certainly hinder my ability to secure the same type of family supporting job that I had pre-baby. I think with every year I am a SAHM, my ability to support my family goes down, as well as my financial security for retirement.

I do think about divorce and separation most of all as a factor in financial stability, but I also think of the stagnating economy, the cost of living going up while wages flatline. It is getting more and more expensive to live, and certainly harder on one income than two. Where will the economy and job market be in 5 years?

If I am a SAHM for another 3, 4, 5, or 10 years, what are my chances of getting a job in an ever more competitive job market?

Even if I have a solid marriage, we may need my income in addition to my husband's, or to replace my husband's if something happens with his pay check.

I can protect our family by taking out insurance policies for disability and death, but I can't in the same way buy a policy that protects my resume and career while I take a few years to be a SAHM.

That is what makes me feel vulnerable. But I'm still a SAHM, so maybe I've found a way to put those fears aside for a while. I hope I'm not making the biggest mistake of my life, though, while making the most important commitment to my child.
post #44 of 156
I think being a SAHM can certainly increase our awareness of the reality that we humans don't have total control of the universe.

For some people, clocking-in and earning a paycheck can provide a false sense of power.

But the truth is, we can't know or take control of the future.

That's where the importance of relationship and community comes in. And we all can be working on that, regardless of our employment status.
post #45 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
I think being a SAHM can certainly increase our awareness of the reality that we humans don't have total control of the universe.

For some people, clocking-in and earning a paycheck can provide a false sense of power.

But the truth is, we can't know or take control of the future.

That's where the importance of relationship and community comes in. And we all can be working on that, regardless of our employment status.



Very true on all accounts.

But clocking-in and earning a paycheck, to me anyway, isn't about a sense of power, false or otherwise.

It's about paying the bills. Keeping food in my child's belly. A roof over our heads. Etc.

Public assistance programs are not what they used to be, and usually don't provide a very full existence. They help, yes, but they do not provide much in terms of opportunities in life to get ahead.

Child support can exist, and can just as easily not exist, despite laws and court orders. A lot of it comes down to circumstance and different people's character for which you have no control over.

There really is no public safety net.

Yes, community and relationships are of the utmost importance. I place high importance on them on a personal and on a societal scale.

But if you didn't inherit a family who is caring, nurturing, available, you can't create one out of thin air. And friends and neighbors and colleagues are wonderful, but usually do not replace the (for most people) inherent ties of blood relatives.

So, a pay check, or at least the power to earn one that supports a family, is not about power to me. It's about survivial in basic terms. I never pursued a career for power. Never. I went into debt to get a college degree, and then built a career, to rise above poverty, make things right in the world for others, and to not be without food and shelter.

There are always risks in life. And surprises. We can't stop that or protect ourselves. But I do feel that being a SAHM does make me more vulnerable to economic volatility.
post #46 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
I think being a SAHM can certainly increase our awareness of the reality that we humans don't have total control of the universe.

For some people, clocking-in and earning a paycheck can provide a false sense of power.

But the truth is, we can't know or take control of the future.
Very well put.

Although I do know that I could rely on my family for at least part of my basic necessities if needed, I do not really have strong family ties. I don't consider my family to be much of an emotional support. We're just not close and connected like that. I don't feel connected to or supported by my community, either. I am not involved in a church or any other type of social support group.

I guess at the end of the day we can either focus on all the negatives and possibilities of what the future may hold and become fearful or we can focus on what is here and now and right in front of us. Then the future doesn't matter so much because we know we're making the most of now.

I can't remember now if it was here or another thread that someone posted about being a teacher and seeing that the children who had a stay at home parent seemed happier. I think that's an excellent point. Thinking about it I remember as a child that the friends and classmates I had who had a parent at home were happier and more confident then those of us who's parents both worked outside the home. Also, thinking about my own children's friends, the ones who have a stay at home parent (who are nowhere near AP) are happier, better behaved, friendlier, nicer than those who don't. That goes for the younger kids as well as the teens.
post #47 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by That Is Nice View Post
I'm still a SAHM, so maybe I've found a way to put those fears aside for a while. I hope I'm not making the biggest mistake of my life, though, while making the most important commitment to my child.
I think the fact that you still worry about stuff like this means you haven't really found a way to put those fears aside. It seems to me you haven't really fully accepted being a sahm. Otherwise, these things just wouldn't be a worry or a concern. In the meantime, you are devaluing yourself and SAHMs in general. You're falling for the lie that "women's work" is worthless.

I understand that you think you are just being realistic. I agree with you that all of the things you've mentioned are possible. The question is how probable are they? You may have a hard time finding a job in your field again and you may not. You don't really know. Even if you weren't able to find a job in your field, who's to say you wouldn't find something different but comparable, maybe even better? Since you don't know and you can't predict there really is no reason to be concerned with it all. Make a plan of what you would do if your dh couldn't support you anymore and then let it go. In the big scheme of things, it doesn't really matter.

Does anyone ever have a perfect marriage? I certainly don't. However, I don't have to deal with my dh devaluing (is that a word?) what I do. When we first entered into this part of our lives where he is the sole income earner and I am a SAHM, he wasn't 100% behind it. He wanted me to work. He liked having the extra money. He didn't understand what the big deal was about me staying home with our children rather than sending them to daycare. Anyone can change diapers, feed a baby a bottle and sing the alphabet song, right? It took a while for him to realize how important my job is. I recently said something to him about knowing he'd prefer that I worked and he said he didn't. He appreciates more and more that I'm at home every day caring for his children. Is that because I didn't allow him to treat me as less or is it just something he learned on his own through the experience of having children? I don't know but I don't think I'd be where I am now physically or mentally or emotionally if he didn't respect me and what I do.
post #48 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarineWife View Post
I think the fact that you still worry about stuff like this means you haven't really found a way to put those fears aside.
I've put them aside for a while...not forever, not completely. Just aside, so they aren't my primary concern (raising my child is, I suppose, my primary concern above all others, followed by taking care of myself, and lots of other things after that).

It would be hard for me to read the newspaper, follow the economy, follow trends in my field, follow the job market and NOT worry that my choice to be a SAHM has impacted my resume and ability to provide for my family financially.

So, the fears are just placed aside for now, on a back burner. Still there, just not the primary concern.
post #49 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarineWife View Post
It seems to me you haven't really fully accepted being a sahm. Otherwise, these things just wouldn't be a worry or a concern.


Sorry, but I have to respectfully disagree. I think these type of career, employment, long term financial impacts will always be a concern for me no matter to what level I enjoy and desire being a SAHM. I feel vulnerable as a SAHM because I am vulnerable as a SAHM...it doesn't matter how fully I've accepted the SAHM role.

I can (I think) fully accept being a SAHM, or my role as one, and still have a recognition for the complexity of the decision, the grayness of the pro and con list, and awareness and feeling of vulnerability for the trade-offs associated with halting a career, ceasing a paycheck, and focusing on raising a child instead.
post #50 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarineWife View Post
In the meantime, you are devaluing yourself and SAHMs in general. You're falling for the lie that "women's work" is worthless.
Oh, goodness, I certainly hope not! I certainly hope I am not devaluing SAHMs. I don't think I am, and I never, never, never want to leave that impression.

I don't think of it as women's work, so I don't see women's work as worthless. Not at all.

I just know that it is unpaid. Heck, I'm not even getting social security for this SAHM gig!

I know that unpaid work of any kind places one in a state of financial dependency. With dependency comes inherent vulnerability.

I don't think (and I sincerely hope) that acknowledging that vulnerabilty (which I really do feel for what I think are very valid reasons) that I devalue SAHMs.

Actually, now that I think of it, I think NOT acknowledging that dependency perhaps leading to a path of vulnerabilty is in some ways a disservice to SAHMs. We should all be aware of what could happen and have a Plan B...just in case.

Not put all emphasis on Plan B, but it should be there none the less.
post #51 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by That Is Nice View Post
Sorry, but I have to respectfully disagree
You don't have to apologize. I don't get upset (usually) when people disagree with me. I have to say that I have been pleasantly surprised by the few discussions I've gotten involved in on this board. I refrain from posting a lot because things seem to get heated rather quickly. I haven't experienced that here. I've only experienced interesting and respectful discussions. I so appreciate that.

It may just be a matter of symantics. When something concerns or worries me it takes away from my ability to focus on other things. I am not worried or concerned about losing my foothold in my career of field. That doesn't mean it hasn't crossed my mind. I just don't worry about it. KWIM?

Is there a way you can keep up with your field without working in it? I can do that by reading professional journals and keeping subscriptions in various professional societies. I don't , but I could.
post #52 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarineWife View Post
I understand that you think you are just being realistic. I agree with you that all of the things you've mentioned are possible. The question is how probable are they?
Well, that is true. It's all circumstantial. Anything could happen to anyone.

But I think it's probable enough that I better think about these things and have a good, solid Plan B.

All around me I see signals that it is probable. As I said, there are plenty of economic indicators. The unemployment rate, possible recession, price increases in most household goods, etc.

I have seen enough real life examples where the improbable did happen. And I've certainly read stories in the news in my own community.

I liken it to life insurance. Is it likely my husband or I will die anytime soon? Probably not. Do we still each carry life insurance, just in case. Of course.

I'd feel very vulnerable if we didn't each carry life insurance. Just as I feel vulnerable about giving up my pay check and exiting from the work force for a few years to SAHM.
post #53 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by That Is Nice View Post
But I think it's probable enough that I better think about these things and have a good, solid Plan B.
ITA that it's important to have a plan. Once that's done then you can let it go. No reason to let it worry you anymore.
post #54 of 156
There's also a vast difference between "punching a clock/collecting a paycheck" and having a career that you love, that is fulfilling, etc- even if it *doesn't* earn a great living. Losing time from that, and opportunities for achievement and advancement (that won't come again, due to time lost), can be hard to accept, despite choosing wholeheartedly to remain at home regardless of the sacrifice. But for some of us it really is a sacrifice, and it's important to acknowledge that. It doesn't mean someone is less happy or a worse mother or isn't finding accessible fulfillment in being a SAHM. You can be good at and fulfilled by every aspect of being home with your children and still regret *your* time and opportunity lost.

I certainly do. I am in school at 35 and have a few years before a decent contribution to the family income, and if after that I can make it through grad school, I will have an excellent income. I consider myself lucky to have stayed home, worked part-time, homeschooled my oldest, and gone to school myself. But I can see it would have been better to do all this ten years ago. I would have been able to shoulder some of my husband's burden (and even the most supportive partner is still carrying the stress of being the sole breadwinner), provide a more materially comfortable existence for all of us, and perhaps most importantly, had the personal fulfillment of independence, a life and career outside of the home, and real power that extends far beyond cashing a paycheck. I am not planning on having any more children, but if I do, I'm not so sure I would (or could) stay home again- and that child might be the best off out of all of them.
post #55 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarineWife View Post
You don't have to apologize. I don't get upset (usually) when people disagree with me. I have to say that I have been pleasantly surprised by the few discussions I've gotten involved in on this board. I refrain from posting a lot because things seem to get heated rather quickly. I haven't experienced that here. I've only experienced interesting and respectful discussions. I so appreciate that.

It may just be a matter of symantics. When something concerns or worries me it takes away from my ability to focus on other things. I am not worried or concerned about losing my foothold in my career of field. That doesn't mean it hasn't crossed my mind. I just don't worry about it. KWIM?

Is there a way you can keep up with your field without working in it? I can do that by reading professional journals and keeping subscriptions in various professional societies. I don't , but I could.
Yes, to everything you said!

:
post #56 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by LizD View Post
There's also a vast difference between "punching a clock/collecting a paycheck" and having a career that you love, that is fulfilling, etc- even if it *doesn't* earn a great living. Losing time from that, and opportunities for achievement and advancement (that won't come again, due to time lost), can be hard to accept, despite choosing wholeheartedly to remain at home regardless of the sacrifice. But for some of us it really is a sacrifice, and it's important to acknowledge that. It doesn't mean someone is less happy or a worse mother or isn't finding accessible fulfillment in being a SAHM. You can be good at and fulfilled by every aspect of being home with your children and still regret *your* time and opportunity lost.
:

So true! That is how I feel a lot of the time.
post #57 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by LizD View Post
You can be good at and fulfilled by every aspect of being home with your children and still regret *your* time and opportunity lost.
:

This is exactly how I feel. I am fulfilled by every aspect of being a SAHM. But that doesn't mean I don't still have regrets and miss opportunities from my career.

Likewise, I am glad I am a SAHM, for the most part, but I still feel vulnerable in a financial sense for having chosen this role.
post #58 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by LizD View Post
There's also a vast difference between "punching a clock/collecting a paycheck" and having a career that you love, that is fulfilling, etc- even if it *doesn't* earn a great living. Losing time from that, and opportunities for achievement and advancement (that won't come again, due to time lost), can be hard to accept, despite choosing wholeheartedly to remain at home regardless of the sacrifice. But for some of us it really is a sacrifice, and it's important to acknowledge that. It doesn't mean someone is less happy or a worse mother or isn't finding accessible fulfillment in being a SAHM. You can be good at and fulfilled by every aspect of being home with your children and still regret *your* time and opportunity lost.

I certainly do. I am in school at 35 and have a few years before a decent contribution to the family income, and if after that I can make it through grad school, I will have an excellent income. I consider myself lucky to have stayed home, worked part-time, homeschooled my oldest, and gone to school myself. But I can see it would have been better to do all this ten years ago. I would have been able to shoulder some of my husband's burden (and even the most supportive partner is still carrying the stress of being the sole breadwinner), provide a more materially comfortable existence for all of us, and perhaps most importantly, had the personal fulfillment of independence, a life and career outside of the home, and real power that extends far beyond cashing a paycheck. I am not planning on having any more children, but if I do, I'm not so sure I would (or could) stay home again- and that child might be the best off out of all of them.


I think we're done at one, but I will not stay home if we have another. [Edited: Unless, of course, we had another child who, for whatever reason, needed it. Then we'd make it work.] Neither of us feel it was good for our family. For us, two working parents who equitably share all aspects of family responsibility is just much better.

I also haven't seen that kids with SAHPs tend to be happier. In my experience, what makes children and teens happy is love, stability, generous hearts, etc. What makes them unhappy is unresolved anger issues, emotional/verbal abuse, alcoholism, and, yes, massive financial worries in the family. Those issues go far beyond whether there are one or two working parents in a family.

That Is Nice, I feel for you, and I understand where you are coming from. I am a mama who gets deep satisfaction out of providing for my DS, and I don't think it devalues women's work to acknowledge that aspect of mothering. For some of us, that is a big part of our self-perception as mothers. I was not a happy SAHM, but I am a happy WOHM.
post #59 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by Azuralea View Post

I also haven't seen that kids with SAHPs tend to be happier. In my experience, what makes children and teens happy is love, stability, generous hearts, etc. What makes them unhappy is unresolved anger issues, emotional/verbal abuse, alcoholism, and, yes, massive financial worries in the family. Those issues go far beyond whether there are one or two working parents in a family.
:

I really, truly believe this.



While I see the value in having a SAHP, I see other values (and not just money, either) in having two working parents.

I do think it's important for children to see both parents in capacities outside of traditional gender roles, but at the same time it is ok for them to see us in traditional gender roles. I guess what I'm trying to say is that it's nice for any child to have male and female role models who show them what is possible in life, and to show them happy, full, balanced lives, no matter what occupies their time.
post #60 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by Azuralea View Post
For us, two working parents who equitably share all aspects of family responsibility is just much better.
:

This is my ideal! When I was pregnant, I really tried to figure out a way to make this scenario happen. I really admire couples who are able to share careers and childcare responsibilities. I know a few personally who do it, and their lives are way more balanced than my DH's and mine.

It really is dependent on the individuals and their career choices, though, and those choices are often made long before children come along. My DH and I don't really have careers where we can balance two easily, or work part time, or job share or anything like that.

So, while I see being a SAHM as a true blessing and it is indeed something I find valuable, I also wish a different scenario could exist. Maybe someday...
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%