How prevelant is this attitude?

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-12-2002
How prevelant is this attitude?
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Wed, 04-02-2003 - 11:29am
A post below peeked my interest, as I have run into this a few times IRL, and alot online. How prevelant is the thinking that SAHP's are just home because they expect someone else to support them. Or because they are too lazy to get a job or keep a job. I didn't really keep up on the story of that governor who had twins while in office, but if I remember, her husband was a SAHP and it was constantly rumored that he wasn't a SAHD, he just couldn't keep a job. That may be true, I don't know, but I found it interesting that it even came up.

In the past, I have run into alot of people (alot in my own disfunctional family) who view the SAHP (me at the time) as someone who either cannot or won't hold down a job. They (in a general sense) tend to overlook the SAHP as someone who is not worthwhile of their time and attention. I know that there are judgements made on both sides of this, and I think we hear alot of the SAHP's judgements here because it tends to ruffle feathers. But I'm wondering how many other people have run into the WOHP's judgements or even to hear from WOHPs here who have the same judgements because I really don't understand this way of thinking.

Okmrsmommy-36, CPmom to DD-16 and DS-14

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Wed, 04-02-2003 - 8:31pm
Well what about those sahms who are actually smart enough to PLAN to sah? Sahms like I was, who were in the workforce for many years and actually retired? Sahms like I was who made smart business investments and have a good financial cushion? Sahms like I was who chose NOT to have children at 22yo and fresh out of college, because I did want to be able to devote my time to the children I would eventually have?

I dont think it *necessarily* means that to be a sahm you must find someone to support you. *AND* there is also the issue of the non-monetary contributions made by sahps. Not just the daily childcare, but things like household care and repairs, financial management, etc. Many people, men and women alike, find value in these contributions and see them as equal to a financial contribution.

dj

Dj

"Now when I need help, I look in the mirror" ~Kanye West~

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 04-03-2003 - 6:19am
Wow! Your post really felt like someone tapping on my door!

To you and the OP to whom you were replying...

I was the 22 yo fresh out of college who CHOSE to have children. I am unworthy to SAH because I did not have an established career first? Or even further into the extreme, I am unworthy to SAH because I am totally unqualified to raise my own children?

Dj, it is *acceptable* for you to be a SAHM simply because you put off starting your family to build a career? Why does that make you superior? Am I less of a mother because I started younger than you? Or less of a mother because I depend on my husband? I sure did not immaculately concieve these children, btw. I Severely depended on my dh for that contribution. You make it sound like SAH is some *entitlement* program, and I should have been disqualified!

And opinion123... though I am new here, I sometimes wonder if you just play the devil's advocate? I was never on a mission to get pregnant ASAP and dupe some young lad into supporting me so that I could avoid the workforce. My children have shelter, food, and all the necessities to live on, as do dh and I. We even have enough for savings for retirement and college. There is no dire need for me to WOH when my dh and I *enjoy* having a SAHP. Until I ask you for a loan, or start collecting gov't assistance and become a drain on your tax dollar, why is it anything to you?

Avatar for tickmich
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 04-03-2003 - 8:48am
I have known women who were SAHw and then SAHM's becuase in part they did not enjoy working outside the home.

I also have a good friend who went to college and had a successful career. She gave it up to SAHM. I do give her more credit becuase she gave up a career she enjoyed solely becuase she wanted to dedicate herself completely to her family. Giving up work was a scarifice for her where it isnt for someone who didnt want to work outside the home.

JMHO.

Michelle

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 04-03-2003 - 8:52am
I think you are probably in the minority of young families with SAHMs. Not many 22 year olds (unless they're married to much older men) can afford the $250 or $300 per month per child for college savings, plus 10-15% of income on top of that for retirement savings.

Most 22 year olds are not, by themselves or through marriage, lucky enough to find themselves in that kind of financial situation.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 12-12-2002
Thu, 04-03-2003 - 9:07am
That example could be me. Do you really think you know WHY those women stayed at home? Heck, THEY may not even know...lol.

I was a SAHW when we first got married, and only worked here and there due to outside pressures. The truth is, I DIDN'T want to work, but it wasn't because I didn't find work "fun" or whatever. It was because all I really wanted to do with my life was have children and be a SAHM. THAT was my "career goal". I had no desire for college because I wasn't going to use it. It would have been a VERY bad decision, at the time, for me to have gone to college in hindsight. I had no clue what I wanted to do, and there is no sense wasting thousands of dollars on a formal education when all I really wanted or planned for my life was to get married, have babies and be at home with them. :) It makes me no less dedicated to my children because I didn't give up a career. Well, I guess I did actually. I gave up college which would have led to a career...hmmmmm....maybe it is the same thing afterall.

Okmrsmommy-36, CPmom to DD-16 and DS-14

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 04-03-2003 - 9:12am
Yes, that may be, but I am not a statistic, who is? LOL It seems as though those are the only allowances in these debates for generalizing Are statistics. Though they may be fairly solid, I dont live my life to be one number or the other :)

We did not have the financial means in those first few years... but since then my dhs income has more than tripled. So, no, at age 22 we did not have enough... but at 28, we do. And because my MIL is a third generation accountant, it would just be tragic to not take her advice financially! If things were the same as when we started, I simply would not have the choice to continue SAH. Our college funds are actually trust funds. Because my dh found options other than college in life to pursue (the military, technical training) and I believe firmly in creating your *own job* - the children may decide at 18 what path they would like to take in life.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 04-03-2003 - 9:15am
My point is that most families can't have a SAH spouse or parent and still plan well financially. I agree that no one is a statistic, but SAH wannabes shouldn't glean from your example that they can necessarily do what you've done. Unless they have college trust funds too, or some other extraordinary financial resource.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 04-03-2003 - 9:18am
Oops - pushed the post button too soon - should have added "if the SAH parent is not well educated and does not have financial resources to drawn upon like djknappsak."

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Avatar for tickmich
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 04-03-2003 - 9:31am
First of all the SAHM's who I described in my earlier post specifically told me they didnt enjoy working and that it was a factor in their decision.

Secondly, a college education is never a waste. It is more than just a means to a career.

I grew so much as a person in college. It was the first time I ever lived away from home. It broadened my horizons. I met all kinds of interesting people from different backgrounds that I would have never met.

Even though you planned on becoming a SAHM, one's economic status isnt always guaranteed. Another reason in favor of getting a college degree.

Michelle

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-12-2002
Thu, 04-03-2003 - 9:44am
No offense, but a college education is not the only way to educate oneself, grow as a person, live away from home, broaden your horizons and meet different people. College isn't for everyone. It wasn't for me. It would have most likely been a big mistake for me to have gone straight out of HS. Maybe someday I will finally go. If all works out as planned, I will start in another year or so, and be finished with law school as my children are entering HS. That gives me another 30 years after college to put into a career, if I chose to do so.

As it is, I have done very well, financially, without college. I was just offered a FT position worth 36K+ a year, which in my low income state is very good. And I don't have any college. That just goes to show that there are other ways of gaining experience and education other than college. I got married at 18, had my children at 19 and 21, and now that they are in school, I can spend the time they are there working and/or going to school.

My situation has become a little different b/c of my having a DH who is at home due to disability. On one hand, it gives me a ton of options b/c the kids have a SAHP in him. On the other hand, he isn't really stable enough to count on 100% of the time. And with his disabilities, I have definently seen both sides of the economic status equation. But it hasn't ever made me think that going to college first would have been the right decision for my life or my family

Okmrsmommy-36, CPmom to DD-16 and DS-14

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