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#61 of 133 Old 06-20-2008, 03:47 PM
 
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Originally Posted by laohaire View Post
Well, ya just can't win for losing. I wrote up a nice, even post supporting both sides of the debate, and folks are "gobsmacked" by the idea that saving $150/month on cable, $1000/month on childcare, and $400/month on an extra car could possibly IN SOME SITUATIONS (remember, I said that) release the need for a second salary.
OKay, since the poster mentioned is someone I know locally, I can tell you that our cable company may screw us, but not that hard. If you go with the fanciest package available you're still under 100$/mo. ANd childcare? I know her DD is not at the "best" in town (Read as most expensive) as its on the opposite side of town from her, so she's paying 650$ or less I'd bet. The best here is 750$. SO when you take maybe 1000$ (figuring a more reasonable amount for their extra vehicle), no, it doesn't negate the average salary of a college degreed woman. Might not leave a huge chunk at the end of the month, but it doesn't negate it entirely. So for our area, where 2-2.5k is probably reasonable for most degree'd fields with some experience, its not unreasonable to recognize that in many situations its still not possible.
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#62 of 133 Old 06-20-2008, 03:50 PM
 
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I could have chosen to stay home and received housing and food assistance if I wanted to, but I believed in the fact that I could work and not have to accept a handout and it taught my children that you can't always get what you want handed to you, but that you have to work for it.
I wouldn't be able to sah without government welfare health insurance for my kids (chip). With food and gas going through the roof we have had to tighten up everything and it's only getting worse. It's a crucial part of our values & lifestyle to have me sah.

Yeah. Welfare lets me be a sahm & I'm not afraid to admit it.
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#63 of 133 Old 06-20-2008, 03:54 PM
 
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OP sorry your post got all over the place. I understand what you was saying. These type of threads people always get so defensive no matter how you explain it.

They took one line and got all mad about it. I saw the line different. Maybe the OP knew the people, maybe that is not exaclty what she says put just condensed it to put it in writing. The post didn't seem snarky.

Of course every situation is different she mentioned that.
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#64 of 133 Old 06-20-2008, 03:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yes, Sydnee I like what you are saying. It's nice to know that you are aware that you have options and luxuries. It's sad to me when people don't see those things. I think it's wonderful that you WAH, and that you feel good about doing that so you can have other things you want. You sound like an aware, responsible, caring mother. I'm convinced you are doing what you know is best for your family and am glad to hear it's all working out for you!
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#65 of 133 Old 06-20-2008, 03:59 PM
 
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#66 of 133 Old 06-20-2008, 04:06 PM
 
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OP - I feel you!

I don't think you were being snarky at all... but I get that it taps the veins of mamas who would like to stay home but for whatever reason are unable to do so.

I have family who act like we are just so very blessed or lucky for me to stay at home with DS, but don't realize that we have made huge, HUGE sacrifices for it to be this way, both financial sacrifices and personal sacrifices. It has nothing to do with luck. It has everything to do with living simply, working hard to pay off debt, and making SAH parenting a priority.

I realize that certain socio-economical situations necessitate both parents (or single parents) working outside of the home, but I'm also willing to say that if people could/would let go of some of their materialistic ideals, a good majority of U.S. households could do just fine on one income. But the will and determination have to be there. It might mean only having one car, no X-box 360 and moving to a part of the country with a lower cost of living, but it's doable for many of those who think it's not (medical debt, single parents, etc notwithstanding, of course).

I makes me a little nuts when my extended family complains about not being able to stay at home with their kids (and how i'm so lucky because I can) when they are driving new cars, have every gaming system available, and take expensive vacations multiple times a year.
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#67 of 133 Old 06-20-2008, 04:07 PM
 
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Wanted to add that I appreciated the OP. It made me feel warm & fuzzy that she's appreciated by her dh and her family.

We have made huge hard sacrifices to sah and most people look down on our choice. We are poor and people see us as not wanting to 'better ourselves' because I won't work.
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#68 of 133 Old 06-20-2008, 04:13 PM
 
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This gave me great pleasure to point out that DH and I have been doing it for two years (our whole marriage). It was really funny to me because I don't think people look at us and think that we make sacrifices for that. ......
It really gave me a proud feeling to know that we don't stand out as disadvantaged to others. I like knowing that we fit right in as we all sit around the table and talk. When I meet people who say "you're so lucky that you get to stay home!" They never know until I tell them, and I always tell them they can do it too. .....

Just thought I'd share these warm feelings. Has anyone had similar experiences?
We are also a one income family, so I know it can be done. I, however, don't gloat with pleasure, pride and warm feelings that we're able to do so. That's really what jumped out in this post, not the actual one income vs two debate.

There are so many variations of circumstance that it really is simplistic to spout off that anyone else could do it too.

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#69 of 133 Old 06-20-2008, 04:16 PM
 
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We are also a one income family, so I know it can be done. I, however, don't gloat with pleasure, pride and warm feelings that we're able to do so. That's really what jumped out in this post, not the actual one income vs two debate.

There are so many variations of circumstance that it really is simplistic to spout off that anyone else could do it too.
I agree with heatherfeather.
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#70 of 133 Old 06-20-2008, 04:25 PM
 
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and I always tell them they can do it too
That's what I was refering to, back on the first page.
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#71 of 133 Old 06-20-2008, 04:35 PM
 
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I really hate the "luck" part of this.

Can you imagine telling a working mama, "Wow. You're really LUCKY to get a paycheck."

That's not luck. That's part of doing hard work and making sacrifices to get that check.
I can't stand the "if you only weren't so lazy, you'd be as rich as me" attitude. No, it's not luck that you get a paycheck for doing the work. It IS luck that you live in a place that has jobs readily available for you. It's luck that the job you are able to get is enough to pay the bills, and if you're really fortunate, maybe even a bit more. It's luck that your kid doesn't come down with leukemia, forcing you to take time off work or even quit your job to care for him, and run up massive bills on co-pays and deductables. It's luck that you don't get sick yourself. And the next door neighbor who worked like a dog her entire life, and went into bankruptcy because her husband died or her kid got sick or a tree fell on the roof and she had to put $40,000 on the credit card to replace it and repair the damages from the rainstorm? She's not in bankruptcy because she spent frivolously or failed to budget or didn't work hard enough or was in any other way inferior to you. She's in bankruptcy because she was just damned unlucky. And you know what? You (and this is a general "you", not specifically the person I quoted; I have no idea what her life situation is like) might end up like her someday too. Not because your employer stops giving you a paycheck for the work you do. Not because you suddenly become lazy. But because *your* kid gets sick, or you, or your husband; or because one of you loses your job; or because a tree falls on your house. Suddenly that superior attitude of, "Well, it won't happen to me because I work hard!" doesn't hold so much water.
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#72 of 133 Old 06-20-2008, 04:38 PM
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We are also a one income family, so I know it can be done. I, however, don't gloat with pleasure, pride and warm feelings that we're able to do so. That's really what jumped out in this post, not the actual one income vs two debate.

There are so many variations of circumstance that it really is simplistic to spout off that anyone else could do it too.
: Especially to the bolded.

I don't like it when people judge based on cars, vacations, etc. Sometimes people who can't make it on one income have a second income that puts them into the 'very comfortable' range where they need two incomes and can have nice cars. It is not our place to judge other people's income requirements.
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#73 of 133 Old 06-20-2008, 05:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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...However, it was my hope that by presenting the idea to her that she could stay at home (so different than what society tells us), maybe she'd take an honest look at her finances and give it a second thought. ... my intention is only to make her really think. I do not assume to know her situation and I am understanding of those of you who honestly can not make it work.
What I say is exactly: "you can do it too." With a friendly smile. No one I have ever said this to has indicated any offence taken by it. Of course, when you add in " they couldn't possibly not afford it, they should just tighten their family belt?" That sounds a lot worse. But, it is all too often that people assume there is some kind of underlying negative, condescending idea when people say something.
I absolutely only mean to be encouraging, uplifting, and empowering by saying this to people.
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We are also a one income family, so I know it can be done. I, however, don't gloat with pleasure, pride and warm feelings that we're able to do so. That's really what jumped out in this post, not the actual one income vs two debate.

There are so many variations of circumstance that it really is simplistic to spout off that anyone else could do it too.
Please understand that I did not create this post with the intention of puffing myself up or "gloating" it was meant to point out the strong influence of society. So strong, in fact that my own father forgot that I work at home because I don't live a deprived life. I merely included my warm feelings about it.

My point in telling others they can do it too is to ecourage them to really think about their situations and values. I have heard from many people who I know very well that they wish they could stay at home, and I have many times honestly felt that they could. It is quite rare for this to come up with a stranger, but when it does I always encourage them to think twice about it as it's obviously something they really desire. I don't feel guilty about encouraging people to achieve their dreams.
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#74 of 133 Old 06-20-2008, 05:12 PM
 
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I also wanted to say that we moved out of the 5th most wealthy (read: expensive) county in the nation to the next county over to afford our home. We ended up only 15 minutes from where DH was born and raised and we still feel just as close to family here as before. Because of this move DH drives an extra 20 miles to work every day. We are fighting to get him telecommuting, but he wont be able to until September.
If you are in Indiana, are you sure about that? I think Hamilton county one of the fastest growing counties in the US, but it is not the wealthiest by a long shot. I tried to google it, but didn't come up with anything.
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#75 of 133 Old 06-20-2008, 05:12 PM
 
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However, it was my hope that by presenting the idea to her that she could stay at home (so different than what society tells us), maybe she'd take an honest look at her finances and give it a second thought.
Do you really think it had never ocurred to her before you mentioned it? I mean, wow. I'm pretty most wohm who want to stay home have sat down and had an "honest look" at their finances.

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We just decided to llive differently, cut back on as many things as possible (no cable, cell phones, new clothes, etc.) We have always been pretty frugal, but also enjoyed eating out, and taking spontaneous trips. We haven't been able to do those things for at least 4 years now.

It's hard at first to let go of a certain lifestyle, but so worth it (IMO) in the end.
These kind of statements just drive me crazy. "Well we did this and sacrificed so much and its so worth it" That wouldn't offend a mom would rather be with her kids than at work all day?

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And of course no-one can mention their sacrifices and effort unless they are WOHM, since people are not permitted to ascribe any of their situation to anything but luck (though, again, they are still "gloating" even then).
Yep totally true. Same way you can't mention missing your kids without having a sahm say "well go have an honest look at your finances and you could stay home too"

I really don't care if a woman works or stays home. Do what you want and what works for you. But don't judge other people for making a different choice. You have no idea what all the reasons are behind their decision. And don't preach about how much better you are because you have a garden or don't have cable and that made you get to stay home. It doesn't work like that for everyone.
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#76 of 133 Old 06-20-2008, 05:22 PM
 
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I can't stand the "if you only weren't so lazy, you'd be as rich as me" attitude. No, it's not luck that you get a paycheck for doing the work. It IS luck that you live in a place that has jobs readily available for you. It's luck that the job you are able to get is enough to pay the bills, and if you're really fortunate, maybe even a bit more. It's luck that your kid doesn't come down with leukemia, forcing you to take time off work or even quit your job to care for him, and run up massive bills on co-pays and deductables. It's luck that you don't get sick yourself. And the next door neighbor who worked like a dog her entire life, and went into bankruptcy because her husband died or her kid got sick or a tree fell on the roof and she had to put $40,000 on the credit card to replace it and repair the damages from the rainstorm? She's not in bankruptcy because she spent frivolously or failed to budget or didn't work hard enough or was in any other way inferior to you. She's in bankruptcy because she was just damned unlucky. And you know what? You (and this is a general "you", not specifically the person I quoted; I have no idea what her life situation is like) might end up like her someday too. Not because your employer stops giving you a paycheck for the work you do. Not because you suddenly become lazy. But because *your* kid gets sick, or you, or your husband; or because one of you loses your job; or because a tree falls on your house. Suddenly that superior attitude of, "Well, it won't happen to me because I work hard!" doesn't hold so much water.

.

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#77 of 133 Old 06-20-2008, 05:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I guess it's time to update my stats! Hamilton county's median income is around $82,000 putting it closer to 14th according to Forbes.com
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#78 of 133 Old 06-20-2008, 05:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Please understand that I did not create this post with the intention of puffing myself up or "gloating" it was meant to point out the strong influence of society. So strong, in fact that my own father forgot that I work at home because I don't live a deprived life. I merely included my warm feelings about it.

My point in telling others they can do it too is to ecourage them to really think about their situations and values. I have heard from many people who I know very well that they wish they could stay at home, and I have many times honestly felt that they could. It is quite rare for this to come up with a stranger, but when it does I always encourage them to think twice about it as it's obviously something they really desire. I don't feel guilty about encouraging people to achieve their dreams.
When did "you can do it!" become a bad thing to say to people??
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#79 of 133 Old 06-20-2008, 05:58 PM
 
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Thank you, jentilla. You understand me exactly. I think it is also a problem of society as a whole convincing people that "it's just not possible anymore." Often when I tell people that they can stay at home (as I said in the op), they take a second and get a look like "maybe I can, I've never really thought about it." It's my hope that these people go home and take an honest look at their situation and judge for themselves if they honestly can.
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When did "you can do it!" become a bad thing to say to people??

It's not the "You can do it!", it's saying "you can do it!" here. Let's be honest with ourselves -- people who are on MDC have really all thought this one through and arrived at where they are on the SAH/WOH spectrum because it's the best place for their family at this point in time. If your justification for starting this sort of thread is to get people to take an honest look at their situations, you're really preaching to the choir. Which isn't wrong per se, but you picked an unspeakably touchy subject to start preaching about.

Also, as far as smug SAHMs talking about how much they've sacrificed so they can stay home and how "worth it" it all is, I'm going to put in for a medal -- we don't have cable, cell phones, new cars, eating out or spontaneous trips, and I STILL work outside the home because that's what it takes to make ends meet. I pump BM to feed the littlest ones, earn a paycheck for the groceries and garden for the veggies, so if you want to talk about the "sacrifice-for-the-family" olympics, perhaps you're not such a shoo-in for the gold after all? (Honestly, I believe every mother deserves the gold, and it's not a race. But the smugness gets to me sometimes, you know?)

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#80 of 133 Old 06-20-2008, 06:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It's not the "You can do it!", it's saying "you can do it!" here. Let's be honest with ourselves -- people who are on MDC have really all thought this one through and arrived at where they are on the SAH/WOH spectrum because it's the best place for their family at this point in time. If your justification for starting this sort of thread is to get people to take an honest look at their situations, you're really preaching to the choir. Which isn't wrong per se, but you picked an unspeakably touchy subject to start preaching about.

Also, as far as smug SAHMs talking about how much they've sacrificed so they can stay home and how "worth it" it all is, I'm going to put in for a medal -- we don't have cable, cell phones, new cars, eating out or spontaneous trips, and I STILL work outside the home because that's what it takes to make ends meet. I pump BM to feed the littlest ones, earn a paycheck for the groceries and garden for the veggies, so if you want to talk about the "sacrifice-for-the-family" olympics, perhaps you're not such a shoo-in for the gold after all? (Honestly, I believe every mother deserves the gold, and it's not a race. But the smugness gets to me sometimes, you know?)
In my op I was talking about telling people IRL that they can do it. I was not meaning here on MDC, but if anyone here on MDC needs encouragement I most certainly will tell them they can do it! I posted this here because I thought others would see the irony in my family not seeing me as disadvantaged, but thinking that one income families just can't make it these days. I posted it here because if anyone understands being economic it's MDCers on the F&F board. It seems that IRL people often just don't get that it's possible to live a good life on one income, but MDCers know differently!
(all of this with the caveat that it's not possible for everyone)
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#81 of 133 Old 06-20-2008, 06:15 PM
 
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my whole family was around the table talking about the economy and how times have changed over the course of our lives. My dad says: "I don't know anyone who can make it with only one spouse working. You just can't do that anymore."
Her dad said the above and the OP said "WE do" and explained how. It's not an insult to your character if you can't.

We moved for me to SAH (from Alaska), but the military moved us, the ils housed us for awhile, dh got lucky (finally), and the CLO is relatively low. It is a mixture of planning and opportunity (GI Bill, VA Loan, military training) that allow us to live on one income. If we lived in my hometown we couldn't do it.

DH has a coworker (who makes more than dh, now much more) that just can't figure out how we do it (one income) no matter how many times dh points out that we worked for years to pay down our debt and avoid accumulating more; our spending habits and money philosophies are very different.

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#82 of 133 Old 06-20-2008, 06:16 PM
 
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Wow! the frugal forum hasnt seen this type of fun in a while!!

I am a sahmom and I am also frugal. I was frugal before a parent so I spend a great deal of time in this forum. Geez, it seems like yesterday when we first put up this forum after our tribe got soo huge! Then I remember the sahm forum went up too.

I knew after I read the first and then second post, this thread was doomed. I would like to stick to frugal lessons here not debate just like the rest of the forums here, no one wins!

Yes, my frugal lifestyle (by choice, for the environment, simple living, etc) has made it easier for us to have me home. But mainly, our saving that we started at a young age has allowed us to have 150K already for our retirement. We were lucky we knew to start this but even luckier because we both had our educations paid for before we were married at age 25 as well as smaller cars that were paid off within months.

Now, a lot of couples starting out have 2 student loans, cars to pay for (even small ones) credit card debt, and larger rents or mortgages than we had 10 plus years ago. And their salaries are not much more than we made back then.

For us, the sacrifice would be not here to be with my two girls full time.

As far as medical- DH's company (he is a partner) pays for our benefits which would be 2K monthly otherwise. When our dd2 was born 16 weeks early, the nicu bill alone was 300K. Nevermind the emergency c section, Drs etc and after care. All paid for by my medical benefits. If we had to pay that, God only knows what we would do.

We live in a neighborhood that houses the best public school in the town. The homes surronding us are 500K- 1.4M. But there is some normal housing which would run about 350-400K. We live here because we bought the house on the block that needed to be renovated which we did. To live in our neighborhood you need to have higher income earners or both people working. IMHO and IME, its worth it for what this neighborhood gives back to us. ITs close to town, everyone is down to earth, and the village manager, county tax accessor, and Chief of Police all live on my block. As well as some news reporters for the local news station. Its safe, clean, and the snow is cleared real fast in winter.
For us, this house costs $300 more a month than what our old house did. We have also put 50K in work to it so far. We DIY so its not bad and we are both very handy. Because of this and I cook scratch, am creative with getting things done, as well as bartering etc- we have been able to make it like we have. We both can fix anything, make use of what we have and still live well.

Not everyone can do what we have done and really not everyone should. House remodeling is for couples who both are 150% on board with what goes into it. Some people are better working to pay for it IMHO! Somedays, I think- I wish I was one of those people LOL! Just as those on the other side think the same.

OK done babbling for now.

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#83 of 133 Old 06-20-2008, 06:16 PM
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And staying at home isn't work?
Of course staying at home is work. But a good chunk of the work that stay-at-home parents do is the exact same work that work-outside-home parents do when they get off work.

I will totally admit to a slightly envious feeling when considering the situation of people who do not shoulder a responsibilty to a third-party employer, and can thus balance the demands of child-care and the rest of the work of keeping a home going with fewer intrusions. I'm sure that some SAH parents experience the same sort of slightly envious feelings thinking about the benefits that derive from employment. I think one can feel envious in this way and at the same time affirm the choices you've made, given the cards you've been dealt.
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#84 of 133 Old 06-20-2008, 06:19 PM
 
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ok... I havent read all of the responses, but I think OP's kind of being treated unfairly here.

This is coming from someone who doesn't belive that staying at home is the automatic best thing to do in every situation.

Texmati-- Knitter, Hindu, vegetarian, WOHM. Wife to superdadsuperhero.gif and mom to DS babyf.gif24 months, and DD boc.gif 8 months! .

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#85 of 133 Old 06-20-2008, 08:52 PM
 
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Also, as far as smug SAHMs talking about how much they've sacrificed so they can stay home and how "worth it" it all is, I'm going to put in for a medal -- we don't have cable, cell phones, new cars, eating out or spontaneous trips, and I STILL work outside the home because that's what it takes to make ends meet. I pump BM to feed the littlest ones, earn a paycheck for the groceries and garden for the veggies, so if you want to talk about the "sacrifice-for-the-family" olympics, perhaps you're not such a shoo-in for the gold after all? (Honestly, I believe every mother deserves the gold, and it's not a race. But the smugness gets to me sometimes, you know?)
People all over this forum talk about how much they've sacrificed and how it's been worth the things it's gotten them. It is the frugality forum, afterall.

Singling out one group as being "smug" seems really, really unfair.

I am proud of the sacrifices I've made to get the lifestyle I have. I would hope that *everyone* out there is. I don't think that equates to smugness.

People here run the gamut from hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt to hundreds of thousands of dollars in net worth. We're all sharing our experiences and tips and supporting and commiserating. I would hate for people who have managed to save lots to be pegged as smug when they advise others here on how to do the same. Or the mamas who have dug themselves out of a huge debt.

I know I sometimes get envious when I see the incomes some folks here post. We are very much a blue collar family and I can only imagine how much that income would ease our lives. But I can't begrudge those families their higher income. They've made different choices than us. And probably made sacrifices I was/am not willing to make. I certainly hope they wouldn't hesitate to post about the pride they felt at being able to pay for their kids' college and how those long hours working double shifts really paid off.

As someone else said, it's the glory of the frugality working for someone! That someone was able to maintain a frugal lifestyle and have that help them meet a personal/family goal. And feel good about it, to boot! I think that's awesome!
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#86 of 133 Old 06-20-2008, 09:17 PM
 
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I really jsut htought her post was about making "frugal look good."
My DH and I brag about that all the time. We make it look good LOL There is no shame in that.
Alot of people assume that if you are frugal that you cant do XYZ and you have to drive a XYZ car ect. Its nice to throw that sterotype on its head
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#87 of 133 Old 06-20-2008, 09:21 PM
 
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I'm stunned at the negative responses here to the OP's post. I guess that's all.

Mom to DD1 (11/1999),  DD2 (07/2003), and DS (11/2012), all born at home and cloth diapered. 

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#88 of 133 Old 06-20-2008, 09:49 PM
 
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I'm stunned at the negative responses here to the OP's post. I guess that's all.
that
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#89 of 133 Old 06-20-2008, 09:59 PM
 
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There are families who have made significant "sacrifices" so one parent can stay at home.

There are families who are able to have one parent stay at home without significant sacrifice.

There are families who choose to have one parent stay at home for emotional/personal reasons.

There are families who have both parents work so that they can enjoy the "luxuries" of life.

There are families who have both parents working purely so that they can make ends meet.

There are families who choose to have both parents working for emotional/personal reasons.

There are families who do/have done a combo of all of the above to adapt to their particular station in life.

My needs are not your needs. My luxuries are not your luxuries. My sacrifices are not your sacrifices. My situation is not your situation. But, at the end of the day, we are probably doing what we feel is best, overall, for our family.
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#90 of 133 Old 06-20-2008, 10:21 PM
 
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Well said Katheek. There's no need to judge other people.
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