WOH is better

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-12-2005
WOH is better
1714
Sat, 08-23-2008 - 11:27am

Okay, I've gotten a bit irritated by the posts suggesting that the woh side is the majority, and the sah side is the minority. What I see on this board is a majority who believes that choices can be equally valid, a minority who sees sah as superior for all children (as long as you can afford it), and only one or two who believe that woh is superior for all children (as long as you can afford it). But I have been persuaded that minority viewpoints deserve a voice, even if I don't believe them. So I am going to support the woh is better minority with top ten reasons why everyone should woh.

1. I think children deserve to have two parents who model a strong work ethic. I do not believe it is healthy for children to believe that their choices in life include the possibility of someone else supporting them financially. I knew too many teenage girls who just assumed they would graduate from high school and get married, and put no thought or effort into academics or career. While a few thought that and still had ambition, there were more who didn't. In addition, I knew several women who refused to step in to help the family when money was tight because earning money was not their job. There is a certain entitlement that goes along with that. Therefore, I think it is too much of a risk for parents to set that kind of example.

2. I believe children deserve to have two income-producing parents. If something happens to one, the children are going to have to adjust and deal with it, too. The children should not have to additionally adjust to the other parent transitioning back to work, plus changing the whole family's standard of living. I believe that both parents should at all times be capable of making a seamless transition to being the sole breadwinner. And I don't think that can be done if one of them is out of the work force.

3. I believe anyone who has benefited from government-sponsored financial aid programs to get through college or graduate school has a social obligation to work and pay taxes until they reach retirement age. The economics of the program is based on the idea that the tax breaks they receive on student loans will be repaid several times over when they are part of the workforce. I think the number of women who sah and therefore do not contribute to the tax base as an individual are burdening the financial aid system. Claiming their husband's taxes is not sufficient, because he would have been contributing whether you had gotten an education or not. I think therefore the sahms who had financial aid or tax breaks on student loan repayment are a drain on the system.

4. I think children who are raised by sahp's are more likely to pick up their parents' bad habits. Having a few different caregivers gives a child an opportunity to see which behaviors are inappropriate in the eyes of most people. If a child has only one caregiver, then they can pick up those habits the one caregiver has because there is no other caregiver who is correcting the behavior. Example to illustrate what I am talking about: a friend who is a sahm did not realize what a control freak she was until she heard her children being control freaks to each other, and realized that what they were saying and doing was exactly what she said and did to them. The bossy behavior would have been corrected in day care or with another care provider, but instead it was reinforced by the sahm situation. by the time she realized it, she had an impossible time convincing them it was not okay, and the kids had a bit of difficulty adjusting to school.

5. I think all parents should balance the obligation to their family with an obligation to the society in which they participate. That means that I believe all adults should contribute in some way to the world outside their own home, and that volunteering a day or two a week is nice, but that alone is not sufficient to meet the obligation to society. We all benefit from other people's work--people who work on the roads, the people who build cars, the people who stock the grocery shelves. I think that we owe it to them to engage in some type of work that benefits them as well. While one may argue that raising their child well is enough of a contribution, I think that is the equivalent of saying that doing my own laundry is enough of a contribution. Raising your child well is just basic responsibility. Not to mention there is no guarantee that sah with them is going to mean you've raised them better than if you had woh.

6. I think it's unfair to the spouse when one sah. It leaves the entire financial burden on them. If their job becomes unbearable, they have no choice, the family will falter without it. It is more pressure on the wohp and it often means the wohp has to work longer--both on a daily basis, but also in a lifetime. If both spouses worked, they might both be able to retire at 59. With only one working, that one spouse may have to work until he is 65. I think it is selfish on the part of the sahp who spends his/her days on playdates, chatting with friends while their kids play on the playground, only to go home and whine about how much harder their job is because they have to do it 24/7.

7. I think any family that has more than one child (unless they are twins) are doing a disservice to their children to not give them a few hours a day when they are not together. The older children have to be patient with the younger ones instead of just being their age. The younger children grow up too fast because they are trying to do everything their older siblings are doing. I think day care, where kids are grouped by ages, is much more appropriate and gives all children a chance to just act their own age.

8. I think that sah when the kids are young and then going back to work when they are older can be the worst choice if you do not have a strong career before you quit to stay home. If your return to work puts you as the low man on the totem pole, then you will probably miss more of your kids' school events than you would have if you had worked your way through the ranks and made yourself invaluable to your bosses. And contrary to the popular thought that birth through school is the most impressionable time, I think that school age children need their parents time and attention outside of school hours, because those are the years when kids are likely to be influenced more by peers than by adults, and it's the parents who are most likely to be able to maintain the strongest influence IF they maintain a strong bond. returning to work when kids are older, having to miss things because you are the new guy, can make a kid feel they are no longer the first priority. If you are established in your career by the time the kids enter school, you can avoid having that badly time transition.

9. I don't actually believe that anyone sah because they think it's best for their family. I think people who want to sah do it, regardless of whether they can afford it, of whether their partners are in favor of it, of whether the kids would benefit from spending time in day care. I think that many sahms spend their days in ways that make them happy. they like to pretend it's work, but really, it's pushing a baby in a stroller through the mall, having lunch with friends with similarly aged kids, making craft projects and watching TV. I think the only reason they like to pretend it has anything to do with the kids is to make themselves feel better about the self-indulgent choices they make. I also know many, many sahms who don't actually have the patience to be home with the kids all day, but who are unwilling to admit that the kids may benefit from being in an environment where childcare workers get breaks and can get some relief, and to then come home to parents who are happy to see them. I know many sahps who took their kids for granted because they were with them every day, day in and day out, who talked to them with harsh tones of voice, and whose kids learned to feel like an annoyance. We all lose our patience sometimes, but for those who do it often, refusing to admit that the child many not actually be better off with a parent who is constantly frustrated with them than with a caregiver who chose that career because of their endless supply of patience, and who can get breaks seems to me to be based on the parent's own desire to avoid working.

10. I think the supposedly value-drive choice to sacrifice things so that mom can stay home is a selfish one. The whole family is sacrificing things, things like better educational opportunities, but only mom is getting the benefit of staying home. I do not actually perceive any benefit to mom staying home. In the long-term, the kids get fewer opportunities, educationally and career-wise, and have nothing to show for it. No greater self-esteem, no more intelligence, no more happiness. Just a lot more debt, in cases where people sacrificed college funds to stay home.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
In reply to: ka032006
Sat, 08-23-2008 - 1:03pm
Exactly.
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-17-2007
In reply to: ka032006
Sat, 08-23-2008 - 3:15pm
Or that we are not "real" sahms if we worked for a few years after the birth of our first child. Despite being home for 5+ years.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-21-2001
In reply to: ka032006
Sat, 08-23-2008 - 6:20pm

"If both spouses worked, they might both be able to retire at 59. With only one working, that one spouse may have to work until he is 65."

Seriously, who wants to retire at 59? And be retired for what, 25 years? Wouldn't it be better for both spouses to work until they are 70? Or 80? More taxes going into the govt, less coming out in SS.

"I don't actually believe that anyone sah because they think it's best for their family." Just, wow. Everyone I know who SAH does it for this reason.

"it's pushing a baby in a stroller through the mall, having lunch with friends with similarly aged kids, making craft projects and watching TV."

Or it's pushing a stroller 1 hour to day to get exercise. It's paying bills, cooking healthy, unprocessed, from-scratch (cheaper) meals. It's going to the park with friends because you can't afford lunch, and because kids are supposed to be outside and PLAY. It's scrubbing the toilet and sinks yourself. It's tackling potty training at 2 instead of 3. It's teaching numbers, letters, and reading.

You can give the minority a voice (even if you don't agree with it), but it doesn't mean it holds water!

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-15-2006
In reply to: ka032006
Sat, 08-23-2008 - 7:58pm

1.

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-15-2006
In reply to: ka032006
Sat, 08-23-2008 - 9:43pm

Seriously, who wants to retire at 59? And be retired for what, 25 years?


i agree.

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: ka032006
Sat, 08-23-2008 - 11:09pm

While I LOVE to work and am very passionate about what I do I just might want to retire when I am 59..that stil leaves me w/21 more years in teh work force. I started babysittign when I was 11...started workign "real" pt jobs as soon as it was legal (15 1/2 at the time) while continueing my babysitting gigs...except for a semester in college when I couldn't find a pt job that worked w/my schedule and was on campus (since I didn't have a car) and 3 maternity leaves..I have ALWAYS worked...that being said 43.5 years of working might jsut be enough for me!

july siggy
august 09 siggy
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-08-2006
In reply to: ka032006
Sat, 08-23-2008 - 11:25pm


Me! I am 52, and I plan to retire from my current job in about 5 years, just about the same time my oldest goes off to college. (I was a late bloomer, my youngest won't start college until I'm 62).


Retiring for me just means freedom from employee status because all of our financial goals have been met. I could quit now, but there has been some grumblings about going private hs, so I will continue to work for a bit. I expect to consult, go to school, play golf, run for office...I just won't

Avatar for myshkamouse
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: ka032006
Sun, 08-24-2008 - 1:07am

Well I totally disagree with your points. Partially because we have a SAHD and me, working (WOHM). So many of your "points' don't hold up to our example. But I *guess* my two sons could see me working and want to marry a kick ass career woman? Or my DD might want to find a DH who supports her right to work outside the home? ;)


As for kids raised by SAHP picking up "bad habits" -- bull hooey. My mom was a SAHM. I wish I had more of her habits.


I think children who are raised by sahp's are more likely to pick up their parents' bad habits. Kids raised in stable, loving homes will be just fine. Work status isnt the primary consideration.


And I'm sorry you "

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-03-2008
In reply to: ka032006
Sun, 08-24-2008 - 3:44am
SAH is a privilege? How so?
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-13-2007
In reply to: ka032006
Sun, 08-24-2008 - 9:26am

Wow! There are just so many things in your post that I think is a bunch of boloney. Where to start??


1. I am a sahm mom at the moment and I can assure you that my children do not think that I sit at home all day eating bon bons. They know that both parents have a strong work ethic. I may not be getting paid for the work I do at the moment but I do work. There are always things to be done at the house. THings that my dh doesn't have to worry about doing when he comes home from work. My dh and I have never looked at the income that is coming into the house as his money or my money. I think that is one of the misconceptions you have.


2. I can't speak for everyone as you have for all wohmp, but we have prepared for the event of one of our deaths. We have life insurence in place that will help take off some of the burden for the other financially. I think a family with two incomes would have a harder time adjusting to living on one income that the other way around. I think people get used to living on the income coming into the home and if that is two working parents taht is two incomes. If one suddenly dies that instantly adjusts to one. THat would be harder in my opinion to adjust to since most families make purchases based on both incomes. Ex. car payments, larger homes, credit card use, ect.


3. The requirment is to repay the student loans. If people choose to work after that is a personal choice.


4.So are you saying that inhome daycare is a bad choice? According to you children need several different care givers to combat bad habits given to them by their parents? It is just as easy to pick up bad habits from parents who work and bad habits of the daycare providers. My brother and his wife both woh. Thier kids have a whole list of bad habits. They have each had several different day care providers. And I would say that at least half of thier habits came from thier parents even thought they have been with others.

Lori

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