Is sahm/d a job or work? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 19 Old 09-10-2009, 12:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Dh and I got into semantics of the this tonight. Is being a sahm/d considered a job or work. He says it is work not a job because you don't get paid for it. What do you think?

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#2 of 19 Old 09-10-2009, 07:28 AM
 
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Splitting hairs, to be sure.

It's definitely work, no doubt about that.

I'd argue it can also be considered a job, since it is a primary responsibility that falls to an individual. If you didn't do it--if you up and took off one morning before dh got up for work--he'd need to find a replacement. To do your job.

see number 3

There is a payoff, even though it's not necessarily cash. The benefits are in-kind and vary from household to household, are based in the money you can save your family, the home environment you achieve for them, etc.
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#3 of 19 Old 09-10-2009, 08:41 AM
 
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So, according to his logic, people who volunteer at an animal shelter, or who build houses for Habitat for Humanity aren't working either?
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#4 of 19 Old 09-10-2009, 09:30 AM
 
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So, according to his logic, people who volunteer at an animal shelter, or who build houses for Habitat for Humanity aren't working either?
I think he'd consider this in the same field as SAHing. It is WORK, but it isn't a for pay JOB. The folks are doing work but it wouldn't be considered their job.

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#5 of 19 Old 09-10-2009, 11:29 AM
 
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I think he'd consider this in the same field as SAHing. It is WORK, but it isn't a for pay JOB. The folks are doing work but it wouldn't be considered their job.
I dunno. This makes sense to me.

Taking care of children, doing laundry, cooking, mowing the lawn, changing the oil of you car.... all of these things are WORK. And if you choose not to do these things yourself, you have to pay someone else to do it. While you might not be paid for doing these things, there is obviously value in the work (and the value is equal to the amount of money saved by doing it yourself).

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#6 of 19 Old 09-10-2009, 11:57 AM
 
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I guess I do think of it as work and not a job. Although if someone says I have it easy, I tell them my job runs 24/7/365 and I'm on call every time someone pukes.
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#7 of 19 Old 09-10-2009, 05:21 PM
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I've often said that SAHMing is my new career.

"Isn't life a series of images that change as they repeat themselves?" - Andy Warhol
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#8 of 19 Old 09-11-2009, 12:54 AM
 
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I don't know if it's a "job" but it's certainly work. If I was someone else's personal assistant, full time live in maid, or nanny NO ONE would dispute that I had a demanding job - if I did all three, everyone would agree that I was Super Woman with a Type A work ethic, but because I provide these services for people who happen to be related to me, somehow it's supposed to be easier?
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#9 of 19 Old 09-11-2009, 12:15 PM
 
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I call it my vocation.

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#10 of 19 Old 09-11-2009, 12:45 PM
 
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Taking care of kids at home is work, that much is for sure. Job can mean a position for which you are paid, but it can also mean simply a necessary task, a duty, or a responsibility. In that sense, being the SAH parent is your job within the family. It's not a job in the sense that a job is paid employment though.

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#11 of 19 Old 09-11-2009, 02:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay I guess he is right

Thanks everyone for your answers. It is definitely work but it is important work and it is not a money paying "job".

I do get paid daily with hugs and kisses from dd

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#12 of 19 Old 09-11-2009, 02:35 PM
 
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If I wereto write down what we save with the garden I grow, the canning, cooking, cleaniing & child care I do I would come up with a hefty sum of $ that does not leave our pockets. You could look at the savings as your salary.

DH tells me all the time he couldn't make enough money to pay my salasry for all I do around the house.
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#13 of 19 Old 09-11-2009, 06:58 PM
 
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Perspective from a WOHM... or J(ob)OHM. My job is where I go a set number of hours for pay. Its not my life. What I do at home is my real life, and that is work. The sum of achievements of great artists, writers etc. is called their life's work, not their life's job.

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#14 of 19 Old 09-11-2009, 07:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Perspective from a WOHM... or J(ob)OHM. My job is where I go a set number of hours for pay. Its not my life. What I do at home is my real life, and that is work. The sum of achievements of great artists, writers etc. is called their life's work, not their life's job.
That is perfect, Thanks!

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#15 of 19 Old 09-11-2009, 08:30 PM
 
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for those of you who've mentioned that it is not a paid duty keep in mind that in some countries stay at home mothers ARE paid monthly to stay home with their children. Not because they meet some poverty level or temporarily left a job to stay home... but, simply because they chose mothering as a profession and that is valued by thier government.

I know, crazy right!?!?

~TRACY, wife to loving dh, mommy to dd (10/05), ds(12/08), 3 kitties, & 2 pups.
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#16 of 19 Old 09-11-2009, 09:42 PM
 
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#17 of 19 Old 09-11-2009, 10:00 PM
 
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I prefer to think of it as a lifestyle
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#18 of 19 Old 09-12-2009, 09:03 AM
 
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I do get paid daily with hugs and kisses from dd
WOHMs get this pay as well
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#19 of 19 Old 09-13-2009, 08:06 AM
 
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I tell my daughter every day that it's my job to keep her safe, get her dressed, whatever.

I've been a SAHM for almost 2 years now and am TRYING to think of it as a job so I'll do better at the home-making end. The parenting part comes naturally to me. I keep a sanitary house, but it is pretty sloppy and I rarely consider meals more than hours ahead of time.

I have always taken my paid jobs very seriously. This is so much more important! The parenting is, of course, primary, and I feel good about how I do with that. However, I do think that homemaking is also very important--to my tot and to all of us. It is stressful when the house is a mess, or we can't find something, or I don't know what we'll eat and everyone is hungry. And I wand my daughter to learn to keep her space neat and think ahead as a habit. So I need to model that!

I think being a full-time parent is "the toughest job you'll ever love" (Peace Corp's motto. But I did that and being a SAHM is even tougher; and I loved Peace Corps but there is NO comparison.)

Our society at large CERTAINLY doesn't respect what we do as a job. My husband and I sometimes discuss the studies that show how much a SAHP's work is "worth", theoretically, in terms of salary. Of course it is priceless. The studies seem so arbitrary since most Americans do not pay for the services performed by SAHPs--it is a luxury to do so.

It falls into the economy of the household, which involves transactions and outcomes far more important, and far less measurable, than money. This sort of economy involves similar values that have been ignored by our government and by our economic system: quality of life, peace, kindness to the earth and future generations, beauty. If only the government and the economic system valued things for more than just their $ value...WalMart would not exist, we'd have open space, everyone would be well fed and have an education and quality of life, we could eat fish, dammit, without doing hours of research...

OK I'm done with my soapbox for now. Kudos to all you mamas, papas, and caregivers doing such a crucial JOB. Let's keep supporting each other, along with our kids.

Have a great day everyone.
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