SAHM: a right or a privilege? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 356 Old 11-08-2006, 09:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This has been on my mind lately. And I mean this in a very general way, not in a passing judgement on anyone else's life kind of way. But I have some people in my life who seem to feel that it is a right. That it is okay for them to SAH even if that means the rest of their family goes hungry or they don't pay rent. And I don't judge her for that, but it's made me question my beliefs. I am about as liberal as they come and I am 100% for public assistance programs. For whoever needs them, regardless of their story. But I just feel that this mother is putting her own desire to be a SAHM over her responsibility to the rest of her family. And so I guess for me, I really do think that being a SAHM is a privelege, and if you can not afford it, you probably shouldn't do it. And let me add a caveat that I understand that sometimes WOH costs more than SAH and that WOH raises a whole new set of issues, so sometimes SAH really is more economical, even if it leaves you struggling. Those are not the situations I'm wondering about. I'm talking about SAH even if it means neglecting the basic needs of the rest of your family (food, clothes, shelter).
I fear that I will get flamed for this. And I hope others know that I do not stand in judgement of your decisions, it's not my place, I'm just trying to work out in my mind my own personal view.
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#2 of 356 Old 11-08-2006, 09:56 PM
 
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well for me i can't afford to NOT be a SAHM. daycare is so high, i'd probably have to buy a car, plus gas money, and i don't have a college degree. i would be working for nothing or possibly even paying to work.
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#3 of 356 Old 11-08-2006, 10:05 PM
 
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I wish it was a right. But I have to go with privilege. I know mamas and dadas that wish they could afford to stay home but can't. So I have to say that makes me feel privileged to be able to do so.
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#4 of 356 Old 11-08-2006, 10:36 PM
 
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I definitly think it's a priviledge. and one I don't take for granted.

Blissful Mama to DD-(5), DS-(6) and someone new due in November!
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#5 of 356 Old 11-08-2006, 10:38 PM
 
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Originally Posted by rainbowmoon View Post
I definitly think it's a priviledge. and one I don't take for granted.
me either! Sometimes I dont thank my DH enough for working so hard and allowing me to do what I love. Be w/ my kids
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#6 of 356 Old 11-08-2006, 10:40 PM
 
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I agree with all of you...it is a priveledge that should be a right.
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#7 of 356 Old 11-08-2006, 10:44 PM
 
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In our society it is a privilege, but I believe it is fundamentally a right. I also think it's a myth that if the mom just went out and worked, she would give her family a higher financial echelon. I would have to make a very big salary for our family not to have to pay for me to work (our child care expenses would be huge, even for non-perfect care).
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#8 of 356 Old 11-08-2006, 10:48 PM
 
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IMO it is a right.......and i would rather live megerly and budget rather than have me work
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#9 of 356 Old 11-08-2006, 10:49 PM
 
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It's definitely a privilege that should be a right. I am so grateful that I am able to stay at home with DH. I just quit a particularly miserable job and I just give thanks every moment that I didn't have to stay. Sure we have to buckle down and can't spend on things the way I would like but it is definitely a blessing to be able to SAH with my son. Everyone, however, should have the option.

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Nirvana is . . . the living happiness of a soul which is conscious of itself and conscious of having found its own abode in the heart of the Eternal. --Gandhi
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#10 of 356 Old 11-08-2006, 10:49 PM
 
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But I just feel that this mother is putting her own desire to be a SAHM over her responsibility to the rest of her family.

I would think unless a woman was making her family starve and not thrive being at home should be a right...almost a duty.

I also believe for myself that if I could not afford to be at home I wouldn't have children....

I believe being at home is equally important to my children as my choice to breastfeed, natural choices, homebirthing, non-circumcision and all the other choices we have that benefit our children...

~Charlene~
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#11 of 356 Old 11-08-2006, 10:49 PM
 
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It is every woman's right to be with her children. Therefore, it's a right.
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#12 of 356 Old 11-08-2006, 10:50 PM
 
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Honestly. I'm one of those mamas that is really struggling. I feel like it is my right to be a SAHM and shame on the government for not being more supportive of that. I worked my ass off for 10 years often working 60-70 hour weeks at mediocre-to-good jobs. I feel that I am entitled to a little help from the government if I need it on a temp basis . I didn't plan on things to go so sour when DS was born. I didn't plan for my DH to be laid off when I was seven months pregnant. Even through that, I knew that I would still be a SAHM, it would just be harder. I started working towards transcription work two months after DS was born. That was April. Ijust got my first check on Monday. We are in a deep, deep hole to dig out of. I'm glad to say, we've done it without credit cards, but I'm not sure if that was best doing it that way. We are behind on bills and our phone was turned off.

With the help of my parents, DH and I took our first trip out of state to see my family 1500 miles away after 3 years of being stuck at home. A week after coming home, DH got WestNile and not only wiped out his last week of sick leave, he missed three weeks of work, unpaid as well. That's not really something we planned for or could imagine the scope of, either.

I feel like from the moment I knew I was pregnant, it was my job to be a SAHM. DH felt that way too.

I'm sorry, maybe I'm not saying this whole thing right. I have the world's most cranky 9 mth old right now, teething up a storm. I am very sad for him right now. Maybe I'll be back later to clarify.

Messianic mama to 3 boys, C (4 yrs), E (22 mths), B (newborn)
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#13 of 356 Old 11-08-2006, 10:51 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Peepsqueak View Post
I agree with all of you...it is a priveledge that should be a right.
Ditto! I won't SAH forever because I want to make sure we're set for retirement later but I feel fortunate to be able to choose to do either.

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#14 of 356 Old 11-08-2006, 10:54 PM
 
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[QUOTE=~Lolosoli~;6486232][I]
I believe being at home is equally important to my children as my choice to breastfeed, natural choices, homebirthing, non-circumcision and all the other choices we have that benefit our children...QUOTE]

I agree. My choice to be a SAHM is as central to HOW I parent as every other choice I have made.
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#15 of 356 Old 11-08-2006, 10:56 PM
 
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IMO it is a right.......and i would rather live megerly and budget rather than have me work
I am not a SAHM and I definitely think it is a privilege. It is one thing to live meagerly and budget but another story to not be able to make ends meet. Do you (collective) think it is a right for single moms too? I've been a single mom since baby was born and I did live off student loans and a small pay from internships for 2.5 years but since then I've worked. I do not think that families need to be well-off to have SAHMs just like families don't need to be well-off to have more than 2 kids, BUT I think being a SAHM at the expense of basic needs being covered is a really courageous decision that I would not be able to make.

All that said, I think that women desiring to be SAHMs that don't have that much money can make it happen if they elevate their consciousness from one of lack and limitation to one of abundance and creativity. YOu can make anything happen that you want to happen for you and your family.

Mom to DS (16), DD (7), DS (5), and excitedenergy.gif about my final baby due October 2014. Love fluffy mailheartbeat.gif, appreciate midwives, and can't wait to wear a baby againjoy.gif!
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#16 of 356 Old 11-08-2006, 11:04 PM
 
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Do I think its a right? No...I don't think it is and I don't know if I think that it should be. I do think, however, that it is most definitely a privilege.
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#17 of 356 Old 11-08-2006, 11:08 PM
 
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For me I'd say a very wonderful priveledge! My DH sacrifices getting to stay home and play with DS so that I can. He goes to work and works his tail off just so I don't have to get a job and leave my LO with a sitter. I do agree that we wouldnt be able to afford me being a wohm because the amount of money I'd make would barely cover daycare.

-:¦:-♥Sarah Lynne♥-:¦:-Wife to Michael and Mommy to Austin(5), Steven(3), Tristyn(1), and Laurelyn (6/3/2011)

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#18 of 356 Old 11-08-2006, 11:09 PM
 
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I absolutely believe it is a right for single moms. ALL women have the right to be with their dear children. This may be the greatest right of all humanity. It is a shame that these days in our society, it is a privilege.
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#19 of 356 Old 11-08-2006, 11:11 PM
 
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Originally Posted by aywilkes View Post
I am not a SAHM and I definitely think it is a privilege. It is one thing to live meagerly and budget but another story to not be able to make ends meet. Do you (collective) think it is a right for single moms too? I've been a single mom since baby was born and I did live off student loans and a small pay from internships for 2.5 years but since then I've worked. I do not think that families need to be well-off to have SAHMs just like families don't need to be well-off to have more than 2 kids, BUT I think being a SAHM at the expense of basic needs being covered is a really courageous decision that I would not be able to make.

All that said, I think that women desiring to be SAHMs that don't have that much money can make it happen if they elevate their consciousness from one of lack and limitation to one of abundance and creativity. YOu can make anything happen that you want to happen for you and your family.
i was a SAHW then a SAHM while my husband was unemployed, we got by and we still get by.

ETA: It would cost us more for me to work as opposed to not, I can't drive, I've never worked a day in my life in the US, and I have no work experience except for hotel cleaning in new zealand. I only have my high school certificate (nz's version of the diploma) and i dont even know if a job would take that anyway.

so we got by on unemployment, and then nothing but food stamps and donations etc until dh got s seasonal pt job, thankfully a week before that ended he got a full time job.
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#20 of 356 Old 11-08-2006, 11:12 PM
 
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I think it's a privilege for the parent, but a right for the child.
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#21 of 356 Old 11-08-2006, 11:16 PM
 
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well for me i can't afford to NOT be a SAHM. daycare is so high, i'd probably have to buy a car, plus gas money, and i don't have a college degree. i would be working for nothing or possibly even paying to work.
same for us. i get treated by peers like it is a privilege, but it makes sense for us. i do think it is a right for children to be raised by a parent if possible.
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#22 of 356 Old 11-08-2006, 11:18 PM
 
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I feel its a privilige.
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#23 of 356 Old 11-08-2006, 11:18 PM
 
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Originally Posted by aywilkes View Post
All that said, I think that women desiring to be SAHMs that don't have that much money can make it happen if they elevate their consciousness from one of lack and limitation to one of abundance and creativity. YOu can make anything happen that you want to happen for you and your family.
These words are truly inspirational to me. Thanks.

Stay-at-home mom to 2 beautiful.busy.boisterous boys b. 08.17.05 & 12.29.08
Nirvana is . . . the living happiness of a soul which is conscious of itself and conscious of having found its own abode in the heart of the Eternal. --Gandhi
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#24 of 356 Old 11-08-2006, 11:22 PM
 
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I believe SAHM is a right. Our kids have the right to be taken care of by their moms and dads.

It's turning into a privilage now too because some families worry about their finances so they have to work.

For me, the day I send my kids to day care is the day I get paid by George Bush for being a SAHM. It just doesn't make sense for me to pay someone ELSE to take care of my baby when I don't even get paid to take care of him 24/7! Even if I had a million dollars!
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#25 of 356 Old 11-08-2006, 11:35 PM
 
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I agree with all of you...it is a priveledge that should be a right.
I totally agree!!!!!! In South Dakota we just had voted on an abortion bill that was the tuffest in the nataion. Basicly is was out lawing abortions. Even thought for my self I am pro-life. I could not in good faith even vote that bill because the 300 or 800 babies what ever it is would be saved would not have the right to be with their mother. I stuggle very day trying to be a stay to home mom. I have done homedaycare for years just so I could make a little momey and be with my children. I am currtly going back to work part time becasue we are going into debt with me staying home. Also in going back to work my husbnad will be home with the kids. With 2 kids in daycare there are very few jobs that would pay.
I know that one of my daycare families I take half of hourly pay every hour that the kids are in my care. I hate doing that.
I feel that if you can get by with some assistance form the govent. that is ok. There is nothing in this work that can a mother careign for her child espiecaly for that first year. I wish I new a way to make it better for all mom, beside moving to europe.
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#26 of 356 Old 11-08-2006, 11:43 PM
 
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Do you (collective) think it is a right for single moms too? .
I feel that as a single mom it is more important for you to say home. Unfortunally I don't think that the rest of US sees it that way. I get so angry when I think about that I could get daycare assists if I was make less then 30,000 but could not use that same momey to care for my own children.
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#27 of 356 Old 11-08-2006, 11:44 PM
 
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I think being a SAHM is a privilege, not a right. I really don't think the government ought, for example, to provide subsidies that would allow women (or men, for that matter) to stay home with their kids instead of working outside the home -- although I do think the government should provide more and better daycare subsidies for low-income families.

It seems to me that when we decide to become parents, we take on the responsibility of providing for our children's material needs, in addition to their other less tangible needs. Of course I realize that there are times when families may need some government help to get by, and I fully believe that help should be available, but I think the long-term intention of that help should be to assist the family in becoming financially self-sufficient. I don't see how providing subsidies to support stay-at-home-moms encourages financial self-sufficiency.

Sonja , 40, married to DH (42) since 5-29-93, DD born 11-3-2004, DS born 1-18-2007.
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#28 of 356 Old 11-08-2006, 11:48 PM
 
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For those of us in capitalist countries it's always going to be a privilege, just like having enough food, a place to live, and health care are privileges. :
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#29 of 356 Old 11-08-2006, 11:54 PM
 
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It is really hard to be a single SAHM.. and I still think it's a priviledge.

I mean I think all women should have th right to stay home if they want to but most families need that 2nd income.

I am not wealthy by any means (In fact we went to less than 1/2 of what DH made in his salary on SSA death benefits-which is a considerable amount compared to most people I know on SSA benefits, so I am thankful he paid so much into it) but it's been a lifestyle change for sure. the bills are covered, but not much else leftover after that. we are just scraping by. eventually I WILL have to go back to work though. and likely will have to work well into my retirement aged years. but I am grateful for being able to be with my children NOW during these early years. oh and I do get crap from certain people for being single and able to SAH w/ my kids. I have actually been a bit scorned for it. I struggle every single day though to do it. every penny is stretched and we do go without. and beleive me I'd rather have my DH here than his death benefits anyday! It won't always be this way, so I am definitly grateful.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aywilkes View Post
I am not a SAHM and I definitely think it is a privilege. It is one thing to live meagerly and budget but another story to not be able to make ends meet. Do you (collective) think it is a right for single moms too? I've been a single mom since baby was born and I did live off student loans and a small pay from internships for 2.5 years but since then I've worked. I do not think that families need to be well-off to have SAHMs just like families don't need to be well-off to have more than 2 kids, BUT I think being a SAHM at the expense of basic needs being covered is a really courageous decision that I would not be able to make.

All that said, I think that women desiring to be SAHMs that don't have that much money can make it happen if they elevate their consciousness from one of lack and limitation to one of abundance and creativity. YOu can make anything happen that you want to happen for you and your family.

Blissful Mama to DD-(5), DS-(6) and someone new due in November!
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#30 of 356 Old 11-08-2006, 11:55 PM
 
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do socialist systems have stay at home mothers ? or does it require all citizens to work in order to support the system?
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