Extra Money and Extra Time

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Extra Money and Extra Time
452
Fri, 03-28-2003 - 2:31pm
A couple of boards back I asked, and cobaltblue2002 answered, this. I'd like input from everyone.

Why do some people think WOHMs are greedy and materialistic if the WOHMS want to work or work FT, partly to have a financial cushion (I know this does not apply to all WOHMS' financial situations), but the same people think nothing of SAHMs staying home, partly because the SAHMs like more time at home, with children, with hobbies, etc. than other people?

In other words, is more or "extra" time an honorable reason to SAH, but working to earn more than the basic necessities somehow not honorable?

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Avatar for outside_the_box_mom
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sat, 03-29-2003 - 7:30am
Basically, it's a matter of priorities. You value a financial cushion. Others value time with their children. But neither is "honorable."

outside_the_box_mom

Avatar for cyndiluwho
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Sat, 03-29-2003 - 7:49am
You haven't run into my sister. She'd tell you what an awful mother you are. She used to do home dc but kept getting fired because she'd tell the kids how "Sorry" she was for them because their mommy's didn't love them enough to SAH with them. She can't understand why the moms were mad. She claims she was just showing empathy for the kids. She just wanted them to understand that she understood their pain.

I think it does depend on where you live though. I live in SAH surburbia right now. Moms fall into, basically, two categories here, SAHM's and moms who "have" to work and are felt sorry for. They don't quite know what to make of me. I don't have to work and I don't SAH. I'm an enigma. I'm educated and I choose to work.

The one I find really funny is when someone tells me I'm working for things in the same breath they claim to be sacrificing to SAH. Um, we live in the same neighborhood and have the same standard of living. How come it's a sacrifice for them and greed for me?? They just give me a dumb look when I point this out. Like it never dawned on them that I have the lifestyle they "sacrifice" to achieve because I WOH. Um, I live where you live. That ought to tell you something, lol. Like our standard of living isn't too far apart.

You know, I like this edit feature. I'm famous for typos and misspellings, lol.


Edited 3/29/2003 8:51:38 AM ET by cyndiluwho

Avatar for outside_the_box_mom
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sat, 03-29-2003 - 7:49am
You need to give me a different scenerio.

I bill out $10K in two months. Jane Doe can't make $10K in 12 months working part-time?

I understand if a family needs the second parent to work. My former husband made less than $30K a year. I made less than $30K year while putting myself through school. We both *had* to work. However, in your scenerio, something doesn't add up.

Below in another thread, P&Jmom said she doesn't understand why I would want to cut expenses in order to work less. It's so I can avoid the scenerio you've just outlined. Fewer expenses = less money that needs to be earned. For ME (not saying for you), having a boat, a 5,000 sq foot house, an airplane (which my DH constantly drools over), or a swimming pool really means I'm working more and spending less time with my family. Because all that stuff costs MONEY. Money = time. So, because we've cut back on alot of things, we're able to make do on one and half salaries. Same with Mygriffen. Therefore, we get that "extra" time with our children which is important to us.

My son talks all the time about the things we used to do together before he started school fulltime. He is forever saying, "Remember when we visited the firehouse? Remember when we used to walk and get ice-cream? Remember when we fed the ducks? When can we go pick apples and strawberries again? I liked it when we rode on the train." Yesterday we spent part of the afternoon looking for ants because he wants to build an ant farm. We walk the dog together, feed the birds, go to the library. *That* is why I work PT -- so that I can spend time with my child and give him lots of good memories. My son was a gift from God to me. I want to *enjoy* him.

outside_the_box_mom



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Registered: 03-26-2003
Sat, 03-29-2003 - 8:06am
Thank goodness I've never met you sister! LOL! I live in a close-in suburban area. It appears (to me) to be mostly WOH by choice, but I've never done a poll. :)

Every once in a while, when I chaperone a school trip or go to a class party (which I do at least once a year for each kid), one of the SAHM's who also volunteers will give me a strange look and say "But I thought you worked", and I'll just say, "I do - I took a personal day" or whatever. It's never been a big deal. I think the same people get tired of always volunteering, so they're happy to have a new person to work with.

My sisters and SIL's all work, as do all my friends, so it just doesn't come up IRL.



iVillage Member
Registered: 03-21-2001
Sat, 03-29-2003 - 8:16am
For me, it's all about the comfort zone.

While I think I'd enjoy being a SAHM, because I like being at home, I don't think I'll ever do it. So much of who I am is tied up in my career, and more importantly, my ability to support myself financially.

My mom SAH and was in a bad marriage with a man who made very little money. I experienced how difficult it was for her to get a job after a decade and a half without working and raise a child on a small salary.

I need comfort. I don't need "stuff" (my friends think I'm TOO frugal). I need that financial cushion.

As far as time with the kids goes - it's the same thing - "comfort zone". Some people look at me and think I'm ridiculous being so frugal with a combined 6-figure income - because their comfort zone is a lot lower. Some people think that a SAHM who insists on 24/7 with her kids is ridiculous, because their comfort zone is a lot lower. Some people shudder at a family of two lawyers, both working 80-hours per week, who never see their kids, because of their comfort zone.

Judge not, lest ye be judged? I judge people, but I don't mind being judged in return.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-21-2001
Sat, 03-29-2003 - 8:24am
I have to agree. I hate to clean. I am seriously considering hiring a cleaning person. I spend most of my days working at work, or cleaning at home. I get very little vacation, and have very little time left for "fun". And I don't have kids?

What's honorable about scrubbing your own toilet, when you'd rather be spending that hour making a quilt for your new niece?

Avatar for cyndiluwho
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Sat, 03-29-2003 - 9:06am
I think the same people get tired of volunteering here too but it's their own fault. Instead of putting out a list at the beginning of the year, the room moms just arrange everything until they get tired of it and then complain that no one else helps. Um, if they included us up front, they'd get more help. We're coming up on the time of year when they start complaining to us about not volunteering. Of course, they haven't called me about a single opportunity so far this year but it's my fault I'm not volunteering for what I know nothing about and my fault they're so tired of it??? Around here, they pretty much exclude the WM's until they get tired of doing everything and then they complain about what we don't do. Personally, I think they just like to complain. If they really wanted the help, they'd make sure all the moms are called. After all, many hands make light work. I've given up on the room moms. IMO, it's the room moms job to make sure all the moms have the opportunity to be involved. I tick them off because I send goodies to every party. They like to pick and choose which moms get to provide the goodies and, to date, I've never been called. So I just send something rather than have my dd never be the kid to bring in treats. I've had something said to me about it but if the're not going to include me, I'll include myself. It's like they have this little clique going and they want to show off all that they do while complaining about what a burden it is and how much the WM's don't help. I'd love to be a room mom but the position is only open to those who are available during the day at my dd's school so I can't be.
Avatar for cyndiluwho
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Sat, 03-29-2003 - 9:16am
Only thing is, you can have both the financial cushion AND time with your kids. Working for a financial cushion does not mean I don't have time for my kids or that I don't value time with my kids as I still spend the bulk of my time with my kids.

You've got that wrong. It's not one person valuing time with their kids and the other valuing a financial cushion (which implies this is either/or which it is not). It's one person valuing having an over abundance of time with their kids and someone else valuing spending the majority of their time with their kids and having a financial cusion. The SAHM doesn't necessarily value time more. More likely, she values having the financial cushion less. One does not show more value for time by spending all of it engaged in an activity as opposed to just spending the majority of their time engaged in the activity. All it shows is that different people prefer different balances in their lives.

I prefer to spend the majority of my time with my kids and have a financial cushion but that doesn't mean I value time with my kids less than you do. It means I value the financial cushion enough to trade some of my extra time with my kids in order to have it.

Edited to rephrase for clarity

Edited 3/29/2003 10:34:06 AM ET by cyndiluwho


Edited 3/29/2003 10:35:04 AM ET by cyndiluwho

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sat, 03-29-2003 - 9:17am
There are a lot of Jane Does that can't make $10K working PT.

Me, for instance. I *could* make that much, but daycare would eat most of it up (there is virtually no price difference here between FT adn PT daycare). So, in essence, I wouldn't MAKE $10K. If dc would eat most of it up, I might as well not work. but if I dont work, I'm that $10K short. And, it wouldn't be in my field and I'm not gonna work if I'm not going to enjoy what I do.

I live in a town that is filled with military and civil service retirees. These are people, ranging in age from 40 to 65, that love to work PT. Because they already have income in the form of Uncle Sam retirement money. They are willing to work PT for less than I would need, and they don't have childcare expenses. So, what few PT jobs there are, are gobbled up quickly and never let go.

And in my field, (marketing advertising, etc) there are VERY few jobs in the area. You have to take what you can get (I got lucky and have one of the good ones.) And you can't forge out on your own, becaue the market is saturated with people who have already started their own business (see retiree stuff above.) To do it on my own, and thus be able to WAHPT, it would cost me more than I would make in the beginning and I'd have to work FT hours to get started. So, I might as well work for someone else, if I'm gonna work FT hours anyway.

We don't *need* all my salary. But, its either make FT money and have extra to spend on *extras*, or not work at all and have trouble making ends meet.

Maybe in your field, or your geographical area, etc you can make $10K pt. But its very hard to do here. And I've found the same is true for other mothers as well.

Incidentally, when ds starts school and I no longer have dc costs to worry about, I probably will work PT. My boss has already said that he'll consider it when the time comes (2 years at least) as he thinks we'll probably be adding staff anyway by then.

Hollie

And I understand the cutting expenses to work less. And dh and I have cut a lot of expenses as it is. But, the cutbacks we'd have to make to make do on 1.5 salaries are ones that we aren't willing to make (we'd have to move, or have chosen a smaller house in the beginning). The little things that we haven't cut (the Satellit TV, surround sound system, internet service, etc) wouldn't make it feasible if we DID cut them, so why?

I'm glad you're able to do on 1.5 salaries. But we can't right now. And I really don't want to at this point. Things are going well for our family. And isn't that what matters?

It sounds like you and your son have a lot of fun together.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sat, 03-29-2003 - 9:27am
Yep! That's how it is with our pool and house.

In order for me to not *need* to work, we would have had to buy a much cheaper house. Which would have meant, the kids sharing a bedroom, no pool, no large lot for the kids to run around like banshees in, no big wooden playground in the yard, etc. But all of those things are what allow us to really enjoy our time together. Dd is virtually a fish. She *loves* to swim. And ds isn't far behind. The time we spend in the pool is invaluable. Because I work, most of that time is on weekends, but for me to have the weekdays free to swim, I couldn't work and if I didn't work ... no pool.

We like to blast the music, go outside adn grill for dinner. The whole family goes out. The kids run around the yard with the dog, we drink our beer, maybe dipping our feet in the pool, etc. If we had a postage stamp size lot, such as the inexpensive houses have, we wouldn't be able to do that as freely and enjoy it as much. Adn that's invaluable family time for us.

And we enjoy the size of our house. The kids having their own bedrooms is important to dh and I. Each kid needs space that is "their own". And we also have a spar bedroom and can sleep the whole family when they comoe to visit. If we had a smaller house, the fam would have to stay in a hotel. What kind of quality time can you have when gma and gpa have to go to the hotel each night?

Anyhoo ...

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