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#1 of 44 Old 10-26-2013, 12:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I know I am opening a can of worms but it really bothers me when people assume that I need to work because I have to pay for my:  wonderful brand new car, my huge home, my designer clothing, my children's designer clothing, all the expensive classes that I enroll them in,  etc.  (edited to add:) When in reality, my family and I have none of that.   Fingers crossed that my ten year old car makes it through to the spring!

 

I am working because I have to.  I don't believe that I am in the minority when I say that.   We are coming out of a recession,  more and more families cannot afford to live on just one income-the middle class is decreasing day by day.  Even with my husband's salary as a teacher (although at this point he is working very part time-just got a job after being laid off) we could not afford to have someone stay at home. 

 

Yet I hear-you could if you did this, you could if you scaled back,  if your husband/partner worked 60 hours a week.  Every family lives the life that they can afford to live-there are definitely those who DO want that big house, that designer Coach bag, yet those are in the minority.   The majority of the mothers that I know that work are doing so because they HAVE to.  

 

I am not sure if other working mothers/fathers feel this way, but what say you? Do you feel like you are defending the needs of your family? 

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#2 of 44 Old 10-26-2013, 06:39 PM
 
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Hi Superfizz. It's been a long time since I've talked with anyone who would say something like that. In my area, most moms work, it is a minority that SAH. But most of us don't have fancy cars or designer clothes. We live in a pretty down home area. Most of us are trying to pay the bills!

 

That said, I love my job, and I honestly am not sure what we would do if my dh's salary doubled and we had the chance to consider it. I feel very fulfilled and creative in my work, and I highly doubt I would want to give it up or even cut back on it. 

 

We have a really busy lifestyle, but the kids are all thriving!


 
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#3 of 44 Old 10-26-2013, 06:45 PM
 
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Yup yup. I appreciate that, due to the cost of child care, for some people having a SAHP saves money or breaks even because child care can cost as much as a year's pay these days. But that's only true until the kids are school age. Also, most places have more affordable childcare options/sliding scales/etc so that it can be far cheaper for lower-income families to put their children in childcare than to have one stay home. If you need cash assistance from the government (at least in the US)-- you won't get it unless both parents are either working or spending 40 hours a week trying to find a job, staying home is not an option.

 

It seems like all of those arguments only work for middle+ class families, which not all families are- especially thanks to the recession.


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#4 of 44 Old 10-27-2013, 06:29 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I realized after I posted this that I should have listed next to my statement about the fancy clothes, brand new car that in reality,  this is just not the case.   At all.   And it isn't for most working moms.  I think I will edit that.

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#5 of 44 Old 10-27-2013, 06:51 AM
 
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I guess I don't think I should feel guilty for wanting a certain standard of life.

 

Now I'm not driving a Lexus or living in a big house. But I do have a standard I'm not willing to go below and to maintain that standard I must work. For me personally that standard is to be self sufficient. So I'm not okay with relying on government or family support to make ends meet on a regular basis. I also value giving my children some opportunities. Once again I'm talking about one or two activities that cost money such as being on the YMCA basketball team or in scouts, so nothing extravagant. And I do want my own modest home with a yard and two reliable basic vehicles. So I must work to maintain that lifestyle. To me living in poverty when I have the means to prevent it is not something I'm okay with. I don't know anyone else's story or what leads them to view a certain standard of living as the minimum necessary, either requiring less money or more, but as long as they are doing what they think is best for their family that is a good thing.

 

One thing that a lot of people may miss is that I may need to work to make ends meet, but that doesn't mean I can't make more than the bare minimum amount I need. Neither my husband nor my salary was going to pay our bills alone. However, what we really needed was about 1 1/2 of our professional salaries. The fields we were in don't really have much for part time options. Moving to a different job would require full time work as salaries would be lower plus the job would be unlikely to be as fulfilling or meaningful to me. So that left us with two full time professional jobs in our household and a bit more wiggle room in our budget for eating out, electronics, more expensive activities, a vehicle payment, etc. Just because part of my salary goes to non essentials doesn't mean that we don't need any of my salary.

 

Right now I'm not working and we are able to meet all our obligations only because of unemployment, severance, and student loans. Me being home is simply not something sustainable for our family

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#6 of 44 Old 10-27-2013, 07:26 AM
 
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In the past I have talked to families that were sacrificing a great deal because of a value they had that one of the parents had to be home at all times. In reality, the non earning parent could have been earning so that everyone didn't have to struggle so much, and they wouldn't have been stuck at home when the one car broke down, etc. None of us can make choices for anyone else, but the value system that suggests that child care is an evil to be avoided at all costs, has a hard time sitting well with me.

 

I have family members that had told me many years ago that because my children were in child care that they would turn out unattached and bad. Frankly, this just hasn't been true at all! We are a very close knit family whose children are thriving and very well adjusted. Child care has been an asset for our family because we have been lucky enough to have wonderful providers, whom our children were ALSO attached to in addition to their two parents. 

 

But I know that this is not the point of the thread. I just think when people (in our circles) set up these dichotomies of 'either/or' and that there is only one good way to do things, it is very harmful. 

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#7 of 44 Old 10-27-2013, 09:53 AM
 
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But I know that this is not the point of the thread. I just think when people (in our circles) set up these dichotomies of 'either/or' and that there is only one good way to do things, it is very harmful. 

I agree with this. Nothing works for everyone, the best thing a family can do is what is best for that specific family. There are people on this forum who are NOT cut out to be SAHPs- they still love their children, but staying home full time is just not for them. Forcing someone like that to SAH is just going to be bad for the kids because they can pick up on the fact that their parent isn't as happy as they should be. I'm like that, I don't think I'd do well as a SAHP at all. My ideal job is to be a freelance artist, so ideally I'd be able to have a very flexible work schedule that would allow me to take care of the kids way more than someone working a typical 9-5 job and I might be able to WAH. But ideal doesn't always happen. My partner, on the other hand, would love to be a SAH/WAHP- but is also the one most likely to have a stable, higher paying job. If the only way we can be self-sufficient is for us to both work, we'll both work.

 

Not everyone is cut out to be able to successfully homeschool. My mother tried and made a complete mess of it, if she'd tried for more than a year I would have fallen severely behind. For children who are extroverted and very social, it's more difficult to get them enough play time with other kids while homeschooling than having them in childcare/full time school- I know people who have their kids in school more for the social value than the academic. Then there are kids who get bullied a lot at school and would do better being homeschooled.

 

And, of course, there are different choices. I know some people arrange their work schedules so that the schools are able to be homeschooled or so that their child/ren is in day care for as little as possible. For child care, day care isn't the only option and there are some day cares that are better than others. If you can afford private school, your options of schooling have greatly broadened.


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#8 of 44 Old 10-27-2013, 10:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
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completely understand and agree Jolly GG, I think it is a lot harder in our society for there to be just a one income family without having to really be stretched thin financially.  

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#9 of 44 Old 10-29-2013, 12:59 PM
 
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 Superfizz – you must have seen that thread started a while back about negativity about SAHMs.

So glad you started this thread.  I had to take a break from the forum because of that thread.

 

I really do not like the implication that if I just sacrificed a little more I could get by on one income.

The SAHMs seemed to wonder why people think they are rich.  Well, the majority of families CAN NOT afford to live on one income, that’s why we think you’re rich!

Like I said in that other thread, yeah, part of my income went to pay for daycare, but even paying for day care we were still coming out ahead.  But had I stayed home, we would not have been able to live on my husband's income.

Quote:

In the past I have talked to families that were sacrificing a great deal because of a value they had that one of the parents had to be home at all times. In reality, the non earning parent could have been earning so that everyone didn't have to struggle so much, and they wouldn't have been stuck at home when the one car broke down, etc.

Good point!  My mother was a SAHM.  Even when my sister and I were in school and there was no need for her to stay home, she still didn't work.  Because we had to get by on my dad's meager income, the only clothes we could afford were hand me downs and stuff from the thirft store.  There were times when we didn't have enough groceries.  Meanwhile, my dad was working 50-60 a week just to make ends meet.  I really resented the fact that mom was too lazy to help out.  She could have gotten a part time job or something even minimum wage so my dad didn't have to struggle so much.

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#10 of 44 Old 10-29-2013, 02:11 PM
 
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My partner & I work because we want to and because we have to. I worked very hard to get a master's degree in the field that I love and busted my butt for years before landing my current job. I don't love every minute of my job, but it feeds me in lots of ways, and not just through my paycheck.

 

We contribute equally to the household expenses, and that suits our relationship well. We are able to keep up with our mortgage (a small house in a city we love), buy high quality food, pay off student loans and other debt, and put our child in an excellent pre-school where she thrives. We can't afford to own a car, do any maintenance work on our old house (first priority when DD starts elementary school next year), buy new clothes on a regular basis, take vacations (other than occasional trips to see our families), or load up on gadgets. Our tv is broken and won't get replaced anytime soon.

 

Everyone's story is different and there isn't one single profile of a "working mom" and a single other profile for a "stay at home mom." That's why I find it so frustrating when broad generalizations are made. Knowing that someone is a "working mom" really doesn't tell you much about their situation. Ditto SAHM.

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#11 of 44 Old 10-29-2013, 07:33 PM
 
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In the same vein as the "anyone can afford to stay home with their kids if they simply prioritize right." myth - Where in the heck did the idea that all working mom's must be able to afford household help come from? And does anyone really have a daycare provider who does everything a stay-at-home mom does? Don't get me wrong, I've loved our daycare providers. My expectation has always been that my kids will be returned to my care alive, and none the worse for wear. But as their Mom I'm still in charge of at least two meals a day, baths, bedtime routines, homework, dealing with any behavioral or emotional upsets from the day, any activities I want them in, all the laundry, clothing the kids, getting them ready for the day and out the door (no small feat), housecleaning, doctors appointment, now that they are in school packing lunches, meetings at the school, transportation, ect. Plus I know a million and one working moms who are taking work home for after the kids are in bed and sacrificing their lunch hour to volunteer at school. My babysitter is a caring and trusted adult in my children's life who cares for them while I'm gone. But they aren't raising my kids. And while I dream of a house cleaning service or lawn service that can come in once a week, other priorities for our money (like food and housing) always take precedence. 

 

Sorry. I'm home right now as I'm out of work so I've been visiting the SAHM board and I'm not finding it real welcoming to someone who doesn't think that WOHM are doing something wrong, outsourcing their parenting, or have it easier in some way.


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#12 of 44 Old 10-29-2013, 07:44 PM
 
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I also want to point out that the entire premise seems to be based on the idea that only mothers could possibly want to be SAHP, which is not true at all. ONE parent has to work. Even if both people are equally interested in spending as much time with their children as possible, even if both people will equally feel the loss of not being able to be with their children full time- someone has to work unless they're wildly wealthy or figure out how to get by on very little. I've seen families find ways for both to WAH, but that is not always possible- again, especially in this economy.

 

The idea that SAHP=SAHM is problematic. It's problematic to the women who want to work and feel unduly pressured to stay at home, where they'd likely be miserable (which the kids will pick up on and is not a good thing). It's problematic because some people still use it as an argument to give women less pay because "they'll just pop out babies and quit anyways". It's problematic to the men who want to be SAHDs.

 

If this forum were aimed at fathers, unless it were specifically aimed at SAHDs, I really doubt that people would insist that working dads are making the wrong choices and aren't sacrificing enough to make the right choice of staying home with their kids.


Some of the WOHMs on this forum are WOHMs because they are the breadwinner and their partner is the SAHP. You can be a working mom and still have one parent staying at home with the kids.

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In the same vein as the "anyone can afford to stay home with their kids if they simply prioritize right." myth - Where in the heck did the idea that all working mom's must be able to afford household help come from? And does anyone really have a daycare provider who does everything a stay-at-home mom does? Don't get me wrong, I've loved our daycare providers. My expectation has always been that my kids will be returned to my care alive, and none the worse for wear. But as their Mom I'm still in charge of at least two meals a day, baths, bedtime routines, homework, dealing with any behavioral or emotional upsets from the day, any activities I want them in, all the laundry, clothing the kids, getting them ready for the day and out the door (no small feat), now that they are in school packing lunches, ect. My babysitter is a caring and trusted adult in my children's life who cares for them while I'm gone. But they aren't raising my kids. And while I dream of a house cleaning service or lawn service that can come in once a week, other priorities for our money (like food and housing) always take precedence. 

This. I've heard of people who let nannies raise their children- but that's not the case for most WOHPs, even WOHPs who do have nannies.

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#13 of 44 Old 10-29-2013, 08:44 PM
 
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I don't have to work but my job provides security and savings. Frivolous things like life insurance and an emergency fund! I am providing for my family.
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#14 of 44 Old 10-29-2013, 10:01 PM
 
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Some of the WOHMs on this forum are WOHMs because they are the breadwinner and their partner is the SAHP. You can be a working mom and still have one parent staying at home with the kids.

Heck, I know plenty of families where both parents work, but they work opposite shifts so they don't need child care. Their children are always in the care of a parent. It's hard on the marriage to get to see your spouse that little, getting to work at 4:30am so that you can get off in time for your spouse to make it to work by 1pm is hard, or getting off of the night shift and having to make it until your spouse get's home from days before you take a nap leaves yous sleep deprived, and vacations are impossible to plan when one person works weekends and the other works during the week. But I know so many families that make it work. Not only do many of them make it work, but many of their kids learn that either parent can meet their needs and both parents start to be more equally responsible for the kids and housework or it wouldn't get done.

 

My husband and I worked opposite days the first year of my son's life. My husband worked Th-M, and I worked M-F, so my son only had two days of daycare. It was so hard, but my husband is so much better a father and partner than he could possibly have been if we hadn't done it that way and I'm grateful for that. We also managed a year where my husband worked from home. That was one of the most awesome years of our working lives.

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#15 of 44 Old 10-29-2013, 10:59 PM
 
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I love my job.

 

I need the money.

 

I enjoy not being dependent on the man 100%.

 

I love giving my kids extra like computer camps and other things.

 

Now that my kids are older  all those "extras" really paid off as far as their educational and work paths.

 

I am happy. I do not have Lexus or Coach bag. I do not really understand why people think that work is all about luxury?

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#16 of 44 Old 10-30-2013, 03:43 AM
 
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I love my job.

 

I need the money.

 

I enjoy not being dependent on the man 100%.

 

I love giving my kids extra like computer camps and other things.

 

Now that my kids are older  all those "extras" really paid off as far as their educational and work paths.

 

I am happy. I do not have Lexus or Coach bag. I do not really understand why people think that work is all about luxury?

 

Right on! It's just about real life!! There is no luxury going on in our lives. We still can't afford nice vacations (thank goodness we like to camp), we always buy used cars that are at least 5-6 years old, we sort of still can't afford that computer camp, our furniture is ugly, my clothes are out of date!  

 

But we do have health insurance, life insurance, food, gas, fuel, and can afford for the kids to each have an activity, such as dance. 

 

Next year when college starts for our firstborn, I have no idea. It's another topic but middle class people are currently screwed by our financial aid system, which calculates that we can all afford 25% of our income to go toward tuition. No sweat, right?


 
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#17 of 44 Old 10-30-2013, 03:45 AM
 
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One more thing: we have never ever been able to afford having a cleaner come in, much as I would have liked that. I follow the Flylady system for keeping the house 'just clean enough' and for getting EVERYTHING else done (laundry, shopping, errands, etc.) It's a very tight schedule but it all gets done!


 
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#18 of 44 Old 10-30-2013, 04:00 AM
 
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When I was in school and we didn't have kids, I worked maybe a couple of days a month making not-all-that-much and we pretty much lived on what he made plus what I made. If we had made some lifestyle cuts we could have lived on solely what he made... but also, all of our student loans were in deferment/forbearance, and we weren't saving for goals, or for retirement beyond what was withheld by our employers. That isn't a realistic long-term way of living. We both have expensive degrees and now I have to work. And I do enjoy working, although there are things that annoy me about my job. Also, we bought a house so making said lifestyle cuts would require us to sell it, among other things. On the subject of SAHDs, my income potential exceeds my husband's by rather a lot and we could afford for me to work full-time and him to SAH, but he loves his job and would probably not be a really great SAHP. Ergo, we both work. The lifestyle cuts that we'd have to make to live on his income are more palatable to me than to him (as in, he's just not having it), so I joke that I have to support him in the style to which he's become accustomed. 

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#19 of 44 Old 10-30-2013, 06:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I definitely posted this in response to another board here on Mothering.   Although I've heard similar comments elsewhere about the two parent income because everyone is trying to keep up with the joneses.   I also would LOVE to have someone come in and clean my home! That would be so very awesome.  And I agree with what you said sillysapling about the working moms versus working dads.   Again,  families do what works for them and this is what works for my family right now. 

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#20 of 44 Old 10-30-2013, 10:03 AM
 
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In real life, I never feel like I need to defend how my family operates, but I do see the common argument around the internet that people (specifically mothers) work because they value status or materials possessions over motherhood and parenting.  Usually it just makes me laugh, but every now and then I wonder if I'm being secretly judged for things that people wouldn't say out loud or to my face.

 

That said, there are a number of reasons why I work.  First and foremost, it makes financial sense for my family in the long term.  We wouldn't starve if I didn't work, but it wouldn't be in our long-term financial interest for me not to work.  I'm the primary earner, but DH is a civil servant and has a great health package and other non-monetary benefits such as a lot of time off, etc.  DH is an older guy and will probably retire within the next 10 years (and DD is only seven).  At some point I'll be the only earner in the household and I need to make sure that I'm able to continue in my profession without interruption.  I also like what I do and I think the balance between work and home contributes to my overall mental health.  The benefits outweigh the negatives, so it isn't really about having to or not having to work, but looking at the big picture and coming up with a plan that is most beneficial to all involved.  It isn't about cars or designer handbags (I have neither!) but about bigger issues down the road (i.e. I don't want DD to be saddled with student debt like I was if she goes to college).

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#21 of 44 Old 10-30-2013, 12:50 PM
 
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My family lives on one income, and that's MY INCOME.  We live in a diverse, liberal area where I don't encounter a whole lot of prejudice, but at least once a year I talk to someone who assumes--sometimes very persistently--that because I have a male partner, he must be earning at least as much as I do.  There was a time in our parenting lives when he did, but now he's trying to freelance and learning new skills and has earned next to nothing for more than 2 years.  Even at his peak earning, he was working for a small startup that did not offer health insurance, so my job was important to supporting the whole family.

 

Jolly GG wrote:

Quote:
 To me living in poverty when I have the means to prevent it is not something I'm okay with.

Exactly.  I have a friend whose husband's income is low enough to allow them to receive SNAP (food stamps) while she is a SAHM to one preschooler.  I respect their right to make that decision based on their values and personal needs (and the way they use their SNAP for quality food makes me proud as a taxpayer) but I would have a hard time living that way myself; it just wouldn't feel right to me.

 

As for WOHMs living in "luxury"--the one routine luxury in my lifestyle is that I go out to lunch at least once a week and my family goes out to dinner at least once a week, at restaurants in the $6-12 a meal range.  Other than that, I feel that working plus parenting leaves me little TIME for luxuries!  It often takes me months to get around to clothes shopping even when I need something.  We have trouble getting around to home improvements that are functional; forget about decorating, except for the kid hanging up his drawings.  We have only basic cable because we don't have time to watch much TV.  We have one museum membership (partly to get a discount on the kid's summer program there) and rarely do other day trips because our weekends fill up with grocery shopping and household chores.  We don't take lavish vacations because I get only so many days off and need them for visiting relatives and for illnesses.


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#22 of 44 Old 10-31-2013, 07:15 AM
 
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Another important thing to think about, are the financial repercussions of not working. 

 

I wonder if SAHMs ever think of what they will do if their marriage fails.  Given the fact that 50% of marriages end in divorce, there is a very good likelihood that your marriage is not going to last and then what will you do?

 

If a person's marriage fails, you might get alimony, but most likely it will only be for a few years and then you're on your own.  Lifetime alimony is very rarely awarded nowadays.  If you have children and you're awarded custody, yeah, you'll get child support, but most often that's not enough to live off of. 

And sometimes you might not even get that.  We've all heard stories of men that work underneath the table to avoid paying CS and alimony.

 

And what about retirement?  If you're divorced, you can only received your ex's social security benefits if your marriage lasted 10 years or more and if he remarries you get nothing.  And every year that you're not working is less money you're contributing to your own social security benefits.

Nothing in life is guaranteed, and depending on someone else to provide financially for you for the rest of your life to me is very risky.

 

I can understand a woman staying home when her kids are younger, to save money on child care costs, but once they're in school, I don't understand what reason there would be for staying home.  Even if you're volunteering in their school every day, that's only a small portion of the day that you're spending with them.  To me it doesn't justify the risks you take by not working. 

 

 

 

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#23 of 44 Old 10-31-2013, 08:47 AM
 
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Good point, Amber.  A former boyfriend of mine had a mother who had never worked or gone to college because she got pregnant in her last year of high school and was a SAHM until her kids were 11-17 years old and her husband was killed in a car accident.  Suddenly she needed to support the family and had no idea how to go about it!  They were very lucky in that he'd been in the military so there were substantial survivor benefits; this allowed her to go to college (where she was embarrassed to find she needed remedial math) and eventually get a good job at the post office, but that took 5 years, during which she had to scramble to keep the family going with about half as much income as they'd been used to--smaller house, cheaper food and clothes, and a hurried total renegotiation of the financial aid package for her son about to start college!  Yikes.

 

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 Next year when college starts for our firstborn, I have no idea. It's another topic but middle class people are currently screwed by our financial aid system, which calculates that we can all afford 25% of our income to go toward tuition. No sweat, right?

People with thrifty lifestyles and savings are even more punished by the system.  My parents made the "mistake" of paying off the mortgage when I was in high school.  The year my brother and I were in college simultaneously, our combined tuitions=77% of their income, yet we received no need-based aid, only small merit scholarships.  It's like the people who live paycheck-to-paycheck and rack up credit card debt get rewarded by the system!  But I felt less grumpy about it after graduation, when I realized that most of the aid my peers had gotten was LOANS that they had to pay back, whereas my brother and I started our adult lives debt-free.  I hope we can give that same gift to our kids.  My employment definitely will help with that.


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#24 of 44 Old 10-31-2013, 12:08 PM
 
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Another thing, I don't know why SAHMs would feel guilty for staying home.

If they are doing all the things they say they are doing, there is no reason to justify staying home.

Same as I don't have to justify working. Someone can say I'm only working to buy a new car or pay for $400 shoes, but I know that's not the case so I don't feel bad.

Maybe the reason what someone says bothers them is because deep down inside they know some of what's said is true.

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#25 of 44 Old 10-31-2013, 12:30 PM
 
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Nothing in life is guaranteed, and depending on someone else to provide financially for you for the rest of your life to me is very risky.

 

I can understand a woman staying home when her kids are younger, to save money on child care costs, but once they're in school, I don't understand what reason there would be for staying home.  Even if you're volunteering in their school every day, that's only a small portion of the day that you're spending with them.  To me it doesn't justify the risks you take by not working. 

I get why someone would want to stay home. I see the value in staying home when kids are in school. Heck, for my family, having a parent home when the kids are school age is more important to us than having a parent home when they are little. We would prefer my husband was still working from home so our kids could come home to a parent. I value this year I'm taking off of work to spend with my kids. I see lots of good reasons to be a stay at home parent when you have school age kids. I also understand taking the risks inherent in making yourself somewhat dependent on your husband and his income. These just aren't the right decisions for my family long term.

 

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Maybe the reason what someone says bothers them is because deep down inside they know some of what's said is true.

I think we are taught very young to be sensitive to criticism and the opinions of others. So it does hurt when we are criticized if the criticism is deserved or not.

 

Each of us does our own cost/benefit analysis and decides what is important to us. Some have decided that having a parent home is a priority. Others prioritize independence, or security, or whatever. Some really have ended up in a situation where life has pushed them into a situation that they wouldn't ideally choose (either staying home or working). But I think it's important to remember that we each are individuals and our decisions shouldn't all be the same.


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#26 of 44 Old 10-31-2013, 01:16 PM
 
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I'm pretty comfortable in my own decisions and don't really give a hoot about what other people think.  So, I'm not defensive about why I work and I feel no need to explain it to others.  Most men I know don't explain why they work.

 

I would rather set fire to my own hair than be a SAHM.  I love my kids, but I'm not cut out for that life.  I would be miserable and the kids would be miserable. I have a career that gives me a great deal of satisfaction.  I feel that in some small way, I make the world a better place with what I do.  We had a great day care and my kids thrived.  They are teens now and they still ask to go visit their caregiver every so often, as she was like part of the family.

 

We could survive on what my husband makes as a public school teacher, but it would be grim.  There are certain things I want out of life and we can do them now.  They aren't glamorous or extravagant things.  We have a decent house in a fabulous school district.  We are on track with retirement savings.  We have enough money to pay for private music and dance lessons for the kids, and for a bunch of other extra-curriculars that are very important to the kids.  We will have enough money saved to pay for public universities for them.  Money isn't everything, but it does provide some wonderful opportunities.  We have two reliable, although not luxurious cars that provide safe transportation.  None of that would be true if I didn't work.

 

If people want to stay home, good for them.  For me it would be a personal and financial disaster, and it would be horrible for my kids.

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#27 of 44 Old 10-31-2013, 03:33 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amber3902 View Post
 

I can understand a woman staying home when her kids are younger, to save money on child care costs, but once they're in school, I don't understand what reason there would be for staying home.  Even if you're volunteering in their school every day, that's only a small portion of the day that you're spending with them.  To me it doesn't justify the risks you take by not working.

 

Maybe they're okay with those risks though. Or maybe they would rather be there when their kids get home at 3 rather than not seeing them until 5 or 6. If it's not your choice that's fine, but I think it's important to give others the benefit of the doubt about their choices... they understand their situation and what works for them better than another person does. 

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#28 of 44 Old 10-31-2013, 04:17 PM
 
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Maybe they're okay with those risks though. Or maybe they would rather be there when their kids get home at 3 rather than not seeing them until 5 or 6. If it's not your choice that's fine, but I think it's important to give others the benefit of the doubt about their choices... they understand their situation and what works for them better than another person does.

I'm sure they are OK with it.  That doesn't mean that I understand it, though. I've seen too many women whose husbands have walked out or dropped dead suddenly or mismanaged the family finances to ever think this is a good idea.  I've also seen too many women who have no real idea what financial damage they are doing by making themselves very much less competitive and valued in the workplace when they do try to go back to work.  But people are free to make whatever choices they want, obviously, and I don't offer them my opinions on the subject.

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#29 of 44 Old 10-31-2013, 05:16 PM
 
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Yeah. I just don't want this thread to turn into a place to criticize the choices of SAHMs. The other thread is getting kind of hostile towards WOHMs. 

 

As for the job market thing, it seems to me that a decent number of SAHMs didn't have particularly snazzy jobs before quitting to stay home, and could probably get a job at a similar level no matter how long they stayed out, but may not find it worth it for the pay, cost of day care, time away from their family, etc.. I have a friend who is a speech-language pathologist. Spouse has a degree but didn't have much of a career; at the time their son was born, they decided for spouse to quit *his* job what with the cost of daycare being what it was and his career not being particularly advanced. They have 3 kids at home now and she is still doing well in her career. If he goes back to work at some point the time out of the work force isn't going to work for him, but since he wasn't particularly advanced in his career it's not really going to work against him either. I do, however, know another couple where one spouse gave up their career to stay home & follow the other spouse's job, and while the working spouse is doing well, the spouse who stayed home is basically nowhere and is going to have a hard time getting back to the previous level... and in this family, too, the stay-at-home spouse is the husband. So it cuts both ways. I do think these are real considerations, but they function differently for different people. 

 

Or we could start another thread discussing the pros and cons of deliberately choosing to not have a career (I think my mom more or less made this choice at some point). 

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#30 of 44 Old 10-31-2013, 05:41 PM
 
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Yeah. I just don't want this thread to turn into a place to criticize the choices of SAHMs. The other thread is getting kind of hostile towards WOHMs.

I agree. I want to be supportive of all mom's doing whatever makes the most sense to them for their own family.

 

I don't appreciate being criticized for my decision to WOHM and I don't think it's fair to be negative about someone elses decision to do the opposite. I'm going to assume that they are intelligent people who did their own analysis of the risks and benefits then made the decision that was right for them.

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