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sk!mom
04-09-2007, 10:49 AM
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070406/ap_on_re_us/mommy_wars

I haven't read the book yet but it sounds very interesting.

The financial implications of being a SAHM given in the article are the factors that influenced me to only take 3 years completely off and one year of part time work. I also continued my education while I was off so that I was ready to make a desired profession shift when I returned to work.

JR6ooo4
04-09-2007, 11:05 AM
I did not read the link yet, I'm at work. But it reminds me of a question on our marriage compatability test from the church.

Should the woman be encouraged to work outside the home?

First of all it gave me a good nickname for my DW "the woman" hehehehehee.
Second, I need to know if she wants or needs to work outside the home before I would encourage it. Poorly written questions that we still laugh about...

Mikeeee

disykat
04-09-2007, 11:16 AM
I started to read the article, but it was just making me mad. If you want to argue the financial risk of being a SAHM, you should also argue the financial risk of counting on two incomes. It's just plain financially risky to live in our world today - regardless of your choices.

It IS hard to reenter the workforce after an absence. It's also hard to get a new job after a layoff. I wouldn't recommend to anyone to live your life by "what ifs". Being a SAHM doesn't mean you'll never work again anymore than being gainfully employed means you'll always stay that way. It's common sense either way to try to keep your job skills current, have a back up plan, etc.

I think people should make their choice on what works for their family and not by reading some book that someone wrote to make them feel justified in their own choices. BTW, I'd say that whether the author was a SAHM saying women should stay home OR a WOH mom saying women should work.

Kellydelly
04-09-2007, 11:25 AM
I have two friends who's stay at home mom status was blown out of the water for two very different reasons. Friend number one divorced her husband and is now left struggling with the bills and caring for her two young children (one school aged, one three). She can barely meet the bills but doesn't have a career to go back to that would actually provide for them. I see her struggling financially for a long time to come (she has no desire to go back to school). Friend number two lost her husband a few months ago to an unexpected illness (no life insurance). She has no career to fall back on, no way to make more than minimum wage to provide for her three young children. So my two friends are stuck in financial peril at the moment. I really do think it is wonderful to stay home with your children, if your finances allow, but I also think that women need a way to provide for themselves if their marriage falls apart or their spouse dies. My mom and dad divorced when I was 12 and we lived in poverty because my mom refused to do anything to better herself and provide for us (my father was a schmuck and didn't pay enough or any support). She was a stay at home mom and couldn't get herself out of that mindset. I recently decided to go to college and try to get into my local college's nursing program. I wasn't doing it for financial security, I actually did it on a whim, to see if I could get in (although nursing does really appeal to me). Well I got in :banana: and I am soooooooo glad! If I get through this and end up with a degree ;) , I will be able to support myself if God forbid anything happens on the homefront. Besides that, my kids get to see Mom doing something for herself and striving for greatness :thumbsup2 . I don't respect my mom for sitting on her butt, crying "I need to be here for you." We lived without a phone, without shampoo, without toilet paper at times because she was so hell bent on being home with us :mad: (there were four of us, 9-17). I think women really do need to look out for themselves, especially if they have children. Nothing is forever and your life can change at the drop of a hat.

mookie
04-09-2007, 11:27 AM
I'm sure this is going to set someone off on both sides.

But every family situation is entirely different. To each their own.

For us, we are financially stable. We have planned on what would happen if Dh ever got hurt, (extra disability coverage) laid off (nest egg), God Forbid dies (life insurance) or other scenerios. I wasn't going to lose my income and my career without covering my butt financially first. I understood fully what I was giving up when I decided to stay home...but I also knew what I was gaining. I didn't decide to stay home until my dd was 2.5, and I know for those first few years, I saw the other side of the coin and thought "what was I missing?" Either way, the grass is always greener.

Will I have a tough time finding a job when I'm ready to go back? Maybe. Will I regret those years I was at home? Not on your life.

Kids are only young for so long. This is what was important to our family, and we've made it work. For the first child it was a choice. However, now that we have a 2nd child and another on the way, it's actually MORE COSTLY for me to work than stay home, so now the coin is flipped.

Again, to each their own.

kfeuer
04-09-2007, 11:27 AM
I started to read the article, but it was just making me mad. If you want to argue the financial risk of being a SAHM, you should also argue the financial risk of counting on two incomes. It's just plain financially risky to live in our world today - regardless of your choices.

It IS hard to reenter the workforce after an absence. It's also hard to get a new job after a layoff. I wouldn't recommend to anyone to live your life by "what ifs". Being a SAHM doesn't mean you'll never work again anymore than being gainfully employed means you'll always stay that way. It's common sense either way to try to keep your job skills current, have a back up plan, etc.

I think people should make their choice on what works for their family and not by reading some book that someone wrote to make them feel justified in their own choices. BTW, I'd say that whether the author was a SAHM saying women should stay home OR a WOH mom saying women should work.

Great post! You're absolutely right about the risk of depending on two incomes (The Two-Income Trap by Elizabeth Warren comes to mind). I will never understand why women continue to feel the need to attack each other's choices.

dwaddict
04-09-2007, 11:39 AM
I believe this will always be an issue. I decided to stay home after DD was born. She was child #3. Our oldest traveled with sports and it was hard for us to get off during the time of year he had to travel(DH was a manager at WM and I was a high retail sales person, my job would not allow for summer vacations due to the high traffic of people) We basically broke even once you factored in the high cost of daycare for 2 children and paying someone else to chauffer oldest DS around.
In the long run it was a great decision for our family, I now run my own business and still don't have to forgo money for daycare or what not. This is something that I would not have done had I been employed.
Do I worry what could happen; of course that is human nature. But I also know that I could make ends meet if I had to!

GOOFY4DONALD
04-09-2007, 11:45 AM
I can understand the article. It does make sense. But as another poster stated you can't live life by what if's. There are just too many of them. If my DH would to die suddenly then we do have enough insurance so I can get back on my feet. Everyone should. If the only working spouse were to pass suddenly and the other at home spouse is now in poverty it is not because she/he didn't work it is because no one planned well enough. Now if the working spouse were to leave and the other is in poverty that is different. But the sad thing is that even if both worked and then divorced the financial stability wouldn't be that great either. Most dual income households that I have seen live so beyond their means that they have to work just to keep up.
I am a stay at home mom. I can't make it through one week without someone trying to get me to defend my choice. Some people think we are rich so I can stay home. Some think that because I stay home we must be poor (one mom told the other in front of me not to ask me to bring goodies for a bake sale because only my DH was working). Neither is true but I don't have to answer any of their demand for questions.
Finally there is one thing that I have heard over and over, the article included, that really irks me. This article is supposed to be for all women from "McDonald workers to Harvard Grads" . So in the middle would lie childcare providers. Childcare providers who watch children all day have jobs. But SAHM who do the same thing don't count. It is only if you make money it is important and respected.

jax677
04-09-2007, 11:46 AM
I have stayed at home with my children. Since the day my husband to be and I met we both felt that was important. We are blessed that he works in a field that can more than provide for us. I know not every family can or wants to do what I am doing

I don't think this is a black or white thing. Each side has great points. Only you and your spouse know whats right.

My parents divorced when my sis and I were very young. He never helped with one dollar. She wasn't educated and had to work 2 waitress jobs. She worked herself so hard. She just never had time to take care of herself. She was diabetic. She died at 43. I still think of her and wish she was still here.

meandtheguys2
04-09-2007, 11:49 AM
It doesn't give any clue to what "facts" she is basing this book upon. It is amazing how you can make "facts" prove just about anything in life.

Nor can it take into count that it isn't all about money.

Just another author who found a way to make waves and in doing so, money.

All that I can say, is that she is either stupid or a liar, if she didn't realize this was going to fuel the fire between women.

eta: I've been a WOTH, SAHM, WOHM, and usually teach or supervise something each semester.

shelly3girls
04-09-2007, 12:16 PM
I don't think staying at home should ever be looked at financially. To a financial planner it will never make sense but we do a lot for our family that doesn't make "financial" sense. After all wouldn't I be better off putting money into a retirement account than paying for DDs figure skating lessons. There are many choices in life that do not make financial sense. That said I think a degree is very important. I will encourage my girls to get a college degree. Whether they end up using it or not is their choice I will support that choice but atleast they know that they will have an option in case of "the worst" like divorce or death.

jodifla
04-09-2007, 12:22 PM
I don't think staying at home should ever be looked at financially. To a financial planner it will never make sense but we do a lot for our family that doesn't make "financial" sense. After all wouldn't I be better off putting money into a retirement account than paying for DDs figure skating lessons. There are many choices in life that do not make financial sense. That said I think a degree is very important. I will encourage my girls to get a college degree. Whether they end up using it or not is their choice I will support that choice but atleast they know that they will have an option in case of "the worst" like divorce or death.

I think part of the job of being a parent is to look at things financially. It's irresponsible to do otherwise, since you are in charge of the child's well-being, and lots of that well being relies on money and health insurance. A good home, access to good schools....all of that is key and can't be waved away lightly.

And more than a college degree is important. Experience is important. It's hard enough to get back into the workforce when you have a long track record; it can be impossible to make a living wage for a family if you don't have experience.

I work at home part time now, but plan to get back into the workforce when school starts in September, if at all possible. I prefer the cushion of a second income.

crisi
04-09-2007, 12:36 PM
I started to read the article, but it was just making me mad. If you want to argue the financial risk of being a SAHM, you should also argue the financial risk of counting on two incomes. It's just plain financially risky to live in our world today - regardless of your choices.


There is a third option. My husband and I both work and we live primarily off of one income. The second income goes into savings/college funds/ and things we can easily give up (like - believe it or not - vacations). (We also pay taxes up the yango and as two income high wage family - taxes would drop significantly if we had a single income). I'm very risk adverse financially, and this is the least risky plan for our family.

I read a piece in Parade about this, and the author says the average age of widowhood for women is fifty five! That made me think - when I'm fifty five my kids will be freshmen/sophomores in college. One of her big concerns is "what do you do when your husband is gone" - either through death or divorce. Many women are younger than their husbands, and many of us had our children later in life - a much higher risk situation for kids than having them at 22 with your 23 year old husband.

I think its great that women have choices, but I think women should make educated choices - and that includes understanding what the future may hold - what they are giving up economically in order to stay home (and what they are giving up to work).

aterriq
04-09-2007, 12:52 PM
I think its great that women have choices, but I think women should make educated choices - and that includes understanding what the future may hold - what they are giving up economically in order to stay home (and what they are giving up to work).

What you said is right. Sadly, no matter what you choose, there will be someone to say your choice was wrong and then justify to you why your choice was wrong.

This could be about any other personal topic, couples having or not having kids, homeschooling, vacations to WDW.

People need to realize that other people have their reasons for their choices and their circumstances.

Like raising children. The first child is taken to the doctor for every sniffle and only given the brand of baby food. By the time the 3rd kid comes around, your not phased if he starts eating dirt. :rotfl2: :rotfl2:

meandtheguys2
04-09-2007, 12:55 PM
Like raising children. The first child is taken to the doctor for every sniffle and only given the brand of baby food. By the time the 3rd kid comes around, your not phased if he starts eating dirt. :rotfl2: :rotfl2:

And my third is far better off for it!;)

shelly3girls
04-09-2007, 12:57 PM
I think part of the job of being a parent is to look at things financially. It's irresponsible to do otherwise, since you are in charge of the child's well-being, and lots of that well being relies on money and health insurance. A good home, access to good schools....all of that is key and can't be waved away lightly.

And more than a college degree is important. Experience is important. It's hard enough to get back into the workforce when you have a long track record; it can be impossible to make a living wage for a family if you don't have experience.

I work at home part time now, but plan to get back into the workforce when school starts in September, if at all possible. I prefer the cushion of a second income.

Sorry, I should have qualified my statement. What I meant is that some of these decisions should not be looked at financially AFTER you are sure that all basic financial needs are met. To me this includes a house, good schools that fit my child's needs, health insurance, no debt, retirement plan, savings accounts, emergency funds and ability to continue saving with current income. I do agree that as parents we need to give our children security and I applaud those that are able to have a SAH parent. I may get flamed for this but I do question when families I know complain they have no money, no health insurance, no savings, etc. but one parent is SAH and only have school aged children.

MrsPete
04-09-2007, 12:59 PM
It's foolish to say that ALL women should make the same choice, regardless of whether they're college graduates or are only qualified to work at McDonald's. Too many circumstances go into this decision.

Having said that, I do think too many women make short-term decisions and fail to look at the long-term picture -- I think the same thing is true of many men, but women are even more prone to this mistake. Too many people don't think enough about insurance, retirement, etc.; and way too many women just assume that their husbands'll take care of all this.

From a very cold-hearted point-of-view, a spouse is more likely to be disabled than to die young -- and THAT'S the nightmare financial scenerio. If a spouse dies, most families have life insurance; it might not be enough to last until the kids are grown, but it's probably going to see them through until the other spouse can get back on his or her feet. With a disability, however, the injured spouse may need expensive medical care -- perhaps for an extended period of time. At the same time, the healthy spouse may need to get a job/work more hours while shouldering childcare/household resonsibilities previously done by the injured spouse. So we should ALL be sure we have both life insurance AND disability insurance.

GOOFY4DONALD
04-09-2007, 01:03 PM
It's foolish to say that ALL women should make the same choice, regardless of whether they're college graduates or are only qualified to work at McDonald's. Too many circumstances go into this decision.

Having said that, I do think too many women make short-term decisions and fail to look at the long-term picture -- I think the same thing is true of many men, but women are even more prone to this mistake. Too many people don't think enough about insurance, retirement, etc.; and way too many women just assume that their husbands'll take care of all this.

From a very cold-hearted point-of-view, a spouse is more likely to be disabled than to die young -- and THAT'S the nightmare financial scenerio. If a spouse dies, most families have life insurance; it might not be enough to last until the kids are grown, but it's probably going to see them through until the other spouse can get back on his or her feet. With a disability, however, the injured spouse may need expensive medical care -- perhaps for an extended period of time. At the same time, the healthy spouse may need to get a job/work more hours while shouldering childcare/household resonsibilities previously done by the injured spouse. So we should ALL be sure we have both life insurance AND disability insurance.
This is a very good post. My DH works a very dangerous job. They do take many safety precautions but I do have a nagging fear in the back of my mind that he could get seriously hurt. The disability insurance is great for piece of mind. It not enough to live well until the kids grow up but it is enough to keep our same lifestyle until I finish my degree and am able to solely support the family.

labst60
04-09-2007, 01:08 PM
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070406/ap_on_re_us/mommy_wars

I haven't read the book yet but it sounds very interesting.

The financial implications of being a SAHM given in the article are the factors that influenced me to only take 3 years completely off and one year of part time work. I also continued my education while I was off so that I was ready to make a desired profession shift when I returned to work.

On behalf of all women everywhere - all women that I know **DO** work - some of them don't get a weekly paycheck, but work their butts off daily nonetheless.

Personally, I consider myself lucky to have the opportunity to stay at home with my DD and then the little one on the way. But it wasn't all luck- we worked hard and made choices that would give us this opportunity. Truthfully, I didn't even know if I would want to stay home full time until after DD was born - but I knew I would want to have the choice. DH has a good career position- which he works HARD for and which causes our family to make many sacrifices. His field is also highly employable so even if he were to get laid off (which is highly unlikely), he would not have trouble finding at least a comparable job. That gives us a lot of financial security in our current situation. We also made wise decisions pre-children. We saved and didn't buy a house that would require both of our incomes. Like I said, I didn't know what I would want to do when I had children, but we wanted to give ourselves the opportunity to make the decision and not be reliant upon my income - so our home is smaller than it could be if I committted to working at least PT once we had children. Finally, I worked hard in college and my career, and even though I was "only"27 when DD was born, I left an established career that I could return to in order to support myself and DC in the horrible event that something happened to DH or (equally unlikely) we parted ways. Would I be behind where I "could have been" if I didn't stay home - of course - but I could catch up eventually.

I think the MOST IMPORTANT thing is for each woman to feel comfortable and confident making the decision that is best for them and their family. There is NO right answer to this question and there are CLEARLY advantages and disadvantages to both options- and what is "best" for one family isn't necessarily best for another.

I feel that staying home is best for my family - but I know it isn't for everyone, and that doesn't mean their choice is "wrong". Being a SAHM is tough work and I can understand why some women would chose to work outside the home instead of staying home all day. Being a SAHM has its wonderful moments, but can also be very unrewarding in some ways and I do miss the "personal" sense of accomplishment that comes with a career.

Our generation is in a tough position. From a book I read recently, we are the first generation that is expected to (paraphrased) outperform our mothers on the homefront and outperform our fathers professionally.

MiaSRN62
04-09-2007, 01:08 PM
I am a stay at home mom. I can't make it through one week without someone trying to get me to defend my choice.

But SAHM who do the same thing don't count. It is only if you make money it is important and respected.



I haven't read the book, but I don't see it this way. I think everyone should respect whatever decision a family/woman makes. I don't feel anyone is attacking anyone's choice---but rather, helping them to decide if they are prepared. Also, just for the record, as a working mom I've also felt the need to defend my decision, so it goes both ways, believe me. And I'm saying this respectfully not to be coy. I have encountered SAHM's who have questioned my decision to work and talked behind my back because I work (in a neighborhood where there are alot of SAHM's).

Personally, I do work. First, to make ends meet as well as to be able to take vacations and afford college tuition payments etc. My husband is the main bread winner and his salary covers all the main big bills, but my salary is indispensible. If one-working couple households can make it, I truly applaud them. Have no idea how you all do it but I respect the fact you can make it work. I think where in the country you live (cost of living), as well as how much your spouse makes plays a part in this. But I digress.......

Reasons why I feel it's important to keep working. If husband should get injured or get really sick with a chronic illness (cancer etc), yes we have disability insurance. But, we could only afford a policy that pays 60% of his salary and it doesn't kick in for 180 months ! We pay $100/month for this. That's 6 months without his salary at all, then after the 6 months we get only 60% of his salary. We also have a 401K but wouldn't want to touch that if we didn't have to. For this reason, I wanted added protection/assurance that we could pay our mortgage, utility bills, car payments, college tuition etc. So I work part-time. I feel like I'm keeping one foot in the door just in case. I don't feel everyone who lives off of ONE salary is adequatly putting away enough towards a really good life or disability insurance. I know many can, but I also have witnessed many who cannot. Life is just so expensive. I'm sure there are one salary households that have disability and life insurance and maybe a savings account, but you'd be suprised how inadequate some of these may be unless you're able to really put away a large chunk of $. Most one salary households are pretty tight. I think the husband would really have to be a really high wage earner to be completely "safe" if you know what I mean ?

A coworker's husband was involved in a car accident last summer and was left a quadrapalegic. Very tragic. She had to become the main bread winner. I have seen what the family is going through...the hardships. She had only been working about 15 hours a week, but since she had her foot in the door in the work force she was able to pick up full-time hours without having to run around and apply for jobs, type of resumes, multiple interviews etc, that could take weeks/months to secure. She was thankful that she could just jump in and pick up hours. By the time any insurance money kicked in, they were in a deep hole from losing his salary. We actually had a huge Beef N Beer fund raiser for them early this year and raised about $13,000 for the family---they have four children.

So I don't think the book is putting SAHM's down. But rather, encouraging them to look at the big picture and just be prepared for anything. I think it's trying to empower women. My mom never worked....when my step dad died in 1997, she had just a $300,000 life insurance policy that is long gone. She now scrapes by on his social security and pension payments. It's not much and she's had to live very frugally for many years. She had tried to get a job, but she was about 55 when he died and hadn't worked since age 27. She just couldn't find anything. I think the book is just trying to help SAHM's be prepared. I haven't read the book as I stated, but read reviews and heard it discussed on a morning news show. So I have a little background in what it's about.

bellarella
04-09-2007, 01:08 PM
Women should work, women shouldn't work. The reason there are so many books written on the subject is because there is no *one* answer for every woman and every family. If there really was one "correct" way to building a strong family (financially, emotional, etc.) there would have been one book written a long time ago and 90% of the population would follow it. Americans seem to always be looking for a short-cut, following the latest "research" or "theory" that will be their magic wand rather than sitting down, looking at their own situation, their own strengths and weaknesses, and their own risks and opportunities and make some hard decisions. There are trade-offs in every decision we make. Virtually every opportunity taken is coupled with one that is given up. We all need to make the decisions we are comfortable with, and hopefully we do so with our eyes and minds wide open.

MrsPete
04-09-2007, 01:10 PM
Great post! You're absolutely right about the risk of depending on two incomes (The Two-Income Trap by Elizabeth Warren comes to mind). I will never understand why women continue to feel the need to attack each other's choices.Keep in mind that families who EARN two incomes don't necessarily SPEND two incomes. We've always essentially lived off my husband's income, while using mine for getting ahead on bills, savings and extras.

For example, we bought a house that we could afford on his salary, but we used my salary to pay extra towards that mortgage. At this point -- 17 years into our marriage -- we live in a paid-for house, have two paid-for cars, we have our children's college money in the bank, and we have retirement accounts building interest; these things were primarily done with MY income. We have also used my income for vacations, etc. If one of us were to lose a job today, we could easily live off either his salary OR my salary -- far from being at risk because we have two incomes, we are more secure because we have two incomes.

Also, I've built up 15 years towards a pension, which is very important to me since I come from a family that tends to be long-lived. And I'm making a decent salary now. If I were just joining the work force, it'd be at a starting salary -- and it'd be tough to support a family on that amount.

None of this would be worthwhile if my kids had suffered because of it, but the truth is that they are among the happiest, most well-balanced and well-adjusted kiddos I know.

crisi
04-09-2007, 01:15 PM
What you said is right. Sadly, no matter what you choose, there will be someone to say your choice was wrong and then justify to you why your choice was wrong.

But, if you understand why you made the choice, and made it in an educated fashion - you'll have CONFIDENCE in your own choices. You'll be able to say "staying home IS the right choice for MY family" or "while I admire SAHMs, I know our family is better of with me working outside the home."

Then let the harpies harp - you know you are doing what is right for you and if they want to make some sort of case out of it, that's their problem. You can answer with confidence or walk away - your choice.

ICF
04-09-2007, 01:15 PM
No person / family situation is the same....you could have 100 different couples and get 100 different answers / solutions to the question of whether or not to stay at home.

No book is going to give you the right answer to YOUR situation. Only you know what is best for you....not the writer of a book, or a poster on this website.

disykat
04-09-2007, 01:29 PM
So I don't think the book is putting SAHM's down. But rather, encouraging them to look at the big picture and just be prepared for anything. I think it's trying to empower women.

There are many of us who think it IS a put down to assume that women who stay home are too stupid to think of the long term ramifications of their choices. I assume every women takes that into consideration when she makes her choice, and that those who don't are probably going to run into problems down the line regardless of whether they work or not. Finances take planning - period.

I was a SAHM, now I work part time, I plan on working full time again. In the crowd I hang out in, the SAHM's have college degrees and work experience. They made their choices knowing full well the ramifications on their careers. I also know a lot of WOH moms. They also thought long and hard about their decisions. The SAHMs I know don't need to be empowered to look at the big picture and be prepared any more than the WOHs. Everyone I know weighed the options and does what they think is best for their family.

If I meet a mom who made her decision to stop work or to continue work without carefully thinking through how it would affect her future, then maybe I'll buy her the book. I've never met one. I'm guessing if there are people out there who don't give it a thought, they're not going to be out there buying the book either. IMO, the book has a small audience, WOHs who for some reason want ammo to support their own choices and have it be seen as the BEST choice - something I don't think exists since it would be different for every circumstance.

roliepolieoliefan
04-09-2007, 01:36 PM
I agree with the person who posted that relying on 2 incomes isn't the smart way to live either. If the husband or wife would lose either job, it could have the same effect of a woman being a SAHM and the man losing his job.

I stayed home for 3 years now I work 1 day a week. I could never imagine staying home and not having a career to fall back on. You don't want to base your life on what ifs but I seen alot of those what ifs when i was going through college. I vowed i would never be a 40 something divorced woman with kids and no job skills.

I do have a college degree and we live on 1 income. That way if something happened to DH or his job , we wouldn't lose everything. No matter what the choice you make it needs to be made sensibly and some what ifs should be considered.

MrsPete
04-09-2007, 01:37 PM
[So I don't think the book is putting SAHM's down. But rather, encouraging them to look at the big picture and just be prepared for anything. I think it's trying to empower women.]



And this is exactly what I think women should focus on! We see articles all the time about how most American families are living paycheck-to-paycheck, how the majority of Americans aren't going to be prepared for retirement, how more and more kids are being forced to take out student loans that will cripple their financial futures, how more than 50% of all marriages will end in divorce, how social security is unlikely to be there for my generation . . . I think too many women have been taught to look at today's needs and figure that all these "tomorrow" situations will work themselves out -- they won't! We each have to look out for ourselves and our children.

I think ALL women should make sure that they have their financial houses in order, regardless of whether they stay at home or work. And all women should weigh their emotional choices against financial decisions -- BOTH matter.

My mother stayed at home with us, and suddenly she found herself 40 and divorced with a houseful of kids, no college degree, and job skills that'd been made obsolete by the advent of the computer. She says today that the years she had with us at home were in no way "worth" the misery that we all went through after the divorce -- and as hard as it was on us kids, I think it was harder on her because she realized too late that she'd been naive and had put us in that situation. Now the second step of that choice is hitting home with her: she's approaching retirement, and she has only a small pension and social security -- no savings (because, having started late, she never really reached "comfortable" financially). She could've done any number of things differently at a young age: If only she'd finished college while she was young and her father was paying, if only she'd had only the number of children she could've supported on her own, if only she'd worked a few years and saved a nest egg before starting a family, if only she'd kept her job skills current . . . but her generation was the one that largely fell into the divorce trap -- in their defense, they didn't see it coming. Today every woman should be wiser and should have a plan in place to protect herself and her children.

MrsPete
04-09-2007, 01:40 PM
There are many of us who think it IS a put down to assume that women who stay home are too stupid to think of the long term ramifications of their choices.And yet, in real life I know MANY women who are looking to get back into the work force under less-than-ideal situations. Women who DID fail to plan, but who assumed that "it could never happen to them". Maybe I see lots of these people because they come into the school system (sometimes as substitutes, sometimes as student teachers) because that's seen as a good "mom job".

mickeyfan2
04-09-2007, 01:40 PM
So we should ALL be sure we have both life insurance AND disability insurance.

::yes::

Also many families only insure the working spouse. What if the SAHSpouce gets disabled or died. How would the workign spouse pay for daycare etc. now on the same income?

Please insure all spouse, working or not.

sk!mom
04-09-2007, 01:44 PM
There is a third option. My husband and I both work and we live primarily off of one income. The second income goes into savings/college funds/ and things we can easily give up (like - believe it or not - vacations). (We also pay taxes up the yango and as two income high wage family - taxes would drop significantly if we had a single income). I'm very risk adverse financially, and this is the least risky plan for our family.


ITA- I was going to post a similar response.

DH and I purchased our home based on one income and are debt free except for a small mortgage that will be paid off in less than 2 years. If one of us was to become unemployed then we could cut out extras and cut back on savings until a new job was secured. We actually did this 17 years ago. DH was laid off and out of work for 3-4 months` During that time we "lived" on one income. We were able to cut out all extras and got by just fine on unemployment and my income. In fact, we never had to touch any of his severance pay to live on. We were able to save it.

katerkat
04-09-2007, 01:54 PM
I love the fact that the author said she had no idea this would cause such a debate. :rolleyes: Yeah, it's not very well-known that WOH/SAH is pretty much the top thing in the Mommy Wars.

I do think women (and men) should plan out things far in advance, but I don't think that they should all come to the conclusion that working outside the home is the only solution. For us, staying at home is important and we planned for that a long, long time ago. I even have a career that IF I wanted to, I could do from home. (I've actually finished one novel and am working on a second.) We have insurance on both of us, savings, IRAs, college funds, etc. As for self-fulfillment - sometimes I do wish I could get out of the house (like around the 500 billionth viewing of Cars), but I can do that when he's school age.

Chicago526
04-09-2007, 01:57 PM
There are so many individual variables that I ignore blanket statments like "every mom should work" or "every mom should stay at home". Some need the money, other's can't stand the thought of day care, the list is almost endless. I say do what you think is best for YOU and YOUR family and to hell with everyone else's opinion.

One thing I think every SAH parent should do is to keep their job skills as current as possible, because there is always the chance you may need to go back to work one day in a hurry (death, jobloss, drastic pay cut, "fun" stuff like that). Even something as simple as voluteering for your church or child's school can make a differance, and at least puts something recent on your resume.

cassie714
04-09-2007, 02:18 PM
i am writing this from person experience. Just because a mother stays home does not mean they cannot achieve a decent paying job. I stayed home with my children for 8 years. I returned to the work force about a year and a half ago starting off at entry level and quickly worked my way up within a year. A job came up within the company that although i did not have the college degree for my immediate boss felt i was a quick learner and recommended me highly. It can be done. Must of us mother's are very hard workers.

crisi
04-09-2007, 02:25 PM
i am writing this from person experience. Just because a mother stays home does not mean they cannot achieve a decent paying job. I stayed home with my children for 8 years. I returned to the work force about a year and a half ago starting off at entry level and quickly worked my way up within a year. A job came up within the company that although i did not have the college degree for my immediate boss felt i was a quick learner and recommended me highly. It can be done. Must of us mother's are very hard workers.

And lucky - jobs don't often "come up" in my company that come with significant raises. Hard work doesn't make any difference if the opportunities aren't there.

kellia
04-09-2007, 02:26 PM
Well, if we are just looking at the financial side of it, no one should ever have kids! :rotfl: They are the biggest money pit there is!

MrsPete
04-09-2007, 02:28 PM
And lucky - jobs don't often "come up" in my company that come with significant raises. Hard work doesn't make any difference if the opportunities aren't there.I'll second that -- a willingness to work hard doesn't always mean a job'll come your way. I never want to count on luck to support my family!

Whosemom
04-09-2007, 02:29 PM
I think it was harder on her because she realized too late that she'd been naive and had put us in that situation. [/B]

Odds are, your mother didn't put you in the situation. Either she and your dad did that together through joint decisions, or your dad did by not continuing to meet his resposibilities as a parent. Hopefully you boost her up when she's feeling down. (I'm sure you do :) )

also, I agree with katerkat 100%
from the article...

...she argues that many young mothers have forgotten Friedan's message, embracing a 21st-century version of the 1950s stay-at-home ideal that could imperil their economic future as well as their happiness....

Bennetts says she never intended to issue the latest salvo in the "Mommy Wars" that long-running, angst- and guilt-ridden debate over whether mothers should stay home with their children. And she says she's surprised by the reaction.

LIAR! Regardless of your take on the issue, I'm fairly sure she was hoping to make money on her book, and the best way to sell a book is to generate controversy.

From the article(I haven't read the book), she's looking at one dimension of life. Someone tell her its all :3dglasses

Microcell
04-09-2007, 02:35 PM
What you said is right. Sadly, no matter what you choose, there will be someone to say your choice was wrong and then justify to you why your choice was wrong.

This could be about any other personal topic, couples having or not having kids, homeschooling, vacations to WDW.

People need to realize that other people have their reasons for their choices and their circumstances.

Like raising children. The first child is taken to the doctor for every sniffle and only given the brand of baby food. By the time the 3rd kid comes around, your not phased if he starts eating dirt. :rotfl2: :rotfl2:

Made me think of the time when I told my father that I needed to get my DD's booties to match her outfit before we could go out (she is my first) and his response... "Your little sister (the fourth child) was lucky to have a diaper on going out by the time she came around" . :lmao:

About the article, I will do what i have to do for my children, and it is my choice to ensure they do not get raised by someone making... what is it now? $6.50 an hour? It is important to me. I never made that much before kids. That is what I get for having a degree in a social services field!

MrsPete
04-09-2007, 02:37 PM
Odds are, your mother didn't put you in the situation. Either she and your dad did that together through joint decisions, or your dad did by not continuing to meet his resposibilities as a parentOh, certainly he did his part in screwing up our childhood, and I didn't mean to imply that he was a saint in the whole bruhaha -- he's the one who set the whole mess into motion. He moved out of state to avoid paying child support, and we basically never saw him again -- a thing that was easy for a man to do in the pre-Reagan days. But since this thread is about WOMEN being prepared to care for their children, I didn't mention him.

I think our societal ideas about fatherhood have changed over the last 30-ish years as much as our ideas about motherhood . . . but that's not the topic.

KKB
04-09-2007, 02:45 PM
There are too many factors that go into this decision to say that it is simply a money one...

I have covered the gammit on this one...stayed home full time w/ first child (HATED it...not my personality, plus DS1 was high maintenance kid--and still is!); worked part-time w/ #2--LOVED this. Got my adult "fix", with plenty of time for the family; with surprise #3, I owned a retail business. I was back at work (after a C-section!) TEN DAYS after his birth--with him in tow! A year later when 9/11 occured, I was worried about making the bills at home & the business...I went back to teaching full-time AND still had the business! (yes, the next 15 months were insanity until we closed the store!!!!)

I am blessed. I teach full-time (home ill today:sick: no worries, teacher work day anyway), and am able to take my youngest 2 to the school that I teach at. It does mean that they are with me the hour before school starts (officially, only 30 min. of "work" time...my principal has been supportive; heightened level of conern around here as we get a new principal for next year...hopefully it will all work out!). But a teacher's schedule allows me the best of both worlds...I get my adult time, money for travel & extras, but still plenty of vaca time w/ kids (we are addicted to golf & the pool in the summer).

THE KEY IS THAT YOU ARE HAPPY WITH YOUR DECISION. (no, not every minute of everyday.....:rotfl: ) Hope for the best, plan for the worst (in other words, if you are a SAHM, BE SURE you have sufficient disability & life insurance on DH, AND keep your job skills up to date).

My mother stayed home w/ us for a few years when we were young, and speaks of the same concerns I had when I was a SAHM...if an extra bill comes up HOW are we gonna make it??!! My mom ended up nursing at night, so she could be home if we were ill, and pick us up each day after school. But it was a sacrifice...she was one tired crabby lady most of the time (can you blame her??!!)

Again, as long as you are happy--yes, YOU, not just DH--all will work out. My children were in daycare full or part-time for most of their childhood. (and we were SO lucky...almost all inhome care, both former elementary teachers, one a dear friend--both SO GOOD) And they truly are wonderful children. Bright, well-mannered, and they have rarely been ill (oh, I didn't breast-feed, either---it just didn't work out, though I tried with first 2--sorry, just always hear how those formula fed kids are more sick. Sorry, just not true. Breast feeding is great, just not the only way to do it well....I'll get off my soapbox now...)

WELL...I digress....to wrap this novel up...as my mother said, "Being a mom is your greatest joy...and your greatest nightmare all rolled up in one." Yep, she nailed it. And this is true whether you are a SAHM, WAHM, WOHM...WHATEVER. Being a mom is hard work, but the rewards are great!

MiaSRN62
04-09-2007, 02:45 PM
There are many of us who think it IS a put down to assume that women who stay home are too stupid to think of the long term ramifications of their choices.
disykat,
I don't think "too stupid" is what the book is trying to say---nor any of us here ? But if that is what some of you feel, then can't change the way you think or feel ?

I just think alot of people feel they've planned enough....thought it out enough.....and this book gives us some other things to consider that may not have been when the decision was made. I know SAHM's who have not thought everything out. I have two in my family who are finding this out now after being SAHM's for years.

Also, even though I work, my salary goes towards things other than the main bills. So we could "make it" without dh's salary but it was be very very tight and would possibly need to reconsider college. We don't have a huge nest egg. Had too many years in our early marriage where dh was laid off and we lived pay check to pay check. So we got a late start with savings....yet another reason I'm glad we have my salary but I fully realize everyone is not in the same situation. I have a friend who's dh is an MD and never had to worry a bit about being a SAHM. This is why I feel there are HUGE variances when looking at this debate.
I also know an MD whose wife has breast cancer and is not doing well at all. He's been able to take off 2 years of work and stay with her. It's wonderful he can do this and still be ok with bills and all. But he lived off an MD's salary for decades so I'm sure he has a really nice nest egg. But if my husband or I had to face this same situation, we would not be able to take all that time off from work despite the fact we have disability insurance and a 401K.

So each and every situation is uniquely different. None of us can make judgements about anyone. I haven't. But I hardly think anyone is looking upon anyone else as if they're "too stupid". I still think the book is a way for both SAHM and working moms to learn and empower themselves. Many jobs that pay decent, are the kind that require some recent experience and just can't be walked back into after a decade or more of not working at all. At least this is my experience. I know there is a waiting list in my area for mom's who used to be teachers and are trying to reenter the teaching profession. There are several I know that end up "volunteering" just to try and get their foot back in the door. These schools want new grads and those with recent experience. I see/hear people struggling with this. This is just one example.

princesscj
04-09-2007, 03:06 PM
Whoever started this and wrote the book --- just gotta say each and case is different.

:goodvibes This is a topic like religion and politics - don't go near them!!!!

DVC Sadie
04-09-2007, 03:18 PM
There is a third option. My husband and I both work and we live primarily off of one income. The second income goes into savings/college funds/ and things we can easily give up (like - believe it or not - vacations). (We also pay taxes up the yango and as two income high wage family - taxes would drop significantly if we had a single income). I'm very risk adverse financially, and this is the least risky plan for our family.

I read a piece in Parade about this, and the author says the average age of widowhood for women is fifty five! That made me think - when I'm fifty five my kids will be freshmen/sophomores in college. One of her big concerns is "what do you do when your husband is gone" - either through death or divorce. Many women are younger than their husbands, and many of us had our children later in life - a much higher risk situation for kids than having them at 22 with your 23 year old husband.

I think its great that women have choices, but I think women should make educated choices - and that includes understanding what the future may hold - what they are giving up economically in order to stay home (and what they are giving up to work).

Great Post and ITA!

We also lived off of one income when we both worked and saved everything for both retirement and college funds. For us it was imperative to have financial security in the event of any unforseen emergency.

luvmy3jewels
04-09-2007, 04:04 PM
This is such an interesting debate....and there are so many varied opinions. To be quite honest, I've never really thought about working from the veiw point of this book's author.

I work outside of the home and hate it, but I have to in order to pay the bills. I will honestly admit, at this point in time it would be financially devastating to our family if dh or I would not be able to work. (If it were any other way, I would have quit my job a long time ago). It seems like no matter how much we make, we are barely making ends meet.

However, I am reminded of my grandmother who married at 14, had two kids by the time she was 17, and then was abandoned by her husband by 18. Her ex ended up owning a huge farming corporation on the Eastern Shore and never gave 1 dime towards taking care of his first two children. (He even shredded all of their clothes when he first abandoned them).

My grandmother ended up eventually getting married to another man, who I suspect was abusive towards her and her kids, but she was pretty much stuck in that marraige because he provided for her family. I can't imagine ever being in that kind of position. It is amazing the tales that our grandmothers can tell about what life was really like 50+ years ago. :sad2:

Scornelius
04-09-2007, 04:35 PM
I spent quite some time writing a very long response to this, then decided I couldn't withstand the potential flames and deleted it. ;) So here's my scaled-down opinion. And let me preface this by saying it's meant to apply to 2-parent households.

I personally think kids should have a parent at home with them. Mother, father, whatever. Just someone whose main role is to care for and nurture that child. I know there are some tremendous child care providers out there, but IMHO, parent trumps babysitter every time. Parents can offer both love and discipline that can't come from a CCP. I completely respect the fact that some families can't get by on one income, but I belive that is due in great part to people living way beyond their means.

I'm not a parent yet, but my husband and I intend on having children fairly soon, and have set up our life and finances accordingly. We both have terrific educations with lots of earning potential, but we live an existence that requires only one income. I only work part time, and we never use any of the money I make for necessities, because we refuse to fall into the 'two income trap'. We don't NEED the dual vehicles or the huge house or the Hawaiian vacations that, technically, we could afford. Instead we share a car, bought a sensible home and go to Disney during the free dining. And I promise you, it hasn't killed us yet!! :thumbsup2 When the time comes that we need to go down to one income, we'll barely notice it. And my children will have their mom around, which to us is the most important thing.

So there you go. I'll get down off my soapbox now. :)

Edited to add: this isn't directed at anyone or inspired by anything other than the article in the original post! Just wanted to make that uber clear!

hollyb
04-09-2007, 04:36 PM
The author must not be a mother. A mother dosent put money before her children. I work nights so we will never use a day care and my kids will never be without a parent.

allison443
04-09-2007, 04:40 PM
These issues are one of the reasons we feel it is so important for us to pay for our girls to get their college educations right after high school. I know many people who say, their kids can go part-time and work, or work now, save money and go to college later. Most people I know who tried to do that, well, "life gets in the way", they get married/have kids, and wind up trying to finish a degree while working and raising a family. That is so hard and I admire people who can do that!! I know so many people who regret not having gotten more education when they were young, before having a family, responsibilities, etc. Just my opinion!

allison443
04-09-2007, 04:41 PM
The author must not be a mother. A mother dosent put money before her children. I work nights so we will never use a day care and my kids will never be without a parent.

If you read the link, the author is a writer for Vanity Fair who is a married mother of two. I believe she lives in NYC. Just FYI.

DVC Sadie
04-09-2007, 04:48 PM
[QUOTE=Scornelius;18022831]And let me preface this by saying it's meant to apply to 2-parent households.

I personally think kids should have a parent at home with them. Mother, father, whatever. Just someone whose main role is to care for and nurture that child. I know there are some tremendous child care providers out there, but IMHO, parent trumps babysitter every time. Parents can offer both love and discipline that can't come from a CCP. I completely respect the fact that some families can't get by on one income, but I belive that is due in great part to people living way beyond their means.

I'm not a parent yet, but my husband and I intend on having children fairly soon, and have set up our life and finances accordingly. We both have terrific educations with lots of earning potential, but we live an existence that requires only one income. I only work part time, and we never use any of the money I make for necessities, because we refuse to fall into the 'two income trap'. We don't NEED the dual vehicles or the huge house or the Hawaiian vacations that, technically, we could afford. When the time comes that we need to go down to one income, we'll barely notice it. And my children will have their mom around, which to us is the most important thing.



I commend you and your dh to having the foresight to plan for your future and your childrens financial and educational needs. You are so correct in assuming that a lot of families spend more than they can afford on incidentals, vacations....etc.

I don't think that this article was discussing people in your situation, but were asking that all single and married women check themselves to be sure that they are "protected" in any circumstance.

Chicago526
04-09-2007, 04:54 PM
I spent quite some time writing a very long response to this, then decided I couldn't withstand the potential flames and deleted it. ;) So here's my scaled-down opinion. And let me preface this by saying it's meant to apply to 2-parent households.

I personally think kids should have a parent at home with them. Mother, father, whatever. Just someone whose main role is to care for and nurture that child. I know there are some tremendous child care providers out there, but IMHO, parent trumps babysitter every time. Parents can offer both love and discipline that can't come from a CCP. I completely respect the fact that some families can't get by on one income, but I belive that is due in great part to people living way beyond their means.

I'm not a parent yet, but my husband and I intend on having children fairly soon, and have set up our life and finances accordingly. We both have terrific educations with lots of earning potential, but we live an existence that requires only one income. I only work part time, and we never use any of the money I make for necessities, because we refuse to fall into the 'two income trap'. We don't NEED the dual vehicles or the huge house or the Hawaiian vacations that, technically, we could afford. Instead we share a car, bought a sensible home and go to Disney during the free dining. And I promise you, it hasn't killed us yet!! :thumbsup2 When the time comes that we need to go down to one income, we'll barely notice it. And my children will have their mom around, which to us is the most important thing.

So there you go. I'll get down off my soapbox now. :)

Edited to add: this isn't directed at anyone or inspired by anything other than the article in the original post! Just wanted to make that uber clear!

Don't worry, this isn't a flame!

I grew up in the 80's, my friends and I were some of the first kids who, as a generation, had parents that both worked full time. We've talked about it (my friends and I), and we've all said that we really didn't notice/mind that they both worked.

I can only speak for me, but looking back I think my childhood was better overall because my mother worked and brought in the extra income. According to them, my parents said they could have lived just on Dad's income, but things would have been so tight, it really would have been miserable. My mom was a SAHM for my brothers before I was born (I'm the youngest of 3) and they tell talls of having to drink powdered milk all the time, because they couldn't afford real milk, and of haveing to wear coats inside during winter because it was too expensive to heat the house over 55 degrees. And it wasn't because they were living beyond their means, my mother could squeeze a penny so hard Abe would scream! :) So, my mother went to work part time until I was in pre-school and then worked full time from there.

The extra income meant potato chips in our lunches, and ice cream for desert after dinner. It ment family vacations to a cabin on a lake each summer so we could go fishing and swiming, and once, even a trip to WDW. It ment mom and dad could save for their retirement so my brothers and I don't have to support them, even if they get sick or disabled (we'd be happy to if it came to it, but it's such a blessing not to have to worry about it, let me tell you). It meant that they could help pay for our college should we choose to go (they paid half, we had to work for the rest!). It meant that if my father got laid off, we'd still have health insurance and income until he could find a new job (thankfully, it never came to that, Dad was never laid off).

And they were both still there for my brothers and I. All the socer games, all the choir concerts and school plays. They could help with home work or listen if we had a bad day. They went to all the parent-teacher conferances and baked for the school bake sales. In short, they made sure that when they were at home, they were there for us!

All this is to say that a couple can really have two incomes and still be there to raise happy, healthy, normal children. It does take more effort on the home front, but it can be done!

Just my opinion, of course! :)

crisi
04-09-2007, 05:01 PM
I personally think kids should have a parent at home with them. Mother, father, whatever. Just someone whose main role is to care for and nurture that child. I know there are some tremendous child care providers out there, but IMHO, parent trumps babysitter every time. Parents can offer both love and discipline that can't come from a CCP. I completely respect the fact that some families can't get by on one income, but I belive that is due in great part to people living way beyond their means.


I appreciate your concern, please take this in the spirit intended.

I LOVE my kids. I'm glad I had them. They bring joy to my life. But I'd be a lousy SAHM - I don't have the patience for small kids. I'm not a playdoh mom or a fingerpaint mom - makes too much mess - my kids got that at daycare. Having them be my responsibility for 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and my mental health and my children would suffer - seriously.

I'm a great 5:00pm -8:00pm to bedtime and weekends Mom. We bake cookies and bread. We go to the museum and bikeriding and ice skating. That is my tolerance for it. Changing diapers for 16 hours a day, screaming children, toddler tantrums, toys all over the floor, potty training - thank God for my wonderful daycare staff!

Now that my kids are older, I'm a better Mom - elementary age kids are much more rational, and I cope better. But now, they don't need me home because they are in school.

When you say everyone should stay home with their kids, you are condeming a bunch of kids to stay at home with Mom's like me - and worse. For some kids, daycare provides the stability in their lives.

I suppose you could say "I shouldn't have had them to start with." Fair enough - you have any idea where the return counter is? (kidding, I'd NEVER give up my kids). Until you have kids, you really don't know if you will be a good 24x7x365 mom - I'm doing the best I can. Thank includes working outside the home.

NemoMOm
04-09-2007, 05:09 PM
I'm sure this is going to set someone off on both sides.

But every family situation is entirely different. To each their own.

For us, we are financially stable. We have planned on what would happen if Dh ever got hurt, (extra disability coverage) laid off (nest egg), God Forbid dies (life insurance) or other scenerios. I wasn't going to lose my income and my career without covering my butt financially first. I understood fully what I was giving up when I decided to stay home...but I also knew what I was gaining. I didn't decide to stay home until my dd was 2.5, and I know for those first few years, I saw the other side of the coin and thought "what was I missing?" Either way, the grass is always greener.

Will I have a tough time finding a job when I'm ready to go back? Maybe. Will I regret those years I was at home? Not on your life.

Kids are only young for so long. This is what was important to our family, and we've made it work. For the first child it was a choice. However, now that we have a 2nd child and another on the way, it's actually MORE COSTLY for me to work than stay home, so now the coin is flipped.

Again, to each their own.


Very well written. I think that if you do not have these things (insurance,disability, will, and retirement funds) you could be in a bad situation wether you are a sahm or a working mom. Just because there are 2 working parents does not mean there will always be 2 working parents. You need to plan for the worst and hope for the best.

srgibbs
04-09-2007, 05:10 PM
I really think it is a personal choice and no one should judge whatever you decide is best for your family. My husband and I waited 5 years to have children so we could enjoy each other and save money so I could be a SAHM one day. I do have a college degree (social work) and was able to save most of my income for 5 years so we would have a good savings account when I quit. I really did not want to have kids if I could not be with them which again was my choice. My husband has several life insurance policy's and I also have one as our attorneys said there would be expenses if something happened to me also which was a great idea I never really thought about. It is all about what you want to do and sacrafice. Our children are also in a Christian school which takes money away from nicer cars but that is much more important to us. We built our house and now have 11 years left to pay on it which is the only debt we have. The kids have 529's and my husband puts money in his 401K. Are we Rich? Absolutely not just decide what works best for us and choose not to spend money on a lot of material things that we will not take with us when we die and don't make us happier. You only get one chance to raise your children the way God instructs us to. Of course, this does not mean you have to stay at home but being a Mom is an awesome privlege and a huge responsiblity and one we will all answer for one day.

Mono~rail
04-09-2007, 05:11 PM
Too many "ifs" in that article. If. If. If. If grandma had a set of peaches, she'd be grandpa. ;)

My job is taking care of my family and making our house a home. In our eyes, I'm the *only* person who can do that job. :) We'll cross bridges as we come to them -not before.

The way I see it, my kids want *me* -not to be dumped off in a daycare center so I can earn more money to buy as much random, useless, disposable stuff as we possibly can to ease the guilt of dumping them off all day. :)

Scornelius
04-09-2007, 05:20 PM
Too many "ifs" in that article. If. If. If. If grandma had a set of peaches, she'd be grandpa. ;)



Ok, thread closed. That is officially the funniest thing I think I've ever read on this board! :rotfl2:

Schachteles
04-09-2007, 05:29 PM
I appreciate your concern, please take this in the spirit intended.

I LOVE my kids. I'm glad I had them. They bring joy to my life. But I'd be a lousy SAHM - I don't have the patience for small kids. I'm not a playdoh mom or a fingerpaint mom - makes too much mess - my kids got that at daycare. Having them be my responsibility for 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and my mental health and my children would suffer - seriously.

I'm a great 5:00pm -8:00pm to bedtime and weekends Mom. We bake cookies and bread. We go to the museum and bikeriding and ice skating. That is my tolerance for it. Changing diapers for 16 hours a day, screaming children, toddler tantrums, toys all over the floor, potty training - thank God for my wonderful daycare staff!

Now that my kids are older, I'm a better Mom - elementary age kids are much more rational, and I cope better. But now, they don't need me home because they are in school.

When you say everyone should stay home with their kids, you are condeming a bunch of kids to stay at home with Mom's like me - and worse. For some kids, daycare provides the stability in their lives.

I suppose you could say "I shouldn't have had them to start with." Fair enough - you have any idea where the return counter is? (kidding, I'd NEVER give up my kids). Until you have kids, you really don't know if you will be a good 24x7x365 mom - I'm doing the best I can. Thank includes working outside the home.

:worship: I second this!! You just described me!! :worship:

I stayed home with my oldest for about 17 months...though I liked it in the beginning, then I got LAZY and hated it...I am a MUCH better mom going to work each day and that makes me NO less of a mom then someone who stays home!

gaelic grace
04-09-2007, 05:35 PM
I think part of the problem is using the language like "dumping". I have worked part-time since the birth of our daughter because I know I am a better mother doing it that way. I was home for 16 weeks and woke up one morning knowing that I needed another outlet. I am a Christian and I prayed about it and called the only person I would have ever considered allowing to keep my child. I knew if she didn't have a spot open that I wasn't meant to work and God would just have to change my heart and that I would become happy or if she had a spot that I was meant to work outside the home. She had a spot. Our Mimi is a part of our family. My daughter begs to go to her house. I have friends who have made all sorts of different decisions at all different stages of their lives. I don't question them because I know that they prayerfully considered their options as well. We could live off my husbands salary but my income provides an additional layer of security but that's not my primary reason for working. I need to work to fulfill a part of me that wasn't fulfilled in the same way at home. My best friend has always stayed home and has never had felt that way. There are days that I would just as soon not go to work just as their are days that she would just as soon not be at home! I believe that most of the time that children are going to be fine if their parents are happy. My daughter is happy and secure because both of her parents are happy. We don't all live in the same type of house or drive the same kind of car- we aren't going to live cookie cutter lives. What can be the same is that we can all be happy and fulfilled in each of our decisions and encourage others to be the same.

mookie
04-09-2007, 05:35 PM
::yes::

Also many families only insure the working spouse. What if the SAHSpouce gets disabled or died. How would the workign spouse pay for daycare etc. now on the same income?

Please insure all spouse, working or not.

Still got to finish reading through the thread, but another thing to consider is NOT to just get disability insurance through your spouse's company....you will probably need more to back that up.

We see a financial planner who helps us map out every "worst case" scenerio. It helps to get a glimpse as to financially what the future would hold should any of those situations occur. Knowledge of these is the power to make an informed and smart decision if it's beneficial for a spouse to stay home.

For us, we piggy-backed my DH disability. Pricey? A bit. But worth the piece of mind that everything was covered if we did lose his income. :thumbsup2

Ratpack
04-09-2007, 05:37 PM
Wow! Yet another topic that does nothing but break down women and mothers and our self worth. It is so sad that articles like this (that I have read before) depict how EVERYONE should live their lives.

I am a teacher- I get the best of staying at home in the summer with my children, and working around their busy school schedules. However, I couldn't do either one of these full time. I love seeing the summer come..and I love seeing it go. :lmao: It is my personality and our family style. I have always wanted to be a teacher, even when I was a little girl. So, I could have the time at home and time to work. Our family does benefit a little more for my job, but we have always been accustomed to 2 incomes. We could live off of one, but we would choose to give up some 'wants'. (Which wouldn't kill us!);)

In our society, we need both women who work and stay at home. I see benefits to both of these types of homes. I see the downfalls of both of these types of homes. Her article brings up great points: "What ifs" and all. However, I see that we can't always live in "What ifs".

Ladies, stop defending yourself, your beliefs, your family's lifestyles, and children! Just respect that everyone is not like you for a reason. We would all be fighting for good day care positions and jobs...or we would all be waiting on lists for mommy and me classes. Some don't have to work- some do. Some choose to stay home- others don't. It is okay to vent, but not okay to slander- so hug your children- tell them that you are doing the best that you can do as a mother- and you will always be there for them. :hug:

mookie
04-09-2007, 05:40 PM
.

If I meet a mom who made her decision to stop work or to continue work without carefully thinking through how it would affect her future, then maybe I'll buy her the book. I've never met one. I'm guessing if there are people out there who don't give it a thought, they're not going to be out there buying the book either. IMO, the book has a small audience, WOHs who for some reason want ammo to support their own choices and have it be seen as the BEST choice - something I don't think exists since it would be different for every circumstance.


I know many, and I'm a SAHM! Many people think "it's only for a few years, what could it hurt?" as well as some who think financially, they could do it on paper, but IRL there is no way it could work. To many unknowns come up. Or they think they can cut back expenses when not really taking a good look at their spending habits. Then, when they quit their job and see what it's really like to live off that money, it's a wake up call.

I'm not defending the author by any means, trust me. But I do think anyone who decides to make such a change as losing a career/income must look at every possible financial scenerio first, and I don't think that everyone does that.

Kellydelly
04-09-2007, 05:43 PM
I personally think kids should have a parent at home with them. Mother, father, whatever. Just someone whose main role is to care for and nurture that child. I know there are some tremendous child care providers out there, but IMHO, parent trumps babysitter every time. Parents can offer both love and discipline that can't come from a CCP. I completely respect the fact that some families can't get by on one income, but I belive that is due in great part to people living way beyond their means.

I'm not a parent yet, but my husband and I intend on having children fairly soon, and have set up our life and finances accordingly. We both have terrific educations with lots of earning potential, but we live an existence that requires only one income. I only work part time, and we never use any of the money I make for necessities, because we refuse to fall into the 'two income trap'. We don't NEED the dual vehicles or the huge house or the Hawaiian vacations that, technically, we could afford. Instead we share a car, bought a sensible home and go to Disney during the free dining. And I promise you, it hasn't killed us yet!! :thumbsup2 When the time comes that we need to go down to one income, we'll barely notice it. And my children will have their mom around, which to us is the most important thing.



Since you aren't a parent yet and have never experienced parenthood, you aren't really qualified to say how good you would be at it, or how much better off your children would be with either you or your husband in charge of them. Some daycare workers and nannies are much more loving and nurturing than the parents that hire them. Children should be in the care of people that will love and protect them, and that isn't always the parents :confused3 . Some parents suck at being parents, we aren't all born to raise children and do a good job at it. Please don't disparage two working parents and how their children would suffer if they had to be watched by someone else. That is just really far from reality! Many single parents are forced into situations where they can't be home with their kids, and their children do not suffer for it.

NemoMOm
04-09-2007, 05:44 PM
[QUOTE=Mono~rail;18023588]Too many "ifs" in that article. If. If. If. If grandma had a set of peaches, she'd be grandpa. ;)

:rotfl2:

MACfamily4
04-09-2007, 05:49 PM
Too many "ifs" in that article. If. If. If. If grandma had a set of peaches, she'd be grandpa. ;)

My job is taking care of my family and making our house a home. In our eyes, I'm the *only* person who can do that job. :) We'll cross bridges as we come to them -not before.

The way I see it, my kids want *me* -not to be dumped off in a daycare center so I can earn more money to buy as much random, useless, disposable stuff as we possibly can to ease the guilt of dumping them off all day. :)

Wow! I'm pretty sure that's exactly the kind of judgemental diction that has fueled "mommy-wars" for years. Think about the connotation of the words you're using - "dumped", "random", "useless", "disposable", "guilt". We really ought to support eachother as women and moms and respect the choices each makes for her own family based on her own circumstances. JMHO!:)

katerkat
04-09-2007, 05:50 PM
I'm a SAHM and my kid is currently watching Cars for the billionth time because frankly, I was tired of him asking about it. (Cars go vroom! Cars go vroom!) I don't feel caring and nuturing right now!

DawnM
04-09-2007, 05:50 PM
Oh dear, one more thread about SAH vs. Working Moms.

This will always be a debate.

I am not going to get into all of it since I did that last month on this board....but I have been a SAHM for 2 years now and needed to, but I am SO beyond ready to go back to work! I am sending out resumes and am hoping to hear soon. I am a school counselor.

Dawn

Mono~rail
04-09-2007, 05:59 PM
Wow! I'm pretty sure that's exactly the kind of judgemental diction that has fueled "mommy-wars" for years. Think about the connotation of the words you're using - "dumped", "random", "useless", "disposable", "guilt". We really ought to support eachother as women and moms and respect the choices each makes for her own family based on her own circumstances. JMHO!:)
I'm fully aware of the connotation for the words I used. I was speaking about my family and my kids. My kids are valuable to me, and all those things would be a huge negative in our life. :)

mookie
04-09-2007, 06:00 PM
I appreciate your concern, please take this in the spirit intended.

I LOVE my kids. I'm glad I had them. They bring joy to my life. But I'd be a lousy SAHM - I don't have the patience for small kids. I'm not a playdoh mom or a fingerpaint mom - makes too much mess - my kids got that at daycare. Having them be my responsibility for 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and my mental health and my children would suffer - seriously.

I'm a great 5:00pm -8:00pm to bedtime and weekends Mom. We bake cookies and bread. We go to the museum and bikeriding and ice skating. That is my tolerance for it. Changing diapers for 16 hours a day, screaming children, toddler tantrums, toys all over the floor, potty training - thank God for my wonderful daycare staff!

Now that my kids are older, I'm a better Mom - elementary age kids are much more rational, and I cope better. But now, they don't need me home because they are in school.

When you say everyone should stay home with their kids, you are condeming a bunch of kids to stay at home with Mom's like me - and worse. For some kids, daycare provides the stability in their lives.

I suppose you could say "I shouldn't have had them to start with." Fair enough - you have any idea where the return counter is? (kidding, I'd NEVER give up my kids). Until you have kids, you really don't know if you will be a good 24x7x365 mom - I'm doing the best I can. Thank includes working outside the home.

Crisi, no need to be a working mom to feel that way - I completely understand. I do know that I'd probably do a better job in the workforce. I LOVED the workforce. I miss it. But I know that there will always be something about the other that you'll miss. And I know and realize how important of a job being a parent is, and I'm doing the best I can...even if that's NOT being Supermom. I'm not a playdoh mom either, and I stay home. My kids aren't lesser people for it either, they love their mom being around. They might not get all the messy crafts taht they would at daycare, but they do get to go places - instead of being cooped up in a one room daycare all day. Either way, you can justify it! ;)

And I ALWAYS make sure to try to plan some time for me even though I do stay home....it keeps my sanity. Grama loves to have the kiddos come visit. Does it make me a bad SAHM because I dump my kids off? Even if it does, I'd still do it!

Okay, a bit off topic, I know. Just wanted to let you know that I understand where you are coming from...even though I do stay home!

DawnM
04-09-2007, 06:05 PM
You sound like me today. I also homeschool. I am ready to STOP homeschooling! I am going nuts at home.

Dawn

I'm a SAHM and my kid is currently watching Cars for the billionth time because frankly, I was tired of him asking about it. (Cars go vroom! Cars go vroom!) I don't feel caring and nuturing right now!

mouseketeer_mom
04-09-2007, 06:26 PM
you gotta be flippin' kiddin' me! Somebody wrote a book about what the rest of us should choose to do with our lives?!?!? :lmao:

let me see...

I came out of college and choose a career..

then I got married and had a baby... and I stayed in my chosen career field and choose to (as someone else so eloquently wrote) dump my child in daycare.

then I got pregnant and decided to be a stay at home mom. (which as some others have mentioned can lead to moments of "what was I thinking? I used to get an hour for lunch?!?!"

so, I started to work from home

now I work part time from home and part time out of the home, once again "dumping" my offspring in daycare about 9 hours a week.

in six months, I'll return to my "career" and my children will be in school full time and occasionally need daycare.

I say all of this because I think I have a fairly well rounded opinion. Here it is.. (drum roll please!)
All were the best decisions I could have made for me, at the time I made them

When all the "Mother of the Year" points are tallied, and the retirement and college money has been counted, I'll let you know how I did. Between now and then, I'll just keep trying to make the best decisions for my family at the time they have to be made. Either way, I'm pretty sure my epitaph will not read "she wasted too much time with her children and not nearly enough time making money" nor will it read "all that time wasted, working for her childrens college education :sad2:

DiznEeyore
04-09-2007, 06:27 PM
This whole thread makes me sad. And SO angry. :(

I'm not a "playing games" type mom either. I'm MUCH better at working than staying at home. But I CHOSE to have a child and that means he's my primary responsibility until he's an adult. I can't imagine only being a mom from "5-8 pm and on weekends". That's one of the saddest things I've ever heard. Why even have kids? So they can be a nighttime and weekend plaything? I know way too many people like that; my best friend is one. She wanted to have her trophy children and PRAYS for Monday because she can't make it through the weekend with her kids. So very sad.

Having to work and choosing to work are two totally different things. I would never CHOOSE to give my child up to someone else to influence for so many hours a day for years on end.

Maybe this makes me sound harsh; I don't care. I worked daycare for years (before I became a mom) and saw what those little ones went through when they wanted their moms and couldn't have them for 12 hours a day. NO WAY. Flame away if you want; you won't get a reply and you definitely won't change my mind.

jodifla
04-09-2007, 06:30 PM
I think their are signigicant tradeoffs to all ways of doing things, actually. So many SAHM's have the idea that working moms are just greedy jerks who hate their kids and want to wear Prada.

I'm sure you can count a few in the world who are....but the working woman phenomenon was brought about by generations of women who were truly second-class citizens in the '40s, '50s and '60s (and really, pretty much all the generations before that.).

Since I haven't read the book yet, I'm not sure if it talks about one of the things that I find most compelling on this subject: The fact that many women stay in bad marriages because they don't have the financial backing to leave.

If you've never been close to anyone in this situation, count your lucky stars. Because it's pretty darn scary depending on someone who is constantly belittling you and threatening you and your children, but you feel you can't leave.

This happened frequently to my mother's generation (I'm 45, mom would have been 80 this year). I have several female family members who tell stories to make your hair curl.

And if you read the stories on these boards, you see that it still happens frequently today.

A woman with the education and experience to support her children is truly a free woman. A woman who cedes all that to her husband is in a greatly weakened position, one that an angry man will seize on. Watched it happend live and up-close many times, and it left quite an impression.

jodifla
04-09-2007, 06:38 PM
Ah, I KNEW the mommy martyrs would join in!

mickeyfan2
04-09-2007, 06:39 PM
I think their are signigicant tradeoffs to all ways of doing things, actually. So many SAHM's have the idea that working moms are just greedy jerks who hate their kids and want to wear Prada.

I'm sure you can count a few in the world who are....but the working woman phenomenon was brought about by generations of women who were truly second-class citizens in the '40s, '50s and '60s (and really, pretty much all the generations before that.).

Since I haven't read the book yet, I'm not sure if it talks about one of the things that I find most compelling on this subject: The fact that many women stay in bad marriages because they don't have the financial backing to leave.

If you've never been close to anyone in this situation, count your lucky stars. Because it's pretty darn scary depending on someone who is constantly belittling you and threatening you and your children, but you feel you can't leave.

This happened frequently to my mother's generation (I'm 45, mom would have been 80 this year). I have several female family members who tell stories to make your hair curl.

And if you read the stories on these boards, you see that it still happens frequently today.

A woman with the education and experience to support her children is truly a free woman. A woman who cedes all that to her husband is in a greatly weakened position, one that an angry man will seize on. Watched it happend live and up-close many times, and it left quite an impression.
ITA

And in my great-grandmother's, grandmother's and mother's times they all tell of horrible living conditions for women.

One of the reasons the Great Depression was so horrible is that one man was supporting a wife and double digit numbers of kids. When he lost his job a huge amount of people went hunger.

I work and my DH always tells me that he has to treat me nice, since I don't need him financially. My DH is a wonderful man and is always kind but he also saw the dependence and abuse that women can endure if they are not capable of supporting themselves and their kids alone if a "D" word (death, disability, divorce) should occur.

Mono~rail
04-09-2007, 06:40 PM
I forgot to mention that Dr. Laura talked about this book last week. I listen to her show regularly. :)

sk!mom
04-09-2007, 06:43 PM
I spent quite some time writing a very long response to this, then decided I couldn't withstand the potential flames and deleted it. ;) So here's my scaled-down opinion. And let me preface this by saying it's meant to apply to 2-parent households.

I personally think kids should have a parent at home with them. Mother, father, whatever. Just someone whose main role is to care for and nurture that child. I know there are some tremendous child care providers out there, but IMHO, parent trumps babysitter every time. Parents can offer both love and discipline that can't come from a CCP. I completely respect the fact that some families can't get by on one income, but I belive that is due in great part to people living way beyond their means.

I'm not a parent yet, but my husband and I intend on having children fairly soon, and have set up our life and finances accordingly. We both have terrific educations with lots of earning potential, but we live an existence that requires only one income. I only work part time, and we never use any of the money I make for necessities, because we refuse to fall into the 'two income trap'. We don't NEED the dual vehicles or the huge house or the Hawaiian vacations that, technically, we could afford. Instead we share a car, bought a sensible home and go to Disney during the free dining. And I promise you, it hasn't killed us yet!! :thumbsup2 When the time comes that we need to go down to one income, we'll barely notice it. And my children will have their mom around, which to us is the most important thing.

So there you go. I'll get down off my soapbox now. :)

Edited to add: this isn't directed at anyone or inspired by anything other than the article in the original post! Just wanted to make that uber clear!

No flames from me. The beauty of living now is we can all make the choice that works for our families.

The point of the article to me and my reason for posting it was that there are definite financial ramifications of being a SAHM. If you prepare and choose it wisely then great.

I once read an article about life's biggest financial pitfalls.` Having children was on the list. Children are a liability that will never pay off in a financial sense. Many of us choose to have them anyway because they will enrich our lives. They are worth the cost.

To me the point of both articles was when you make life altering choices - do it with your eyes wide open.

threecrazykids
04-09-2007, 06:43 PM
I'm gonna get flamed for this but here we go:

I agree so much with the women who say that they love working outside the home and feel like great mothers for it. I feel the same way.

I work not only because it allows us to do additional things we may not be able to do on one income, have things we may not have with me home etc. but it also teaches my kids strong work ethic, commitment, and self sufficiency. I do NOT want my daughter to grow up thinking that her only option of being a super mom is to give up everything she has for her own wants and dreams when she has children...or getting ripped apart because she's not a "good mom" if she works. I also don't want my sons thinking that they have to support their wives once they choose to have children either. If they choose that route good for them, but I don't want any of them to feel obligated to make that choice to prove worth.

I also know that my kids have learned SO much from being in a daycare setting that they would never have experienced at home. I worked in daycare for 5 years before entering the corporate world and I know the ups and downs stay at home kids have as well when they've never been away from mom. Being home with mom all day may not be the best for some kids either.

There is no "right choice" for everyone. I love working and having the extras and no, I'm not willing to sacrifice the extras my kids get by me working. Some people would give up everything to be home with their kids. It's called differences in opinions, not priorities. No one is right, no one is wrong...but we're all Moms the same.

DawnM
04-09-2007, 06:48 PM
popcorn::

tinker&belle
04-09-2007, 06:50 PM
This whole thread makes me sad. And SO angry. :(

I'm not a "playing games" type mom either. I'm MUCH better at working than staying at home. But I CHOSE to have a child and that means he's my primary responsibility until he's an adult. I can't imagine only being a mom from "5-8 pm and on weekends". That's one of the saddest things I've ever heard. Why even have kids? So they can be a nighttime and weekend plaything? I know way too many people like that; my best friend is one. She wanted to have her trophy children and PRAYS for Monday because she can't make it through the weekend with her kids. So very sad.

Having to work and choosing to work are two totally different things. I would never CHOOSE to give my child up to someone else to influence for so many hours a day for years on end.


Maybe this makes me sound harsh; I don't care. I worked daycare for years (before I became a mom) and saw what those little ones went through when they wanted their moms and couldn't have them for 12 hours a day. NO WAY. Flame away if you want; you won't get a reply and you definitely won't change my mind.

I also work in a childcare center, I am a licensed teacher, for everyone who used the b*bysitter word, that it insulting.

Anyhoo...that's another topic. What I find interesting is how at the beginning of the thread, someone said they felt very judged being a SAHM, however from reading through, I'm feeling the most judgement for the mom's who "dump" their child off at daycare, and how children suffer so terribly at this place. I will be the first to say not all centers are quality, but there are many good childcare centers with caring staff and an engaging environment. I would have no problem with my child attending the center I work at whether I worked there or not.

I guess SAHM and WOH moms just need to live and let live. Some of the moms at my center are the greatest I know. Others do their very best for their kids and their kids are happy. I know great SAHM too. I'm getting ready to have my first child, and my MIL will watch her, financially we could live on one income if I worked just a tad part time (we have too many college loans:scared: ), but if anything happened we would be in trouble. So the child will stay with MIL, and be with us the other 18 hrs out of the day that one of us is home...when the child gets to be three she will go to preschool at least part time for socialization, IMHO that is the best thing to do for a child...but that's a different topic for a different day.

I'm glad everyone is secure in their choices, now live and let live!

MrsPete
04-09-2007, 06:54 PM
The author must not be a mother. A mother dosent put money before her children.But every mother knows that children require money -- lots of it. Believe me, we're going in to talk about braces tomorrow, and I'm awfully glad that I'm able to write a check for 5K!

Working doesn't mean you put money before your children; in fact, it can mean the exact opposite. Depending upon your choices, it can mean that your kids'll be able to go to college without incurring debt, etc.

beattyfamily
04-09-2007, 06:54 PM
Here we go again. The battle of the SAHM vs working moms. :sad2:

I'm a proud SAHM who will not live for the 'what ifs'. I didn't go into this with blinders on. We've planned financially the best we could before we had kids (savings, insurance, disability, college savings, my own savings, my own CC etc...) and it was our decision to have a parent stay home with our kids.

I don't regret it for a second and I'm not going to defend my decision to anyone nor live in fear of the 'what ifs' and neither should the rest of you moms, both SAH or working.

MrsPete
04-09-2007, 06:59 PM
According to them, my parents said they could have lived just on Dad's income, but things would have been so tight, it really would have been miserable . . . The extra income meant potato chips in our lunches, and ice cream for desert after dinner. It ment family vacations to a cabin on a lake each summer so we could go fishing and swiming, and once, even a trip to WDW. It ment mom and dad could save for their retirement so my brothers and I don't have to support them, even if they get sick or disabled . . . It meant that they could help pay for our college should we choose to go . . . And they were both still there for my brothers and I. Yep, I was one of the kids who had a SAHM, but things were really, really too tight financially. Food was rationed, we kids usually had two pair of school pants per year (and by spring they were highwaters), we had one pair of tennis shoes per year (some years we had to wear them to church too), and we had to wait for things like eye glasses. At points, we were on food stamps, and we got the government cheese and butter.

My own kids are much better off financially (though I am careful to give them much less than we could afford to give them), and they ALSO have two devoted parents. In fact, my mother has told me several times that I'm a much better parent than she was.

bellarella
04-09-2007, 07:03 PM
I'm glad everyone is secure in their choices, now live and let live!

I would argue that most of the posters on this thread are *not* secure in their choices. Even most who have said that they don't judge others for their choices spend 80% of the post casting their choice as the "right" one with pejorative language.

I don't know if it is the consensus building gene in women or what, but it seems that most of the time women feel the need to validate their own choices by having others agree with them. The notion that another choice could be just as right for another family as theirs is for their own seems utterly foreign. It's as if the other person needs to be converted or marginalized. <sigh>

I am totally secure in the decisions I have made. I recognize that they have all required choices between different risks and opportunities. I also fully recognize that someone different in my shoes may have made completely different decisions and still had a happy family. So I feel no need to explain, or defend, or even mention my choice. The only thing that concerns me is that all women are free to make these decisions for themselves and their families, whatever decision they make, and that there is room in society to offer support for both stay at home moms and moms that work outside the home.

MrsPete
04-09-2007, 07:05 PM
The way I see it, my kids want *me* -not to be dumped off in a daycare center so I can earn more money to buy as much random, useless, disposable stuff as we possibly can to ease the guilt of dumping them off all day. :)This is the type of emotional response that causes fights. Dumped, random, useless, guilt -- all words with negative connotations, all intended not to validate your opinion but to insult anyone who's made a different choice.

jodifla
04-09-2007, 07:07 PM
Yep, I was one of the kids who had a SAHM, but things were really, really too tight financially. Food was rationed, we kids usually had two pair of school pants per year (and by spring they were highwaters), we had one pair of tennis shoes per year (some years we had to wear them to church too), and we had to wait for things like eye glasses. At points, we were on food stamps, and we got the government cheese and butter.

My own kids are much better off financially (though I am careful to give them much less than we could afford to give them), and they ALSO have two devoted parents. In fact, my mother has told me several times that I'm a much better parent than she was.

Yep. From about the time I was 12 on, all I kept telling my mom was, "Get a job!"

It was a drag having money be so tight all the time, and to witness her feeling so trapped in the relationship with my dad. She had no money so my dad held all the cards.

I felt then, and still feel now, that she did a disservice to all of us by insisting on being a SAHM for so long, herself especially. (And I loved my mom, heart and soul. But I saw then, as I see now, that her choice to stay home was devastating for all of us.)

For one thing, we would have had more money. She would have had more friends and self-confidence. And when my dad threated to leave us, she would have been able to say, "There's the door."

That might have been good for him, too. The game plays out differently when you don't hold all the cards.

beattyfamily
04-09-2007, 07:08 PM
This is the type of emotional response that causes fights. Dumped, random, useless, guilt -- all words with negative connotations, all intended not to validate your opinion but to insult anyone who's made a different choice.

Your right it is one type of response that makes me cringe but so is the "martyr mom" response.

It goes both ways in this debate.

MrsPete
04-09-2007, 07:13 PM
I'm fully aware of the connotation for the words I used. I was speaking about my family and my kids. My kids are valuable to me, and all those things would be a huge negative in our life. :)Then you meant to insult anyone whose opinion differs.

EVERY MOM's kids are valuable to her. That doesn't mean that we've all made the same decisions about how to raise them. For example, I will not allow my kids to have TVs in their bedrooms. No how, no way, not going to happen. Does that mean you're a terrible person if you've bought your children a whole entertainment system? I intend to pay for my kids to attend college. Does that mean you're an idiot if you feel they should pay their own way? I have never put my kids into organized sports. If your kids are in soccer and t-ball, are you a better mom?

You need to recognize that people can have different values, opinions, and options in life, while still loving their children and putting their welfare first -- and some of these people who love their children will choose to work.

mookie
04-09-2007, 07:16 PM
Ah, I KNEW the mommy martyrs would join in!

I don't know if it's so much about being a mommy martyr as it is about a mom who knows both sides of the coin and recognizes the plusses and minuses of each...

Either position is going to have sacrifice. And if you've had a bad day at work, it's easy to say "wouldn't it be nice to just be at home all day instead of dealing with the BS." Same goes for staying home. Of course I have days where I miss being "out there," and not dealing with the "BS" of being at home. It's only human to think the grass is always greener.

But at the same time, I do not regret my decision. Becuase when it boils down to it, my choice was a good one for me. Doesn't mean there aren't days where I wish could get away though!

jodifla
04-09-2007, 07:16 PM
Your right it is one type of response that makes me cringe but so is the "martyr mom" response.

It goes both ways in this debate.

How so?

There are plenty of SAHMs who aren't martyrs.

But you don't get to fire-bomb without being called on it.

MrsPete
04-09-2007, 07:19 PM
I'm sure you can count a few in the world who are....but the working woman phenomenon was brought about by generations of women who were truly second-class citizens in the '40s, '50s and '60s (and really, pretty much all the generations before that.) . . . If you've never been close to anyone in this situation, count your lucky stars. Because it's pretty darn scary depending on someone who is constantly belittling you and threatening you and your children, but you feel you can't leave. . . This happened frequently to my mother's generation (I'm 45, mom would have been 80 this year). I have several female family members who tell stories to make your hair curlMy mom was one of these "betrayed" women, and I remember clearly hearing her talk with friends in similar situations -- it's far from uncommon -- they didn't always know I was listening. I remember very clearly at a young age realizing that I needed to be able to take care of myself. THAT is the really important theme on this thread. HOW you choose to do it is up to you; the important thing is that you have the ability to take care of yourself and your children.

MrsPete
04-09-2007, 07:25 PM
I don't know if it's so much about being a mommy martyr as it is about a mom who knows both sides of the coin and recognizes the plusses and minuses of each...And there certainly ARE plusses and minuses to both sides! Every working mom has an occasional day when she says, "Why am I putting myself through all this?" Every SAHM sometimes finds herself at her wits end and thinks, "Where's the nearest employment office?" The question is, are you in the position that makes you and your family happy the great majority of the time?

MrsPete
04-09-2007, 07:27 PM
There are plenty of SAHMs who aren't martyrs.But we all know 'em!

yrdlyprincess
04-09-2007, 07:30 PM
here goes on my 2 cents, I AM a stay at home mom, I love it won't change it for the world :grouphug: (sometimes I'm a little crazy :scared1: but so is everyone) but with the cost of daycare in my area I would bring home about 40-60 a week after paying daycare. I don't live but "what if's" We live on a budget, loggin EVERYTHING paid in our "budget book":teacher: . It is what works for your family. I no longer live close enough to family that would watch kids to work part time, so again not worth it. We have enough in savings accounts for 6-9 months living expenses, another for if ALL appliances & water heater go, another for if one car "blow up " (yes i'm that weird that I have even more SINGLE purpose accts) Wa have life insurance on both of us, house, cars. I think that the stay at home vs. work will always be an "issue" but what it comes down to is if it works for you !

aka-mad4themouse
04-09-2007, 07:33 PM
It's obvious that there are passionate feelings on both sides of the fence here. And I doubt that anyone is going to change someone's position when emotions run so hot on the subject. I appreciate all the thoughful, even-handed contributions that have been made to this thread. But I'm going to close it now, before there are more inciteful comments than insightful ones.

BethR
04-09-2007, 07:33 PM
Since we no longer have a Debate Board on the DIS to move this to, I am going to shut this thread down. It has been my experience that discussions of this kind will only lead personal attacks and NOT treating other DISsers with respect when posting - both which are not permitted per our DIS Posting Guidelines.

Thank You.