"Well you can afford to SAH"-how to respond? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 51 Old 05-12-2005, 03:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This totally drives me insane when talking about parenting. DH does have a good job but he also supports 2 children from a previous marriage plus our home and DD. People assume that we are so well off because of his job when it is so not true. We made a choice to do this. I know I shouldn't care what other people think but...
One issue I am having a hard time with now is my best friend who just had a baby. She says she can't SAH because they need the money. How can I explain in a nice way that this is not true. She even says that her salary is for extras and so they can have nice things. Is there a good article or something I can send to her? I don't want to come across mean or anything. Please help! I feel so strongly about things but have a hard time articulating to people that don't get it. Thanks.
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#2 of 51 Old 05-13-2005, 01:26 PM
 
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I don't have a great link. For me the information that is compelling to stay home is the AP stuff about how important a good bond is for baby during the first year of life. And how a baby really needs her mom. If your friend plans to breastfeed, you can point out how that's easier when you SAH. To me, making the choice to SAH is about putting my child ahead of our financial situation.
I do a have a few friends I have advocated SAH with, and I do point out things we're doing to save money while I stay home. I point out how there are lots of things we don't need, like eating out often since I have time to cook. 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. By the time you add up all these expenses, it cheaper to stay home and know my child is being cared for by someone who loves her more than anything. I hope this helps some, I've read a book called "Yes you can afford to stay home with your kids" at least I think that's it, and it had in it the breakdown of all the costs of working, you might be able to find a link for something like that. Good luck.

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#3 of 51 Old 05-13-2005, 02:41 PM
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Well, I don't have any brilliant links to articles etc but I do have friends who feel like yours.

I simply say for our family this is what works best. I say I didn't plan for a career so that I could stay home and do the career thing when the kids were grown. Then Dh and I would likely switch roles...him at home with at home business and me out at work.

I say we too cannot truly afford *extras* but with some frugality we *can* afford to survive as anyone could. I note that we don't make alot, but to us our children's well being in having one of us home is what we take stock in, and that they are young such a short time a career can always be picked up later or continued. They won't ever be young again, nor will I get the chance to see things that I miss if I work.

I find personally the people in my life make excuses when they say they cannot afford to stay home. I honestly wish my own circle of friends who do quite well even if they only had one income, would just be honest with me and state that they don't like the idea of being home all day with the kids. That I can respect more than making excuses for not doing so.
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#4 of 51 Old 05-13-2005, 02:49 PM
 
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If someone said that to me I would say:

:LOL :LOL :LOL :LOL :LOL :LOL :LOL :LOL :LOL : : : : : :



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#5 of 51 Old 05-13-2005, 02:53 PM
 
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I know this isn't what you were expecting, but I DO wish we could afford for me to be a SAHM, but we can't. We can however afford for DH to be a SAHD. Unfortunately, he has not been happy in that role. We are trying to find ways to reverse our roles hoping we will be happier (and hoping that we can have another baby too!). Even trimming our budget to bare minumun, there is just no way.

If I had know dh wasn't going to be happy at home, I would have never continued my education to get my masters degree (cost us a fortune!)

ETA - We also didn't plan on children for a couple more years either. So we were totally not prepared yet financially.
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#6 of 51 Old 05-13-2005, 02:56 PM
 
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Originally Posted by my2girlsmama
I find personally the people in my life make excuses when they say they cannot afford to stay home. I honestly wish my own circle of friends who do quite well even if they only had one income, would just be honest with me and state that they don't like the idea of being home all day with the kids. That I can respect more than making excuses for not doing so.
:

I was just talking to a neighbor who has a 14 or 15-month old a few weeks ago. She asked me when i was going back to work, and I said I had no plans to. She told me "That's great. I had to go back; there's no way we'd be able to get this family room addition done if I stayed home."

Not for anything, if a family room comes 1st, you obviously don't want to stay home with your kid anyway!
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#7 of 51 Old 05-13-2005, 02:56 PM
 
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I hear this alot also. We live on my dp's income which is not impressive by any means. (He is a natural builder on the east coast) We decided to have me stay home before we had kids. In fact he put me in a situation where I could stay home with the children I had before I met him. We do not have much in the material realm and we rarely do anything that is not free. If we would get into a situation where finances we so tight bills were not getting paid DP would do whatever it took to remedy the sitaution. If this still did not help I would work in the evening while he worked during the day so a parent was always home. In fact dd is now 19 months and I took a part time every other weekend job to help pay for my son to go to a Circle school next year and dp is already asking if I really need to work. Everyone in the relationship has to be truly dedicated to having a sahp to make it work when finances are tight.

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#8 of 51 Old 05-13-2005, 03:12 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yogabug
She says she can't SAH because they need the money. How can I explain in a nice way that this is not true. She even says that her salary is for extras and so they can have nice things.
Does she want to change her mind? I am wondering why you are trying to change her mind? It sounds like she has different priorities than you--that her family will work a bit differently than yours. Why not support her in finding the very best childcare arrangement, or alternative work arrangements that allow her and dh to have the things they want *and* the time with dc?
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#9 of 51 Old 05-13-2005, 03:22 PM
 
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A powerful explanation for me is how little time I would have with my child if I worked, from work, plus all of the household maintence that needs to be done, which would prevent me from spending fun time with DC.

I often point out that after working 45 hrs a week, plus commuting, I then would have to spend my evenings shopping, doing other errands, laundry, cooking cleaning.

I wouldn't have time for fun extras let alone time to sit down and read books for a hour and then play and have DC "help" me do my house stuff in a relaxed manner.

I think when people are considering working they don't necessarily consider all of those extras that would eat up your evening and weekend time with family.

Of course this doesn't address the financial aspect, but it does bring in some ideas that might not be thought about.

Children deserve the respect of puzzling it out.
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#10 of 51 Old 05-13-2005, 03:32 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunnmama
Does she want to change her mind? I am wondering why you are trying to change her mind? It sounds like she has different priorities than you--that her family will work a bit differently than yours. Why not support her in finding the very best childcare arrangement, or alternative work arrangements that allow her and dh to have the things they want *and* the time with dc?
:

The SAH life isn't for everyone. It might be best to let it go if you want to maintain this friendship. Sounds like she just doesn't want to stay home.
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#11 of 51 Old 05-13-2005, 03:41 PM
 
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I was also wondering if she truly wants to stay home. Usually I just keep my nose out unless asked for advice. I have a friend who just had a baby. About two weeks before the baby was born she got rid of her perfectly good, payed off 5 year old SUV because it has two doors instead of four. She got another car which came with three hundred dollar a month car payment. Plus her husband has a brand spanking new truck. She was telling me all this over the phone. Two minutes later she's telling me how lucky I am that I can stay home. They can't afford it. I'm just sitting there rolling my eyes thinking about how I wish my husband and I weren't sharing a ten year old Ford Contour but whatever.
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#12 of 51 Old 05-13-2005, 03:57 PM
 
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Honestly? I usually don't bother much. Unless someone seems ot be expressing real regret about not having what they want, in which case I would try to help them see ways around their worries about what it takes to have it. But I think a lot of people may say things like this to avoid a conversation they just don't want ot have. Not becaus ehtey feel guilty or defensive, but just don't want to discuss it! I say htings like 'we even ran the numbers and it turned out we'd lose money if I go back to work'. Stuff like that that shuts people up. There's a lot more to my staying home than tthat, but even around people who are super supportive or whatever sometimes I just want to talk about something different! lol.
Anyway unless it seems like she's looking for your help to find ways to stay home, I'd jsut let it go.
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#13 of 51 Old 05-13-2005, 04:16 PM
 
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Originally Posted by SarahNH
I say htings like 'we even ran the numbers and it turned out we'd lose money if I go back to work'.

<snip>

Anyway unless it seems like she's looking for your help to find ways to stay home, I'd jsut let it go.
I agree with the above. A lot of people aren't big on critical thinking and it's possible that your friend has simply "heard" that a family needs two incomes these days - something that's true for many, but not for others - so perhaps she hasn't "run the numbers" to find out really if it's true for her. Saying something like the above could open the discussion for you to find out if she'd like some help figuring it out or if she's just making conversation.

Other than that, I'd also just let it go. Sometimes people feel the need to talk about ways they're the same as or different from the people they're talking to as a way of filling a perceived conversational void - could be the case here.
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#14 of 51 Old 05-13-2005, 05:23 PM
 
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If she's really a friend, I would point out all the little "extras" in her life and ask her if giving them up would be a hardship. I work with new moms and you all would be surprised at folks who think life cannot be lived without cable, without Starbuck's latte, without new Dvd's every month. But controlling spending is the ticket to living on one income. Some folks just don't want to face this fact.
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#15 of 51 Old 05-13-2005, 05:29 PM
 
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When someone says that to me I say it's all about sacrifice and priorities.

We're not actually on food stamps because I don't work but we do live paycheck to paycheck. We've given up a lot for me to stay home. I don't want to sacrifice my children.
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#16 of 51 Old 05-13-2005, 05:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you everyone for all of your great replies. I usually do leave these things alone because I don't want to get in an arguement. It just bothers me when people say how lucky I am and that there is no way they could do it. Luck has nothing to do with it. Although I do feel blessed to stay home. I just wish she wouldn't rule out the possibility. If it comes up again I may suggest the running the numbers and then just drop it. Thanks again. I also agree that if people just don't want to stay home they should be honest about it and not make excuses. Thank you again.
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#17 of 51 Old 05-13-2005, 06:03 PM
 
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I am a sahm, and let me tell you my dh does NOT bring home very much money. right now we currently live right above the poverty level, we have 2 young children, and we are caring for dh's sister. we are paying on our mortgage and a car, we have just learned how to be frugal . we never buy anything brand new, unless it comes from a yard sale or ebay.

Kristin- Wife to J, Mommy to B (11), M-S (8), and little J (4) and J&J (7 months)
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#18 of 51 Old 05-13-2005, 06:45 PM
 
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When someone says something like that to me, I just smile and say "yes, we're really lucky." then when they aren't looking I roll my eyes. :LOL

I have friends who do this, and they have been to my house, they see that my home is worth maybe HALF of theirs. I drive a Saturn, DP doesn't have his own car, he drives his work van. These friends drive BMW's and mercedes. They take nice vacations, they pay a professional to both landscape and hardscape their back yard and patio area at a cost of more than DP makes in a whole year. They have expensive gym memeberships, plasma screen TV's and don't even get me started on what they pay for thier clothes and the clothes of their kids.

In short it is not worth it to point out the differences to anyone. They don't get it. If they did they wouldn't say things like, "you're so lucky you can afford it to stay home."

Sometimes I think they say crap like that because they are trying to convince themselves it's true. The last thing someone like that wants to hear is how they could make it work too. Then they might have to llok at themselves as a person who values things more than family. This doesn't mean it's true. Some women just really don't want to stay home with their kids, and that's fine. But maybe they feel guilty about it, and so they say they can't afford it instead of admitting the reality.

The friends I have that do get it are usually the ones that don't have kids ironically. They seem to see it more clearly what I am trading off for what is more important to DP and I, staying home with my son.
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#19 of 51 Old 05-13-2005, 06:58 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kleine Hexe
When someone says that to me I say it's all about sacrifice and priorities.
:

I can obviously afford to stay home because we aren't starving, but so can most (w/o starving I mean), but not everyone is willing like I am willing to live (I haven't had to make too many sacrifices but I would).

I also think this is an excuse. I say I can't afford to do MDO when my friends suggest it. What I mean is, I have better things to do with my money and just because I would like a break doesn't mean I want to stick my kids in "school" 2-3 days a week like they do. I wish my kids could spend a few hours with grandma each week so I could get some things done in peace.

So maybe what they mean is "I would miss my me time at work or being stimulated intellectually" or "I am unwilling to live without the things I enjoy now to stay at home" or even "it would cause me too many marital problems because dh won't agree to decrease our standard of living". I think they don't necessarily want to give you a dissertation on why they don't stay at home, and "can't afford it" is an easy out excuse.

I think unless you and your children would be homeless and starve without your job, you can technically afford it, but it isn't that simple. A lot of people want a better life than just having a roof and food, and that isn't necessarily wrong. I just think it is sad when a mom who wants to sah can't for whatever reason. I have a friend whose dh is adamant that she should work. She doesn't want to, but she does. Her compromise is that she does nothing after work except spend time with the baby. He has to do all the cleaning and cooking.

My dh wishes I would work, but I am unwilling to do so to support his lifestyle. I told him as long as we have satallite and a motorcycle, I am not working (away from the kids). I do bring in some income though through wah and woh with the kids. I don't always enjoy it, but it lessens his burden.

I would respond exactly how Kleine Hexe suggested. It is all about priorities.
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#20 of 51 Old 05-13-2005, 07:00 PM
 
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This is something I have kind of a hard time with.

We CAN afford for me to stay home, and we ARE lucky that I don't have to work. When I do work, I work from home and I pick and choose what projects I work on and how many hours I'm willing to work. Obviously if you are staying home with your kids and you aren't homeless or starving, you can afford it.

For a woman to say that she doesn't WANT to stay home with her kids, she's comitting social suicide. I've never seen women be more ugly to each other than over this issue. I know plenty of women who say that they have to work for financial reasons, but I know they work because they want to. I don't blame them for lying, either.

If you've asked her flat out if she's crunched the numbers and looked at how much she would actually make, I'd leave it alone. I honestly don't see what's wrong with saying, "Yes, we are lucky that I can stay home," when someone comments on it. My cousin works 40 hours a week for $100 a week after daycare and taxes and they need every penny of it. She would love to stay home with her kids and she can't. No matter what sacrifices we make, and there are plenty, I'm still lucky that I have this option.
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#21 of 51 Old 05-13-2005, 07:18 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Mothra
For a woman to say that she doesn't WANT to stay home with her kids, she's comitting social suicide. I've never seen women be more ugly to each other than over this issue.

You know, I hadn't thought of this. I think you're right - wanting desparately to stay home is something of a party line, isn't it?

There's another angle, too. For a long time we had debt related to both crazy foolishness in our youth, student loans and medical issues. Other than the crazy foolishness, I regard this to be a private matter. If I say I can't afford to do something when all appearances indicate that I can I wouldn't expect a lot of questioning as to where exactly all my money goes. Now that we're out of debt, there's still a lot we can't afford to do that we'd like to do - some of it we're working toward and even so I'll occasionally wistfully sigh, "I wish we could afford to..." Meanwhile, we probably do have some expenses (netflix, for example) that others scratch their head at but if someone were to suggest that having them meant I didn't deserve my other goals or wasn't somehow serious about pursuing them I'd laugh.

Obviously I don't know the case the OP wrote about, but this angle is worth considering in my opinion.
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#22 of 51 Old 05-13-2005, 07:35 PM
 
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Right before I had my second child I was working at home almost full-time and my son was in daycare part-time. He was almost four. I was totally okay with it for a while. He loved going to "school" and cried on the few days when he was sick and couldn't go. I enjoyed working, and I enjoyed my freedom to go to the bank or the grocery store or even the mall if I felt like it without worrying about naptimes or sippy cups or what kind of mood my kid was in. There came a point, though, when I started feeling like I wanted him at home with me full-time. In hindsight, I realized that wanting him home wasn't so much the issue as wanting to work less. I felt as though I had to justify working less financially and daycare was the first thing to go. (I ended up putting him back in a few half days a week because he missed it so much.)

I spoke with my family and close friends about some of the things we cut back on so that I didn't have to work as much. Things like digital cable, netflix, fewer meals out, more bulk purchases at the grocery store, less weekends away. These are things we can afford now even without me working, but at the time we couldn't swing all of it. There were certain things that we would not have given up, however-- our second car, the area of town we lived in, certain trips we enjoyed taking, and our relatively expensive dedication to organic and whole foods. My point is that I got flack on both sides-- people who thought I should have been willing to give up more and people who thought I was giving up too much. I know that I don't want anyone judging my priorities so I try not to judge anyone else's. I also know that their are subtleties in how my family priotizes the things that are most important to us that are difficult to communicate. For example, we love being outdoors and doing stuff. There are weekends that we spend less time than other families might on my son's schoolwork because it is important to us to take our kids places and do things as a family. How we prioritize our time is just as personal.

Also, when we really couldn't afford for me not to be working at all we were having financial troubles that I didn't really want to share with other people. I'm sure eyebrows were raised when I was working because we couldn't afford for me not to, yet our friends who made exactly what we did were just fine with only one income. No matter what someone says about their finances, I never, ever assume I know everything because I know that hardly anyone knows the details of ours.
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#23 of 51 Old 05-13-2005, 08:05 PM
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We CAN afford for me to stay home, and we ARE lucky that I don't have to work. When I do work, I work from home and I pick and choose what projects I work on and how many hours I'm willing to work. Obviously if you are staying home with your kids and you aren't homeless or starving, you can afford it.
For us this is a slippery slope. Yes we are not starving BUT that is more with being frugal and asking relatives for help every now and then with food etc. So that I can stay home. But I agree with this overall.

Quote:
For a woman to say that she doesn't WANT to stay home with her kids, she's comitting social suicide. I've never seen women be more ugly to each other than over this issue. I know plenty of women who say that they have to work for financial reasons, but I know they work because they want to. I don't blame them for lying, either.
Actually I know some moms at my dd's school who admit to it and I tell them I understand. I'd rather, as I said above in another post, that I'd rather a mom I knew state that then lie and make up excuses. But I do agree society sucks with regards to mothering/parenting on both fronts..sah and woh.

Quote:
(snipped)I honestly don't see what's wrong with saying, "Yes, we are lucky that I can stay home," when someone comments on it. My cousin works 40 hours a week for $100 a week after daycare and taxes and they need every penny of it. She would love to stay home with her kids and she can't. No matter what sacrifices we make, and there are plenty, I'm still lucky that I have this option
This gets me....and this is usually what I end up telling anyone who asks why I stay home. If I went back to the career/job I did, I'd be paying day care at least half or more of my pay..leaving not even enough for food? So why invest that time away from my precious children for an extra $100 or so? I will never understand that. I do see how they figure in needing it I guess...when used to it you just figure you need it, but when you do manage to sacrifice you see that you can survive...at least in my opinion.
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#24 of 51 Old 05-13-2005, 08:08 PM
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Originally Posted by chalupamom
There's another angle, too. For a long time we had debt related to both crazy foolishness in our youth, student loans and medical issues. Other than the crazy foolishness, I regard this to be a private matter. If I say I can't afford to do something when all appearances indicate that I can I wouldn't expect a lot of questioning as to where exactly all my money goes. Now that we're out of debt, there's still a lot we can't afford to do that we'd like to do - some of it we're working toward and even so I'll occasionally wistfully sigh, "I wish we could afford to..." Meanwhile, we probably do have some expenses (netflix, for example) that others scratch their head at but if someone were to suggest that having them meant I didn't deserve my other goals or wasn't somehow serious about pursuing them I'd laugh.

.

That is a REALLY good point, and one we live with too, making our way back from near financial ruin. I totally understand this one on so many levels. Live it too.

Thanks for noting that. Makes one realize there are so many sides to this topic.
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#25 of 51 Old 05-13-2005, 09:02 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Mothra
No matter what someone says about their finances, I never, ever assume I know everything because I know that hardly anyone knows the details of ours.
This is SOOO true! I was VERY confused about why a close friend of mine went back to work when her 2nd DS was 7 mo. I know she being at home with them. Later I found out they had been 1 day away from the bank forclosing on their home! Her DH's job is all commission & they were in a bad situation financially. I never would have guessed this in a million years. It got so bad they were on Medicaid, WIC, & food stamps. (My dd gets WIC & Medicaid herself, so no flames please, just saying this was a BIG deal for my friend who feels very strongly about accepting public assistance of any sort).

That said, it still does bother me when people say, "You're so LUCKY you can stay home..." because as far as I can see luck is only a small part of it. We've been planning for me to stay home ever since we were married, so we've made lifestyle choices accordingly. We don't take big vacations, we live in a nice, but smaller affordable home, we don't use a babysitter (besides our Moms & the above mentioned friend who are free), cloth diaper, cook from scratch, all the usual things.

I also think that there is a HUGE societal pressure to work. Coming here to MDC all the time, where most people are very comfortable questioning the societal norms, it's easy to loose sight of how mainstream most people are. My cousin's girlfriend works as a cafeteria lady full-time for minimum wage. After paying for her dd's daycare she literally makes $10 a week. She spends more than that on gas, taxes, etc so she's bascially paying to work. I tried mentioning this to her in a nice way, but she just doesn't get it. She's one of those happily ignorant folks & just thinks I'm a wack job. Working = more money period in her book.

Holly
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#26 of 51 Old 05-13-2005, 09:10 PM
 
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when i left my job i was making 48K/year and dh was making $25k/year.
It would've made more sense for me to go back to work and him to stay home but thats ust not what we wanted. So i quit and he worked harder. He made more money, but we lost time with him. We went from almost $75k/year to living on $35/k a year. And it was and has been and will continue to be worth it.
we used up our savings, our mutual funds, our retirements and we've accrued debt even tho we live very very frugally.

and its worth it.

I understand all the angles and everyoens life is different but the bottom line is that i know folks who's dh's work two jobs and they live dollar to dollar so mom can stay home and raise dd. I know families where mom babysits two kiddos to keep her home (thats me btw) and out of financial ruin

For us we knew we were taking risks - we have no retirement anymore. we have no savings. no net at all. So how can we make it with me not working? By the skin of our teeth. lol. But we make it. We cut everything we could. We dno't eat out, we don't take vacations (cept for camping and fishing a few times a year) . We have debt on the months we need to use credit to buy food.

Its all about what you want. what your priorities are. Any family can live on one income. But how you live is the issue. My friends both work great jobs and have a ton of money and thats important to them. They have a much nicer house then we do, two amazing vehicles, take lovely cruise vacations and eat out often. She has great jewelry too. She loves working. I'm sure she'd be nuts trying to stay home and be "just a mama". And meanwhile I enjoy her son for about 40-50 hours a week. I play with him, feed him, change him, giggle with him, hear his stories, hold him when he's tired or doesn't feel well. He's like one of my own. I can't imagine how she deals with missing all the stuff from him that I am enjoying, but somehow she does I guess.
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#27 of 51 Old 05-13-2005, 10:30 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mothra
No matter what someone says about their finances, I never, ever assume I know everything because I know that hardly anyone knows the details of ours.
: I think this is a key point. No matter what someone's life looks out on the outside you never know what they are dealing with financially. Most of us are not willing to share if we are close to homelessness with our utilities getting shut off. Its like that commeercial where the guy talks about how wonderful his life is with all his stuff except that he is up to his eyeballs in debt. I think that's true for many people, they are busy amassing things that in some cases they can't afford.

Mothering since 1992...its one of the many hats I wear.
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#28 of 51 Old 05-13-2005, 10:53 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colorful~Mama

Any family can live on one income.
No. Not any family can live on one income. Some families, yes. But not any. There are just too many variables in life to make this statement.

A family that needs special equipment and housing modifications for a health reason may need that second income. A mom who is planning to leave her partner may need an income - even if she's only really bringing in $100/week after expenses and manages to squirrel away only $15 of that. I won't belabor the point, I'm sure you see where I'm going with this.

I've known a few women who were truly burning to be at home and made it happen. I've known a few more who also really wanted it and they just couldn't make it work, no matter what they tried to arrange - to tell them they're just not living right is both insulting and patronizing. Basically, when people say "I wish I could afford to stay home" think either 1) they truly can't afford it, 2) they're just making socially acceptable conversation or 3) they think it might be kind of nice to do, if a whole other stuff works out, too, but it's not that much a burning desire. What business is it of mine which is the case? What business is it of anybody's?
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#29 of 51 Old 05-13-2005, 10:57 PM
 
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Debt isn't the only reason that some families struggle financially. I send money to my parents because my father had a stroke last year and they are struggling. And sometimes it is debt, but not always because people are obsessed with getting "stuff". Sometimes debt comes from student loans, medical expenses, travel due to the death of a loved one or a difficult pregnancy, and any number of reasons. I don't tell people that I send money to my parents, so anyone who made any assumptions about our financial situation would be wrong, even people who think they know a lot.
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#30 of 51 Old 05-13-2005, 11:01 PM
 
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Well, as a former WOHM and current SAHM, I know that it is impossible for some families to live on one income. We were one of them when ds was born. Even if we had cut out all the extras, we wouldn't have been able to pay the bills. DH makes more now than he did four years ago, and we were able to pay off some debt to reduce our living expenses and reduce extras, so when I was laid off last June, we figured out how to make it work. If some one were to say to me that it was great that we could afford for me to stay home, I would agree with them - because we didn't used to be able to. It's really really really tight, but we can afford it.
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