New Book: Mothers should work

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by sk!mom, Apr 9, 2007.

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  1. sk!mom

    sk!mom DIS Veteran

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    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.
     
  2. JR6ooo4

    JR6ooo4 <img src=http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/images

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    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
     
  3. disykat

    disykat DIS Veteran

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    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.
     
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  5. Kellydelly

    Kellydelly DIS Veteran

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    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.
     
  6. mookie

    mookie <font color=FF6666>Wow, am I in a wierd mood tonig

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    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.
     
  7. kfeuer

    kfeuer <font color=blue>My kids are going to think I'm ol

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    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.
     
  8. dwaddict

    dwaddict Mouseketeer

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    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!
     
  9. GOOFY4DONALD

    GOOFY4DONALD DH finished his plate at 50's Prime Time. They wer

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    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.
     
  10. jax677

    jax677 DIS Veteran

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    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.
     
  11. meandtheguys2

    meandtheguys2 <font color=red>Did not need to resort to hissy fi

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    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.
     
  12. shelly3girls

    shelly3girls <a href="http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/index.

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    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.
     
  13. jodifla

    jodifla WDW lover since 1972

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    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.
     
  14. crisi

    crisi DIS Veteran

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    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).
     
  15. aterriq

    aterriq Mouseketeer

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    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:
     
  16. meandtheguys2

    meandtheguys2 <font color=red>Did not need to resort to hissy fi

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    And my third is far better off for it!;)
     
  17. shelly3girls

    shelly3girls <a href="http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/index.

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    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.
     
  18. MrsPete

    MrsPete DIS Veteran

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    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.
     
  19. GOOFY4DONALD

    GOOFY4DONALD DH finished his plate at 50's Prime Time. They wer

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    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.
     
  20. labst60

    labst60 DIS Veteran

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    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.
     
  21. MiaSRN62

    MiaSRN62 DIS Veteran

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    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.
     
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