"Well you can afford to SAH"-how to respond? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums
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#31 of 51 Old 05-13-2005, 10:48 PM
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Originally Posted by shayinme
I think that's true for many people, they are busy amassing things that in some cases they can't afford.
Not necessarily so. You can't assume that it why anyone is debt or struggling is where they are because of that. We went bankrupt and it had nothing to do with amassing anything excessive at all.......we joke that for all we endured we should have at least a new car...but we don't. We struggle daily and are working our way back to life so to speak, rebuilding, and we never spent on frivolous items...for the most part I got caught up terrified of missing bill payments so paid with cc and one thing led to another doing it that way and whammo : .

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#32 of 51 Old 05-13-2005, 10:59 PM
 
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I say that while I'm blessed to be able to stay at home, we've both made a lot of sacrifices to make it happen. It took a lot of planning, saving, working, in order for me to be a full-time mom.

I get those comments a lot - I think it's because they feel guilty for not staying home. To each his own - you have to do what's best for your family but I struggle to see how someone else raising your child is best unless you must work in order to put food on the table or provide healthcare for your family.
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#33 of 51 Old 05-13-2005, 11:11 PM
 
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Originally Posted by CountryMom2e
To each his own - you have to do what's best for your family but I struggle to see how someone else raising your child is best unless you must work in order to put food on the table or provide healthcare for your family.

I appreciate that you specifically mentioned that you "struggle with" recognizing the many legitimate and healthy reasons a woman (or a man, but I suspect you meant woman) would work for pay, but please (I'm begging you) try and stay away from the "someone else raising your child" canard. Just today we've had a thread locked over discussions relating to just this kind of statement.
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#34 of 51 Old 05-13-2005, 11:22 PM
 
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Sorry if I implied that people only get into debt because of excessive spending, that was a bit thoughtless of me. Especially since I have my own staggering student loan debt pushing almost 100K and is a huge factor in me knowing that unless I am able to generate enough work at home, I will never be a permanent SAHM.

Mothra, you also brought up a good point about helping out family. Last year when my Mom was sick and dying, I helped my folks out because my Dad was not working since he was taking care of my Mom. That took a lot out of our finances and then just thinking back to when my Mom passed, I had to get my family back home (1100 miles away) as well as get my brother back home from college.

Probably a better statement would have been that while there are people that rack up debt on "things" there are just as many who who are in debt due to factors such as student loans, medical bills, etc. Of course now thanks to the changes in BK laws it will be even harder for such families to ever get a fresh start. Which of course means that there will be families who there truly is no option but for both parents to work. Of course certain debts are non-dischargable but that's a whole other issue.

Ultimately I think it goes back to some families have the ability to make this choice (no major debt, can cut basic living costs to adjust to 1 income) where as other families may not have such a easy choice. Even with what others perceive as higher income, no one really knows what bills a couple may have. Yeah somebody might have a new car, but if someone has to drive 200 miles a day, then a new car may be more reliable than a used one.

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#35 of 51 Old 05-13-2005, 11:39 PM
 
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I have answered a few different ways depending on the company and my mood ( )

A few times I mention we made a commitment to affording it many years before we even had dd. We got all our affairs in order and made a point of keeping them in order. End of discussion

I have also answered by cutting out the non essentials. I told one person we have a low mortgage, no car payment, no debt. I also told them I do my own nails, cleaning, lawncare, cooking from scratch, roast and make my own coffee and lattes (dh makes the best!) which save a good $30 a week in trips to coffee shops. I also frequesnt the clearance racks and try to maintain a mostly frugal lifestyle. Our 8 yr old tv works just fine with a basic service for satlite and the vcr (gift) and dvd (another gift) We also do not travel as much as before. Eating out is limited too. I usually end with don't knock till you try it!

It gets the point across when I say- but you know I don't seem to miss all those things so thats how I afford it!

I try to stay easy humored about it. They maybe trying to do the same thing and want to know how to swing it. But, I find myself "negative selling" sahming to non sah's if they cannot fathom doing all that I mentioned.

I refuse to assist closing down yet another discussion so I mean it when I say try to be easy going about it. Don't bring up having someone else raising your child since you will not make a lot of friend KWIM? Just like you hate when people ask you silly questions about your bon bon eating all day, we do not want to make the wohm feel that way either.

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#36 of 51 Old 05-14-2005, 02:47 AM
 
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We can afford for me to be home...so even though the statement is true for us, I think it is true for tons more mamas. ITA about priorities. My SIL really wants to stay home, she really does but keeps saying she just can't afford it. I know that is so not true, but she really believes it. She did run the numbers, etc and she still can't find a way. We talk openly about everything and I never push my beliefs on her unless she asks. She finally said one day while venting about it, "what would you do?" I said, "don't ask me that". :LOL So I told her... I would do anything to SAH with my kids...Anything. I would sell my house, my cars, my belongings...I would watch other children in my one bedroom apt. and go without anything that would prevent me from being with my children. I think that mamas that really do want to stay home just don't see the forest for the trees sometimes. Now, it's the mamas who really can't stay home with their kids that breaks my heart. I feel so lucky.

ETA: Just for the record, I wouldn't let anyone get away with telling me that, "I can afford it..."

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#37 of 51 Old 05-14-2005, 03:00 AM
 
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If someone says to me "I really want to be able to stay home and I wish we could afford it" then I will advise her that maybe she can and to take another look at their finances and see if there are things they can cut and look at financial advantages to her staying home (tax breaks, home lunches, etc, etc). There are some links (don't have them on me though sorry, do a search on SAHM) that will point out the financial advantages of staying home. If she is making an average salary then a lot of times, once child care is factored in, it turns out they may be better off money wise if she stays home. But normally I just take what she is saying at face value and assume her family is making whatever decision is right for them, like we have for ours.

Yes it's been a HUGE financial sarcrifice for me to stay home (I was making twice what DH does) but that was OUR choice and I don't need anyone else to give me recognition for that all the time, I know we are doing this for the right reasons for OUR family and that's all that really matters.

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#38 of 51 Old 05-14-2005, 09:41 AM
 
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Personally, I can understand why some women will not do "anything" to SAH. I do SAH, but I would work (well, I do work pt while dd is with dh, but I would work a whole lot more) if it meant the difference between eating organic and eating non-organic, or money for healthcare vs. no money for healthcare, or having collections officers calling us vs. having all the bills covered and a bit of savings. Those are *my* priorities. I simply would be an anxious wreck--and certainly not a good mother--if I did not have those basic needs met.

I feel very lucky that dh makes enough for us to meet those needs, with me working a little bit at a very pt job that feeds my soul. But, I should add, we've never gotten by on one income alone....I've always worked a bit of pt, and dh has always had some additional pt work (we both teach in the Adult Ed program on alternate evenings--he is a daytime teacher as well).
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#39 of 51 Old 05-14-2005, 10:28 AM
 
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If the OP's friend is a 1st time mom (I think I read that?) it is a little different than in other situations like this. Sometimes I just say, truthfully, that I thought I could consider working when my baby was born, but I didn't expect how strongly attached we'd be.

This leaves it open for the friend to either
1- say later "oh yea, you were right - i've changed my mind"
or 2 - say later "geez, you're right - this is harder than I thought but I'm still doing it"

and still save face, kwim?
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#40 of 51 Old 05-14-2005, 10:35 AM
 
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I also point out that as a working mom you have the expenses of child care, work clothes, gas to get to work, lunches out, and if I were working I would have to have a cleaning service because I would want to spend my time at home with my child not cleaning.

With these thoughts in mind, I might say "I can't afford to go to work."

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#41 of 51 Old 05-14-2005, 10:41 AM
 
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This is such a heated topic. I am a SAHM, and sometimes feel like I am looked down on for it, but heard the same thing from friends who work!! For a long time, I was to say I was a SAHM myself. I would always preface it with before I had ds, I used to.... Isn't funny what we do to each other and ourselves. To me feminism is all about choices. I chose ot stay home, and made lots of sacrifices to do it. But I have to say, when I found myself pregnant with ds1 I was surprised. Got married to my dh, and we started with almost nothing. So each step has been a step up for us. I think doing it the other way is a lot harder. Going from being well off financiallly to giving things up is rough. My sister had fertility problems, and by the time she got pregnant, her husband and she already owned a house, so they would have had to give up the house for her to stay home. Luckily, she and he dh's schedule differ so their daughter only spend 2 hrs a week in daycare. It is such a tough job, and sometimes I have friends who I think everyone would be better off if they worked, because they are so miserable being home!

 
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#42 of 51 Old 05-14-2005, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by chalupamom
I appreciate that you specifically mentioned that you "struggle with" recognizing the many legitimate and healthy reasons a woman (or a man, but I suspect you meant woman) would work for pay, but please (I'm begging you) try and stay away from the "someone else raising your child" canard. Just today we've had a thread locked over discussions relating to just this kind of statement.

I think many simply have this opinion, including myself, that when someone else spends the better part of their day (read: 8-12 hours) with your child tending to them, feeding them, disciplining them etc they basically are raising them for that period of time daily, weekly etc. Many of us say that and to me I don't think it is offensive , but a feeling of truth. Why do you feel the need to beg the poster to not say what she feels? Most sah families feel that way....at least from what I have read and seen.........not to say it is right or wrong, none of us is perfect, but that is how it is viewed when someone else watches (maybe use that word?) your child all day instead of yourself. You are in essence, handing over the parental reigns to that person to take your place for that period of time.

I think the worries of offending others who are not in the same place (sah) is just constantly runing good valid threads. :
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#43 of 51 Old 05-14-2005, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by HelloKitty
If someone says to me "I really want to be able to stay home and I wish we could afford it" then I will advise her that maybe she can and to take another look at their finances and see if there are things they can cut and look at financial advantages to her staying home (tax breaks, home lunches, etc, etc). There are some links (don't have them on me though sorry, do a search on SAHM) that will point out the financial advantages of staying home. If she is making an average salary then a lot of times, once child care is factored in, it turns out they may be better off money wise if she stays home. But normally I just take what she is saying at face value and assume her family is making whatever decision is right for them, like we have for ours.

Yes it's been a HUGE financial sarcrifice for me to stay home (I was making twice what DH does) but that was OUR choice and I don't need anyone else to give me recognition for that all the time, I know we are doing this for the right reasons for OUR family and that's all that really matters.

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#44 of 51 Old 05-14-2005, 11:45 AM
 
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Someone mentioned benefits to staying home. What I have learned in the past 3 years are things I would have never thought of:

Taxes. Our income taxes we pay are enough to keep a parent home. They went down considerably. We were blown away that first year when we got a several thousand dollar refund back.

Health. We spend very little time in the Drs office compared to the children who are in a daycare setting. My Dr has said that many times. Also if DD is in fact ill and needs the Dr, we can just go not worrying about missing work etc.
But its been a while since we have. Also we are usually very healthy as well with our slower pace on life.

Cost of working. Commute, take out, food on the go, clothing, cell phone. It all adds up and I do not think I could afford to work.

Dedicated to Career. Me being home allows DH to advance his career more since he does not have to worry about picking up dd from daycare or go home for his childcare shift like some coworkers and other people we know. Also he has times where he is gone thru the weekend. If I was working that might not be possible.

Daycare. The cost could be as high as a mortgage payment for some families. If it doesn't cost a lot, its usually not the best (at least where I live) qualitity.

So there are many reasons but I discovered these after being home.

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#45 of 51 Old 05-14-2005, 12:07 PM
 
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Originally Posted by my2girlsmama
I think the worries of offending others who are not in the same place (sah) is just constantly runing good valid threads. :

You're right and it's a shame. And I don't see any solution. From what I can tell about half the regular posters on this forum are of the "I don't want someone else raising my kids/anyone can stay home if she wants to bad enough" variety and the other half are of the "those two statements are offensive" variety. So we're probably looking at an entire forum of round and round and round because, really, I don't see much else here that couldn't be generally applied to any of the parents at large here at MDC.

More and more to me this feels like a forum based on victimization. How long could it last when one of the few SAHM-specific issues we discuss (ad nauseum) is whether enough moms/moms in general/moms we know/moms in the media/et. al. are making the "right" decisions vis-a-vis their personal, financial, economic, professional and family lives and the consistent effort to define SAHMs relative to those women?
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#46 of 51 Old 05-14-2005, 12:40 PM
 
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We are low income and I am a SAHM. We don't have credit cards. We live within our budget. I don't really feel I am lucky to afford to be a SAHM. It isn't luck. It is choice, planning and priorities.
I wouldn't put someone down for WOH but if they really want to be a SAHM and aren't just saying it there are ways to do it even at low income levels. It isn't always easy and they'd probably have to change their lifestyle but it can be done.

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#47 of 51 Old 05-14-2005, 01:15 PM
 
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Originally Posted by my2girlsmama
I think many simply have this opinion, including myself, that when someone else spends the better part of their day (read: 8-12 hours) with your child tending to them, feeding them, disciplining them etc they basically are raising them for that period of time daily, weekly etc. Many of us say that and to me I don't think it is offensive , but a feeling of truth. Why do you feel the need to beg the poster to not say what she feels? Most sah families feel that way....at least from what I have read and seen.........not to say it is right or wrong, none of us is perfect, but that is how it is viewed when someone else watches (maybe use that word?) your child all day instead of yourself. You are in essence, handing over the parental reigns to that person to take your place for that period of time.:
The thing that always bothers me about this statement is how offensive it is, not only to wohm mothers but to the partners - fathers for the most part - of sahms. Like my dh. Is he less of a father to them because he is not home with them all day? Does he feel like he has "handed over the parental reins" to me? Not really. Sure, I'm the one on the spot, but it's not like his presence isn't felt, even while absent. When I leave my kids with my parents or pay a babysitter, I don't feel like that person is "raising" my child for the portion of time that I am gone. That is my job and my dh's.

Mothers whose kids are being cared for by someone else in the daytime get the snippy comments (not by all here, I know) while fathers are off the hook. Not everyone can or wants to stay home. Let's cut each other some slack already, and focus all that store of indignation on the issues that really matter. Like affordable health care, education, and getting that idiot out of the White House
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#48 of 51 Old 05-14-2005, 01:25 PM
 
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What Zinemama said. Especially the part about mamas who work are raising their children, just like fathers who work are raising their children. And the part about focussing our energy on creating some change for a safer, more peaceful world, instead of engaging in the ooooooooold game of beating up other mamas.
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#49 of 51 Old 05-14-2005, 02:33 PM
 
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I think all the original poster was trying to say, was that we all make our own choices - these are all personal, but by choosing to SAHM we often have to choose not to go out to eat, not to go on vacation (except camping), drive two very old cars, live in a very small apartment, etc.....

Everyone has different levels of needs, wants and desires and I agree we need to respect one another - but I do understand where the original poster was coming from when others comment that they HAVE to work, and in realty they probably don't. But they probably DO in order to maintain their lifestyle.

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#50 of 51 Old 05-14-2005, 02:43 PM
 
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I see two things:

Yes this culture is really materialistic and we have unrealistic ideas of what our basic needs are. And our priorities are screwed up, and this is reflected in our choices.

Some people actually DO NEED to work. And some people choose to work. And some women get such a trip about working (like the idea that we are letting someone else raise our kids) that we may say we need to work when really we choose to work.

I am a SAHM, thanks to Canada's welfare system. I know some people who say they have to work, but this is because they have a lifestyle they couldn't maintain on the dole. And I know some women who have to work, because they can't get welfare or because they would have to move their family out of the city to exist on the dole.

I think we need to advocate for social programs that assist mamas to be at home with their young'uns, and programs that assist mamas to work and know their children are getting quality care without breaking the bank.
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#51 of 51 Old 05-14-2005, 04:03 PM
 
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This forum is on a probationary basis and if it devolves into wohm bashing with comments like, "someone else raising your child," it will be shut down. Plain and simple. You can discuss the OP, but if you make sweeping offensive judgements, you will be asked to edit, given an alert, and not only potentially lose your own posting priviledges, but also potentially lead to us losing the SAHM forum. Comments like that were one of the primary concerns that led to this forum being postponed for so long.

So basically, what I am saying is, you do not have the right to say anything you wish or feel here. This is NOT a "safe place" for SAHMs to say whatever they want. Follow the UA. If you are unclear what it is, please reread it.
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