Since we have a bunch of "newbies"

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-17-2007
Since we have a bunch of "newbies"
28
Thu, 08-05-2010 - 2:11pm

perhaps we can readdress some of the "old" debates that actually apply to sah/woh issues.

1) What went into your decision to be a sah or woh parent (and everything in between)?

2) What circumstances would have to change for you to change your sah or woh status?

3) Do you plan on paying for some or most or none of your children's post HS educations?

4) How would feel about a person who was a sahp and on food stamps, WIC, rent subsidies...., but wouldn't need them if they woh? Can you think of circumstances where that would be the best choice for that family?

5) How has your position changed? or has it? Are you a sah who thought s/he would be a woh or a woh who thought s/he would be a sah?

6) How many sahds are there at your child's school? In your neighborhood?

That should start something (I hope).

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-20-2008
Thu, 08-05-2010 - 6:48pm

I'm a lurker not a newbie.

ds
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-12-2005
Thu, 08-05-2010 - 7:44pm

1) What went into your decision to be a sah or woh parent (and everything in between)? We have made the decision and re-evaluated several times. The initial decision was made before we got married (when we decided for me to go back to school). It was based on a desire to share both the financial burden and the child care duties. DH wanted to be more involved than the traditional dad, and did not want to feel he had to work two jobs or super long days to build a career that would give our children everything we wanted them to have. I wanted my kids to have what I did, parents who managed to model a great balance between career and family. I thought my mom working had a positive impact that would have been absent had she taken a more traditional and accepted route.

2) What circumstances would have to change for you to change your sah or woh status? One of my children would have to need me at home. Or my DH would have to have a job that made it impossible for him to share the parenting/household tasks. Or we'd have to win the lottery (in which case we'd quit but start a non-profit organization, so not quite at home).

3) Do you plan on paying for some or most or none of your children's post HS educations? I plan to pay for all of undergraduate. If we can't, I will pay as much as possible, but as long as we keep our jobs, we will pay.

4) How would feel about a person who was a sahp and on food stamps, WIC, rent subsidies...., but wouldn't need them if they woh? Can you think of circumstances where that would be the best choice for that family? I can think of such circumstances, so I can't make a blanket judgment here.

5) How has your position changed? or has it? Are you a sah who thought s/he would be a woh or a woh who thought s/he would be a sah? nope. I was in school for the first few years of mothering, but always planned to WOH.

6) How many sahds are there at your child's school? In your neighborhood? Not sure.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-22-2005
Thu, 08-05-2010 - 8:04pm

1) What went into your decision to be a sah or woh parent (and everything in between)?
I've been working part time to make my student loan repayments. I'm not going to make my DH pay for my education. Plus my job was so flexible and so part time that it made no sense to stop working if I could spend all day with my kids and still earn money.

2) What circumstances would have to change for you to change your sah or woh status?
If we were debt-free and I wasn't satisfied with my children's education, I would SAH in order to homeschool them.

3) Do you plan on paying for some or most or none of your children's post HS educations?
We'll probably at least pay for their 2-year degree, after which they can transfer to a 4-year school. They can work part-time and live with us (rent-free because they're students, LOL).

4) How would feel about a person who was a sahp and on food stamps, WIC, rent subsidies...., but wouldn't need them if they woh? Can you think of circumstances where that would be the best choice for that family?
Barring special needs situations or some other extenuating circumstance, I would consider that an improper use of welfare and I do not approve of it. I consider that to be a crime against the people who actually NEED help. Personal preference alone is not a need.

5) How has your position changed? or has it? Are you a sah who thought s/he would be a woh or a woh who thought s/he would be a sah?
My position on whether I want to be a SAHM or a WOHM changes depending upon whether my kids are being cute or aggravating, LOL.

6) How many sahds are there at your child's school? In your neighborhood?
Not applicable (my kids aren't in school), and I don't know.












iVillage Member
Registered: 06-24-2008
Fri, 08-06-2010 - 1:55am
1) What went into your decision to be a sah or woh parent (and everything in between)?



The first time I WOH, the decision was financial. The second time I SAH, the decision was practical, medical and financial.



2) What circumstances would have to change for you to change your sah or woh status?



SAH was intended to be temporary, 3 years. It's turning into 4 years. I can't think of a single thing that would drag it out longer except maybe becoming disabled, or pg again, and I don't anticipate either of those.



3) Do you plan on paying for some or most or none of your children's post HS educations?



We plan on paying for undergrad degrees. We'll see how the finances work out. When the stock market went down we lost a lot of college savings, but we also have quite a while to rebuild it for the younger kids. We are thinking that when I go back to work all of my salary will go into college savings for the kids.



4) How would feel about a person who was a sahp and on food stamps, WIC, rent subsidies...., but wouldn't need them if they woh? Can you think of circumstances where that would be the best choice for that family?



I wouldn't think much of it, other than maybe they felt it was best for their family.



5) How has your position changed? or has it? Are you a sah who thought s/he would be a woh or a woh who thought s/he would be a sah?



I am a SAH who thought she'd always have to WOH. I used to wish to SAH, then I got to do it, and I feel blessed. So my circumstances changed, but not my position really.



6) How many sahds are there at your child's school? In your neighborhood?



I doubt there are any in our school, I've never met one or heard of one, but I do know of one SAHD in a neighboring school, and I have a SAHD friend who lives a bit farther away.

Say not, 'I have found the truth,' but rather, 'I have found a truth.' -Kahlil Gibran



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"The key to good decision making is not knowledge. It is understanding."
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iVillage Member
Registered: 07-17-2007
Fri, 08-06-2010 - 8:45am

I should answer my own questions.

1) What went into your decision to be a sah or woh parent (and everything in between)?

The first decision- to be a woh was made with little thought. It was easy and made sense. We had a very good daycare that I could see from my "office" cubicle.

I pursued a part time option and got it.

When YDS was 8 months he was hospitalized for 8 days with RSV (ODS was hospitalized with the same thing at 11 months), but did not recover fully and was hospitalized twice more in the ensuing 8 months. He would have been hospitalized two more times, but by then we had the required equipment at home and home was a better place for him. I quit completely after his third hospitalization. He ended up recovering in the following 6 months.

I stayed at home, thinking I would go back when YDS was in "full time" school. DH's job had changed to a phase where he was traveling more and as a result of a high profile project he was promoted. He also received a hefty increase in salary.

I did go back to work on a part time basis with a direct services non-profit, but just as I started that job, our life got very stressful. I won't go into everything, but the lasting stress was that YDS was diagnosed with dyslexia and dysgraphia. I kept volunteering at the non-profit but gave up my paying gig. It became clear early in his diagnosis that he was in the profound end of the spectrum and one of us (DH or I) needed to educate ourselves quickly and become his full time advocate. Since this time, our ODS has also been diagnosed with a high functioning type of Autism. So between the two, we need someone at home after school to deal things and someone to be "on call" during the school day for meetings, crisis intervention..... My body also reacts with HBP to stress, so to limit additional stress, we have chosen for me to still sah. It helps the whole family overall and there are additional benefits that I am now realizing.

We are fairly frugal people and we don't tend to spend as much on "things" as other people. We are also planners, so our retirement and college savings are well on their way. I would be working for pay if I thought they were in jeopardy. We are also very lucky in DH's job and his salary.

2) What circumstances would have to change for you to change your sah or woh status?

At the moment, the big three would probably make me go back to working fulltime. (Divorce, disability and death).

If both boys decide to go to private high cost colleges, I would have to go back to work.

I will probably go back for a time, in some capacity, when YDS is in HS or not until he goes to college- depending on how things work out with his disabilities and how the schools deal with it.

3) Do you plan on paying for some or most or none of your children's post HS educations?

We plan on paying for tuition R&B and books for the undergraduate years. They are on the hook for their walking around money. If both go to in state universities, there will be some money to help them in graduate school- but nothing is promised at that point.

4) How would feel about a person who was a sahp and on food stamps, WIC, rent subsidies...., but wouldn't need them if they woh? Can you think of circumstances where that would be the best choice for that family?

I can see that being the best choice for a family that has a child with a disability.

5) How has your position changed? or has it? Are you a sah who thought s/he would be a woh or a woh who thought s/he would be a sah?

Well, when we were dating I told DH that I would NEVER be a sahp. We both grew up with sahps. However DH's mom was in school and started working when he was in HS. My mom was a reluctant sahp, she taught for 15 years before I was born and when we moved to MA, she had trouble finding a position. She was the bride's maid five times in four years - and lost out to an insider each time. So she gave up.

6) How many sahds are there at your child's school? In your neighborhood?

We have a few in the larger neighborhood, but not the immediate neighborhood. Although there are several Dads in our immediate neighborhood that have the flexible job and/or reduced hour job that allows them to be the "primary" parent.

Our E.S. school has at least a dozen sahds that I am aware. I have no idea about the Middle School (except the ones I know from E.S. and preschool). On field trips it is about 50/50 moms and dads. For class parties it is about 80/20% moms to dads.

Where we are, more moms are in PTA and more dads coach sports. Moms tend to do the girl scouts and dads tend to do the boy scouts.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-29-2002
Fri, 08-06-2010 - 10:34am

1) What went into your decision to be a sah or woh parent (and everything in between)?
I'd always planned on being a woh parent, with a planned 6-9 month break after each child. That plan went out the window when dh took a job in a country that legally barred me from working. So I ended up sah for much longer than intended (about 6 years in total, with another international move thrown in for good measure). It was the right decision for the family, and I had fun as a sahm, so I don't regret the change in plans. However, the second I had a chance to get back into my field, I took it. Now I'm a wahp, which is also something I never intended to do. It was the only option for me in order to take a brilliant job opportunity.

2) What circumstances would have to change for you to change your sah or woh status?
I don't know. It could be all sorts of unanticipated things. One thing I've learned is to just go with what works best, regardless of what that means with regard to sah or woh status.

3) Do you plan on paying for some or most or none of your children's post HS educations?
University is free in Sweden. We plan to assist in supporting the kids through university with regard to living costs. Our aim is to greatly minimize any potential debts.

4) How would feel about a person who was a sahp and on food stamps, WIC, rent subsidies...., but wouldn't need them if they woh? Can you think of circumstances where that would be the best choice for that family?
It's hard for me to judge; there could be many reasons why that might actually be the best choice in the U.S, for example, if the only way the kids can get health insurance coverage is through medicaid or the possible daycare options are either horrific or non-existent. I think it's somewhat less excusable in Sweden, where daycare options are generally excellent, ridiculously cheap and widely available, and all children are automatically covered by health care insurance.

5) How has your position changed? or has it? Are you a sah who thought s/he would be a woh or a woh who thought s/he would be a sah?
My feelings on the subject have never changed, only my choices based on changing circumstances. I have always felt there is no one right way to do things in a family. I personally would have preferred to woh throughout, but that wasn't the best option for my family at one point. So I sah instead.

6) How many sahds are there at your child's school? In your neighborhood?
None that I know of. But then to be fair, I don't know of any sahms in my school or neighborhood either. Barring parents taking parental leave, nearly everyone works. I do see an awful lot of fathers who are clearly on parental leave for several months, though, does that count?

Avatar for turtleemom
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-25-2007
Fri, 08-06-2010 - 11:42am

1) What went into your decision to be a sah or woh parent (and everything in between)?

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-20-2008
Fri, 08-06-2010 - 12:43pm

<<<3) Do you plan on paying for some or most or none of your children's post HS educations?


Yes,

ds
Avatar for turtleemom
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-25-2007
Fri, 08-06-2010 - 12:54pm
I am willing to discuss this but only in a public forum.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-20-2008
Fri, 08-06-2010 - 7:32pm
I completely understand
ds