Does SAH create demanding children?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Does SAH create demanding children?
113
Wed, 03-26-2003 - 8:03am
I am reading The Mask of Motherhood and although I am not in total agreement of her theories and discussions, I thought they would be interesting in the context of this board.

One of her discussions focuses around the idea that now that mothers have more time/less household demands coupled with the parenting child-centered philosphies that the children have become more demanding of our time and attention.

Of course this discussion can take place regardless of employment status, but as the author seemed to be a SAHP, she clearly points to this as part of the reason we have "selfish brats".

SUS

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 03-31-2003 - 12:55pm
Well, that's kind of what I said, but would you really be living the same lifestyle on only one paycheck? The extra stuff now is probably stuff you could get along without, but wouldn't you miss if you didn't have it? I imagine whoever said it was selfish was going on the assumption that you might be spending your whole paycheck on designer clothes for yourself or whatever, while DH was buying all the necessities for the rest of the family. That isn't how I read your clarification. :)
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-30-2003
Mon, 03-31-2003 - 10:48am
see my other post (can't figure out above or below with this new set up) as I explained in detail.

My dh still pays for everything just as if I didn't work.

My money is extra. For me, for him, for the kids. But we could live the same life style if I didn't have that paycheck.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-30-2003
Mon, 03-31-2003 - 10:46am
Selfish to who? You?

What is selfish to you isn't to my dh & I. We decided together how this would be.

This is how my dh & I decided it would be. He said, you work, it is your money. It is your choice to work or stay home. No, I don't have any financial responsibility because he wants to provide the mortgage, bills, necessities and even takes care of the extras (lessons, whatever). My dh doesn't want to do the same. He is the provider for the family.

My money is spent on whatever. It can be a family vacation. It can be a spa trip for me. It can be for extra clothes for dh and the kids. It can be for my extra clothes. (Dh buys the clothes, this is extra spending).

If I decide I want a new living room full of furniture then I have the money to buy it. It makes it lovely to be able to live this way for us. It is nice to buy new patio furniture we don't have to take it out of the regular bill paying, necessity account.

It is ok for me to do this since it was an agreement btw both of us together.

And although we have separate checking accounts, one for my check, one for his. They both have our names on them. They both issue us debit cards. If he wants to buy something extra he is more than welcome to spend from my checking account and without mentioning a word to me first. It goes the other way also.






iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 03-31-2003 - 8:14am
But, what exactly do you spend "your" money on? Even if you spent it exclusively on goodies for yourself, that would still free up *some* of your husband's income to pay for a higher standard of living for the whole family.

My parents' neighbors (who are my parents' age) did what you said -- his income was for the family, her income was hers. But she spent her income on things like nicer furniture for their house, nice clothes for both of them, clothes and other stuff for their children (who are my age, and grown now) -- things that her husband didn't consider priorities and wouldn't have paid for on his own salary. Plus, she saved lots of money over the years, so they can travel now that they are retired. I'm sure the husband (and probably the wife) thought of his income as the main family income over the years, but the whole family enjoyed the benefits of her working.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 03-31-2003 - 8:00am
So, your salary doesn't benefit your family in any way?

In other words, your dh supports the family and you take no financial responsiblity for that, even though you work? If it is the way it sounds, its pretty selfish. To take what you make and spend *nothing* on your family. Why can't your husband do the same? Why can't he take all of his salary and simply spend it on himself? Because he'd be a jerk to do so. And your children would go unclothed and unfed. So, why is okay for you to do the same?

My salary isn't *necessary* to clothe and feed my children. But you can bet your patooties that it aids the entire family. Even though there are bills that dh physically pays and ones that I physically pay, its always OUR money and we both financially support our family. I can't imagine taking all of my salary and spending it on nothing but me.

Hollie

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 03-31-2003 - 7:58am
Excellent, excellent post. Very eloquent.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-30-2003
Sun, 03-30-2003 - 9:13pm
But what about women who work and their money doesn't go to the household income? Then the household income would be the same whether the woman worked or not because she is taking that money and spending it and it has nothing to do with the income they use as a family unit. Is there any study you can quote of how many do this? We do but I'm sure we are in the minority speaking nationwide. There is more money coming in since I work. But at the same time the same x amount of dollars is being spent on family (bills, necessities, whatever). That amount doesn't change whether I work or not. Based on my dh's salary only. We live only on his salary. None of mine.
Avatar for cyndiluwho
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Sun, 03-30-2003 - 3:22pm
Well said.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Sun, 03-30-2003 - 2:59pm
I am not disagreeing with you, just admitting that I am surprised when I see people with what I consider the advantages of wealth and education stymied by the day to day demands of parenting. All the studies seem to indicate that the higher the SES of the parent, the better off the child, so it strikes me as odd when I see the opposite.
Avatar for cyndiluwho
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Sun, 03-30-2003 - 1:38pm
NOOOOOOO. Take a look at the census data. Income is higher in DWP households than in SAHP households. They corrected for the impact of the increase in income. Don't know what it is where you are but here the difference is something like $14,000 a year which isn't insignificant with the median income for households with SAHP's in the upper 30's.

As a class, WM's have more of a tendency to be educated than SAHM's. Maternal education is known to impact school readiness so they corrected for this as well. As to how much more educated WM's are than SAHM's all I can say is it's enough that the researchers felt a need to correct for it.

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