Jump to content

Menu

Recommended Posts

12 hours ago, Wheres Toto said:

Many of the things that are objective benefits to a SAHM can be achieved to at least some extent without a SAHM.  Maybe not to the same standards but how important that is will vary greatly by how the mom in question prioritizes things and what standards she wants to meet anyway.   

But whatever I worked my kids know I'm there to help them with school, to talk when they want to, to get them to their activities (during normal times when there are activities).   My oldest, who experienced most of my full time working when she was young, told me recently all her friends thought I was the best (and she agreed!) because I was the one who took them all to see the Twilight movies in the middle of the night when a new one came out and they did a special thing where you watched the first movies then the new one at midnight.    She says she hopes to be a mom just like me. 

Working may mean a slightly messier house and simpler meals but for many of us, we're okay with that.  It doesn't have to mean not being there for your kids. 

I snipped this comment, but I agree with your thoughts. I transitioned from homeschooling to FT career when my oldest was in 6th grade. It was a rough transition, and I believe we all prefer homeschooling. However, we also prefer the financial stability and luxuries two FT incomes provide. While our house is messier and our meals are simpler, my connection with my kids is no different than when I was at home FT. 

I have a very high need for financial security. I can't handle living paycheck-to-paycheck or underfunding retirement. I need a large emergency fund, and I want to pay for my kids' activities, first cars, and college educations. My dh wasn't able to make enough $ for me to be secure, and his need to job hop every 4-5 years made me nervous. My skills allowed me to jump back into the workforce after an 8 year absence, making more $ than dh. We didn't make the change blindly, though. We were mostly through the daycare years before making the change. We chose to live in a very small rural community so the kids do have a village. My employer is extremely family friendly, and I work from home as needed. I have rarely missed anything with my five active kids. While not everyone has the ability to balance a flexible work-life balance with a higher salary and I do dearly wish I could be home every day with my kids, I believe my kids are turning out great with two FT working parents. 

We all do the best we can with the circumstances in our control.

Edited by 2squared
  • Like 7
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 243
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

I am 43.  Dh had just turned 50 in June.     Of all the things to be concerned about, being able to pay the bills is not one of them.     I have done this before.  Been a single mom I me

I can't really speak to most of this post, but if you are a one income family you absolutely should have life insurance for both of you. 

I haven't read all the replies, I'll just say this, if it helps GREAT, if it doesn't, discard.  We tend to like to be anxious, play with the what if.  It feels like we're doing something to offset ris

On 12/17/2020 at 5:32 PM, MoyaPechal said:

I've looked at George Mason University, which is a local public college where my husband did his master's at night a few years ago. I have a bachelor's but I could do a career change degree for teaching or nursing, which I think about sometimes. But then I couldn't homeschool and our city's schools are not good.

The unexpected happens. You're super smart to be thinking about this.

I LOVE the nursing degree idea. Love it. I'm doing research on this now for a friend. You can go to a two-year college to get an RN (registered nurse) degree, and then you take a state exam to get the RN certificate. You have to have the cert to be an RN. (Many states are hurting for nurses.)

If you up the life insurance so that you're covered for at least three years, you'll have time to get your RN cert.

Or, alternatively, you can start now taking a class or two a semester toward your RN degree. Honestly, that's what I would do. I'd do the following:

1) Up your life insurance to cover you and the kids for three to four years.

2) Begin working toward your RN degree.

3) Some jobs actually give disability insurance as part of their benefits package. Ask dh to look into this.

4) What would your dh's job pay if he were to die? Some give a certain amount, others give one year's salary to the spouse.

5) I'm assuming you guys are young, but his social security would come to you too.

I wouldn't go the teaching route. I just hear friends who are constantly annoyed with their teaching jobs.

Hugs -- I've thought long and hard about this very topic too. My boys are 17 now, but when they were 16 and under we had massive life insurance on dh. And I kept a file on where everything was hidden (a bank here, a credit union there, asked what dh's job would pay etc)

You're smart for thinking about this!! (You'll feel way better once you have a plan.)

Wendy

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, 2squared said:

I snipped this comment, but I agree with your thoughts. I transitioned from homeschooling to FT career when my oldest was in 6th grade. It was a rough transition, and I believe we all prefer homeschooling. However, we also prefer the financial stability and luxuries two FT incomes provide. While our house is messier and our meals are simpler, my connection with my kids is no different than when I was at home FT. 

I have a very high need for financial security. I can't handle living paycheck-to-paycheck or underfunding retirement. I need a large emergency fund, and I want to pay for my kids' activities, first cars, and college educations. My dh wasn't able to make enough $ for me to be secure, and his need to job hop every 4-5 years made me nervous. My skills allowed me to jump back into the workforce after an 8 year absence, making more $ than dh. We didn't make the change blindly, though. We were mostly through the daycare years before making the change. We chose to live in a very small rural community so the kids do have a village. My employer is extremely family friendly, and I work from home as needed. I have rarely missed anything with my five active kids. While not everyone has the ability to balance a flexible work-life balance with a higher salary and I do dearly wish I could be home every day with my kids, I believe my kids are turning out great with two FT working parents. 

We all do the best we can with the circumstances in our control.

Just...wow!  This is the stuff my fantasies consist of.  (HA!)  I'm curious to know what line of work you're in, if you're willing to share.  It sounds like the perfect career.  A very small rural community typically limits higher income careers.  I'm also in the midlife pivot and have started working again, but it's been a long, hard uphill slog with multiple stepping-stone jobs that will hopefully lead back into where I was 20-ish years ago.  I'm in a very small rural community and for me that has meant low income potential, very few employment opportunities, bad schools (still compelled to homeschool), kid activities require traveling to other cities (huge time commitment from a driving parent), etc.

Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, sassenach said:

This is really interesting because I think it's the close to the same emotion that SAHMs feel when the kids move out and they're left behind. You can't win for losing.

 

I think I possess a weird ability to be content in whatever season I'm in. I've been a SAHM for 23 years and pretty content with that. Now I'm in school and pursuing a career in nursing. Not gonna lie, I'm really excited about making an income and contributing to my kids' college educations. Other than occasional fear about being too old to score a new grad nursing job (stay tuned), I feel very good about it all. 

 

All this resonates with me.

I’m still SAHMing, but I suspect that when it’s time to get some work, I’ll be content about it. 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
42 minutes ago, Garga said:

All this resonates with me.

I’m still SAHMing, but I suspect that when it’s time to get some work, I’ll be content about it. 

I’m an extrovert so I have been taking classes at the same community college my kids are doing dual enrollment in. My husband is of the opinion that if I want to go back to the workforce then that’s my choice but he earns enough for me to just go into full time volunteer work.

For the OP, there isn’t much anyone can plan for sudden death other than the financial aspects and your support system. So having your name on bank accounts, utilities, and as the beneficiary for his life insurances. My husband bought life insurances in college that has his parents as beneficiary. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I airways thought I would go back to work but when the time came none of us wanted that. Our dc are now 18 and 21 and I have no plans to look for a job. Dh and I are excited about doing our own thing now. Dh works from home (has for the last five years) and that makes travel easier so we don’t now want to be tied to a work schedule for me.

My own dad was killed in a car accident at the age of 54 and there is no planning for that. I’m glad we spent so much time together as a family. I’m just not someone who is going to spend time worrying about what if’s because I prefer to just enjoy the now. Dh has a generous life insurance policy so I’ll have time to figure things out of something did happen to him and divorce is just not a thing I see happening here so I’m not going to plan for it.

I also have zero regrets that I’ve been a stay home mom since oldest was born 21 years ago. I’ve enjoyed it and never felt like I wasn’t  doing something worthwhile.

Edited by Joker2
  • Like 5
Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Random said:

Just...wow!  This is the stuff my fantasies consist of.  (HA!)  I'm curious to know what line of work you're in, if you're willing to share.  It sounds like the perfect career.  A very small rural community typically limits higher income careers.  I'm also in the midlife pivot and have started working again, but it's been a long, hard uphill slog with multiple stepping-stone jobs that will hopefully lead back into where I was 20-ish years ago.  I'm in a very small rural community and for me that has meant low income potential, very few employment opportunities, bad schools (still compelled to homeschool), kid activities require traveling to other cities (huge time commitment from a driving parent), etc.

I have a four year accounting degree, and I passed the CPA exam before college graduation but my CPA is not active  Before I was a SAHM, I worked in  accounting for a couple Fortune 100 companies. This career choice suites me perfectly, and I have always advanced quickly. All companies need accountants.

While I have lived in large cities, I have also strategically chosen employment in rural locations which have divisions of large companies. This allows me to have the benefits of LCOL but with higher salary potential.

We live in a rural community of 1400. I commute ~10 miles to a town of 14,000 - the largest city in our county. We did have to relocate for my current job, but my company paid all our relocation costs. I made $80k when they hired me as a senior accountant (a couple steps down from my previous career), and 7 years later I am well over $100k as a senior accounting manager. I love the work I do, and I enjoy the team I manage. My company and boss have provided me with a fantastic work/life balance, and I will not leave willingly. Lol  

Edited by 2squared
  • Like 9
Link to post
Share on other sites

One thing I would keep in forefront of your what-if plans, is that if you won't have DH's income, you will no longer be tied to the HCOL area.  You could move anywhere.  Anywhere.  So, I wouldn't toss out the idea of, for example, a home daycare because your current lease doesn't allow it.  It is a lease.   States are different, but death usually allows you out of a lease.   If you hated the idea of running a home daycare, that is different.  You could also start a pod homeschool.  With the school shutdowns, they became very popular, and I expect that they'll stay an accepted thing.  You accept three or four kids at your child's level, that they get along with.  And you homeschool the other kids along with your own.  

We live in an exurb in a small town on one acre of land.  We also own and rent out the house next door.  We paid less than 200K for both houses and if we had no income we could survive on the rental income + food stamps, etc.   No loans is what would allow us to survive.  There is no one nearby that smokes.  In fact, it is on the lease that they can't smoke.  And we have dairy goats and chickens!  

I don't know what the life insurance is, but the amount of rent you'd pay in rent for three years in a very HCOL area, would buy outright a 3/2/2 in a LCOL area.  
 

----------------------------

Someone else mentioned nursing as a possible idea for themselves.  My bestfriend who also homeschools works as a RN at night on weekends.    She takes care of disabled former NICU babies who need round-the-clock care.  Since it is 12 hour shifts she works 3-4 nights a week.   Of course she has a DH who is home during that time.  

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/21/2020 at 5:26 PM, Choirfarm3 said:

My reality and my children's reality is that I was SO much happier and had so much more to give when I was working. I guess it is just me, but I am SO much more than a mom. Being a mom is not enough for me.

So much this.

I became a much happier mom and a better wife with more energy and more to give once I went back to work. I was tired and depressed as a SAHM, and it did my entire family a world of good when I realized that that did not work for me. It would have been beneficial for all of us, even without considering the financial benefits of me working.

ETA: My kids still got read alouds and park afternoons and home cooked meals and a fantastic home education and weekend forest adventures and mountain backpacks with mom and dad. Of any regrets I may have at my life's end, not having spent enough time with my kids is definitely not one of them. It is possible to find a balance.

Edited by regentrude
  • Like 5
Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, regentrude said:

So much this.

I became a much happier mom and a better wife with more energy and more to give once I went back to work. I was tired and depressed as a SAHM, and it did my entire family a world of good when I realized that that did not work for me. It would have been beneficial for all of us, even without considering the financial benefits of me working.

ETA: My kids still got read alouds and park afternoons and home cooked meals and a fantastic home education and weekend forest adventures and mountain backpacks with mom and dad. Of any regrets I may have at my life's end, not having spent enough time with my kids is definitely not one of them. It is possible to find a balance.

I saw this time regret playing out when my oldest left for college in the fall. I work FT and I would have dearly loved to be home with the kids FT, but I have the relationship that I wanted with her. Dh, however, would probably like a redo on some items. Having her home a lot more than expected this freshman year has been good for him. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/21/2020 at 4:42 PM, Not_a_Number said:

I absolutely believe that's how it was for you. And I've certainly seen it play it out like that for some families I've known. 

However, it never felt to me that I have a finite amount of energy and creativity to give... in the same way that having more kids doesn't mean that you love any one of your kids less, I haven't found that working part time meant I have less to give to my kids. 

When I work out of the home, I learn things from my work and get exposed to a wider range of ideas/thoughts/people. I feel more fulfilled, because I'm not unambitious and I like doing more ambitious things. Since some of my jobs involve teaching, I also get to experiment with teaching strategies before using them on my kids, and we've all benefited from that. Since some of my jobs involve working in my first language, they help me improve my vocabulary, which helps me teach my kids. 

Again, I absolutely believe that it feels like a zero sum game for some people. It just never did for me. 

I think that my thoughts on this topic would be different with just 2 kids. Depending on which of my 2 kids we were discussing. 

I think that my thoughts on this topic would be different if I lived in a small apartment with no yard.

I think that my thoughts on this topic would be different if my dh didn't work a demanding job.

I think that my thoughts on this topic would be different if my mother, hypothetical sister, or another close relative lived nearby to help fill in the cracks.

What I mean is that everyone has different factors that determine whether full time SAH parenting is a good choice for them. 

Everyone has different energy levels; everyone has different comfort with risk. Everyone has different social and intellectual stimulation needs. What we must be careful of is saying "x way is the best way of doing life and parenting." when what is actually reality is much more nuanced. There are so many factors that play into whether full time or part time work is best FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY UNIT. 

And mom is a part of that unit as well. Yes, many kids dislike it when their mothers go to work. Perhaps they don't understand the full ramifications of what having an at home parent means. Generally, kids do want and need stability and the idea that their parents make them a priority, no matter what their employment status is. 

 

22 hours ago, Arcadia said:

I’m an extrovert so I have been taking classes at the same community college my kids are doing dual enrollment in. My husband is of the opinion that if I want to go back to the workforce then that’s my choice but he earns enough for me to just go into full time volunteer work.

For the OP, there isn’t much anyone can plan for sudden death other than the financial aspects and your support system. So having your name on bank accounts, utilities, and as the beneficiary for his life insurances. My husband bought life insurances in college that has his parents as beneficiary. 

One thing I should add in this conversation that I discovered when my MIL passed is that if both spouses are not on an account, then it will be split up in probate for the inheritors, should one of the spouses pass. Which means that part of the money could go directly to the children, bypassing the spouse.  This could be a problem if you're depending on that asset to help raise the kids. So in my state, if my dh died and I was not on his investment accounts, I would get 1/3 of those assets and my four children would split the remaining 2/3. If I need that money to finish raising them, that could be hairy. This varies by state, but that's how it is in my state. I don't know how the surviving parent is permitted to utilize the assets of their minor children, but I'm fairly certain that there would be rules about it. So it's pretty important for both spouses to have their names on financial accounts. 

And yes, having some sort of cash savings account to pay for things until insurance comes through is super important. 

  • Like 5
Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, fairfarmhand said:

Everyone has different energy levels; everyone has different comfort with risk. Everyone has different social and intellectual stimulation needs. What we must be careful of is saying "x way is the best way of doing life and parenting." when what is actually reality is much more nuanced. There are so many factors that play into whether full time or part time work is best FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY UNIT. 

Definitely. I hope I haven't sounded like there's a "best way." 

 

20 minutes ago, fairfarmhand said:

And mom is a part of that unit as well. Yes, many kids dislike it when their mothers go to work. Perhaps they don't understand the full ramifications of what having an at home parent means. Generally, kids do want and need stability and the idea that their parents make them a priority, no matter what their employment status is. 

Isn't saying "many kids dislike it when their mothers go to work" a way of saying that for many kids, it's NOT the best way? That seems like exactly the kind of thing we shouldn't be saying. 

I think kids like feeling like they are a priority. I think kids can feel like they are a priority even when mothers work out of the house.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Also, frankly, why does it HAVE to be the mother that stays home? I know that's a whole other can of worms, but I sometimes worry what exactly I'm communicating to my extremely bright girls by staying home. I don't regret the choices I've made in any way, but I'd like my girls to feel like they have the choice to change the world in other ways... this was my way, and they may have their own. 

  • Like 6
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, fairfarmhand said:

I think that my thoughts on this topic would be different with just 2 kids. Depending on which of my 2 kids we were discussing. 

I think that my thoughts on this topic would be different if I lived in a small apartment with no yard.

I think that my thoughts on this topic would be different if my dh didn't work a demanding job.

I think that my thoughts on this topic would be different if my mother, hypothetical sister, or another close relative lived nearby to help fill in the cracks.

What I mean is that everyone has different factors that determine whether full time SAH parenting is a good choice for them. 

Everyone has different energy levels; everyone has different comfort with risk. Everyone has different social and intellectual stimulation needs. What we must be careful of is saying "x way is the best way of doing life and parenting." when what is actually reality is much more nuanced. There are so many factors that play into whether full time or part time work is best FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY UNIT. 

And mom is a part of that unit as well. Yes, many kids dislike it when their mothers go to work. Perhaps they don't understand the full ramifications of what having an at home parent means. Generally, kids do want and need stability and the idea that their parents make them a priority, no matter what their employment status is. 

 

So much this! Very well said. I'd been a SAHM for years and years. Then our circumstances changed, youngest went to ps, we needed the funds, so I got a part-time job. Despite being out of the workforce for over 30 years, I was hired for 30 hrs/wk. At the risk of sounding prideful, I'm very good at what I do (office work+). I was afraid I'd be behind in the tech areas, but because I used my computer a lot at home, I was actually ahead of most, if not all, of my co-workers. I've worked this job for several years. 

Dh was never just real happy I was working, for several reasons (none of which was to limit my possibilities), but we didn't see a way for me to quit. There were things I enjoyed about it, and aspects that were good for me. However, in the past months, it has gradually become an unhealthy place for me to be. My stress level has shot up, and I am so exhausted when I get home, even not working full-time. My kids at home are older, but still, things just run better when I am here. So I have quit my job. 

Before I started working, we had had changes in our family life that I hadn't quite adjusted to yet, and I hadn't gotten into a good, disciplined routine (not homeschooling anymore, for one). I was struggling a bit with figuring out what to do with myself in this new stage. However, now that I have been working several years, I don't think that will be as much of a problem. I'm in a routine that will need tweaking, but I have plans and ideas of things I want to accomplish. I am not sorry I worked for those years, but I am very glad they are done. 

The factors FFH mentions above do affect so much whether being a SAHM is a good choice. I have seen both work well, and both not work well at all.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

Also, frankly, why does it HAVE to be the mother that stays home? 

Excellent point. Besides culture: finances, biology, and politics. 
In many families there is an asymmetry in earning potential, so financially it would make no sense for the father to quit the higher paying job.
Pumping breastmilk at work so the father can bottle feed at home adds an extra layer of stress that many families would rather avoid.
Things would probably look very different if we had decent maternity leave in this country and mothers would know they had a job to return to after the first baby phase - something all other countries seem to have figured out.

 

Edited by regentrude
  • Like 5
Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Not_a_Number said:

Definitely. I hope I haven't sounded like there's a "best way." 

 

Isn't saying "many kids dislike it when their mothers go to work" a way of saying that for many kids, it's NOT the best way? That seems like exactly the kind of thing we shouldn't be saying. 

I think kids like feeling like they are a priority. I think kids can feel like they are a priority even when mothers work out of the house.

Well...I don't know that if the kids dislike it initially that it is a 100% bad idea. So if the childcare arrangements are lousy, sometimes that can be changed. If the kids don't like that certain things that are important to them are not happening, that can be changed. I think where things get disappointing for the kids is when they don't feel they can say that or that things can't be changed and the kids just have to suck it up and deal. 

The kids who had working moms may not necessarily have hated that their moms were working. It was that the alternatives given to the kids were unsuitable. So working parents have to do a good job of checking in with their kids and making sure that the kids can be 100 percent honest about the changes and that their needs and at least SOME of their wants can be planned for. 

My mom was a working mom after we were in school. But all of her work hours happened while were in class so it made no difference to me what she did while I was at school. My feelings would have been different had I been forced to go to an unpleasant after school care setting, especially if the work was her choice and not a necessity. 

I think about the Ramona Quimby books and how she really didn't like the arrangements her mom had made for her after school care, It took awhile for the family to settle into a better arrangement, and then she was much happier. So what I'm saying is that the kids' initial dislike shouldnt be the standard for whether mom working or not is a good or bad thing,

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, regentrude said:

Excellent point. Besides culture: finances, biology, and politics. 
In many families there is an asymmetry in earning potential, so financially it would make no sense to revers the roles.

True, although that wasn't the case in my family. 

 

Just now, regentrude said:

Pumping breastmilk at work so the father can bottle feed at home adds an extra layer of stress that many families would rather avoid.

Of course, we don't HAVE to breastfeed, either 😉 . (And I say this as someone who happily breastfed DD8 until 2.5 and DD4 until 1, when she gave it up herself.) 

 

Just now, regentrude said:

Things would probably look very different if we had decent maternity leave in this country and mothers would know they had a job to return to after the first baby phase - something all other countries seem to have figured out.

Yeah, I'd love that. Also, frankly, I'd like more acceptance of the fact that half a good employee is better than a whole bad employee. I wish there were more part-time jobs available, because I'm not at all sure that companies would lose out by that. 

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, fairfarmhand said:

Well...I don't know that if the kids dislike it initially that it is a 100% bad idea. So if the childcare arrangements are lousy, sometimes that can be changed. If the kids don't like that certain things that are important to them are not happening, that can be changed. I think where things get disappointing for the kids is when they don't feel they can say that or that things can't be changed and the kids just have to suck it up and deal. 

I think in general, lack of agency is a huge problem for kids. That's been one of the things I've hoped to communicate to my kids -- that they are family members whose opinions we take seriously. Now, that doesn't mean that they'll always get their way, or nearly always get their way... but their opinions ARE important. 

 

Just now, fairfarmhand said:

The kids who had working moms may not necessarily have hated that their moms were working. It was that the alternatives given to the kids were unsuitable. So working parents have to do a good job of checking in with their kids and making sure that the kids can be 100 percent honest about the changes and that their needs and at least SOME of their wants can be planned for. 

My mom was a working mom after we were in school. But all of her work hours happened while were in class so it made no difference to me what she did while I was at school. My feelings would have been different had I been forced to go to an unpleasant after school care setting, especially if the work was her choice and not a necessity. 

Yeah, I agree with that. I've seen parents try to figure out aftercare and it can be a real nightmare. 

 

Just now, fairfarmhand said:

I think about the Ramona Quimby books and how she really didn't like the arrangements her mom had made for her after school care, It took awhile for the family to settle into a better arrangement, and then she was much happier. So what I'm saying is that the kids' initial dislike shouldnt be the standard for whether mom working or not is a good or bad thing,

Hah, I really wouldn't want Ramona's situation! "Let's just have the grandmother of a friend who doesn't like you at all watch you." Of course, Ramona's family really didn't have a choice... they were broke. 

 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

 Every family is going to find their own way forward -- there are lots of families that do well with two working parents, and lots of families that do well with one parent at home. I firmly believe that there is no one right answer that's going to fit everyone.

I do think that we tend to over-play the importance of work. I really, really want my kids to understand that they don't need to draw their future self-worth from their work. I want them to have long, slow childhoods with lots of unscheduled time. I want them to pay attention to the little things in life, I want them to love learning and creating, and I want them to have strong values.

For me, that translates to staying at home with the kids. I do, also, work part time, because honestly we need the money. The kids understand what I'm doing and they get a kick out of what I'm working on -- sometimes they think it's funny, and sometimes we all learn something together. But I don't think work is my main contribution to the world, and honestly, if I inherited a million dollars tomorrow I would do things differently. I would learn how to paint, and bake sourdough bread, and I would teach English to those who can't afford lessons...so many things! 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
46 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

Also, frankly, why does it HAVE to be the mother that stays home? I know that's a whole other can of worms, but I sometimes worry what exactly I'm communicating to my extremely bright girls by staying home. I don't regret the choices I've made in any way, but I'd like my girls to feel like they have the choice to change the world in other ways... this was my way, and they may have their own. 

Nobody in this thread said that it “has” to be the mother.   The OP however is a mother and those of us that have posted are mothers so....that’s the logical focus of this thread.  
 

 

  • Like 1
  • Haha 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, happysmileylady said:

Nobody in this thread said that it “has” to be the mother.   The OP however is a mother and those of us that have posted are mothers so....that’s the logical focus of this thread.  

Yeah, this isn't a question about this thread. More about societal assumptions. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, fairfarmhand said:

 

 

One thing I should add in this conversation that I discovered when my MIL passed is that if both spouses are not on an account, then it will be split up in probate for the inheritors, should one of the spouses pass. Which means that part of the money could go directly to the children, bypassing the spouse.  This could be a problem if you're depending on that asset to help raise the kids. So in my state, if my dh died and I was not on his investment accounts, I would get 1/3 of those assets and my four children would split the remaining 2/3. If I need that money to finish raising them, that could be hairy. This varies by state, but that's how it is in my state. I don't know how the surviving parent is permitted to utilize the assets of their minor children, but I'm fairly certain that there would be rules about it. So it's pretty important for both spouses to have their names on financial accounts. 

And yes, having some sort of cash savings account to pay for things until insurance comes through is super important. 

This is for sure something that varies by state and also by account.  So researching this for the state you live in plus the type of account is also super important when anyone is doing this sort of planning ahead.  It’s not just a matter of having the money, but also make sure you know where it is going to go and what the legalities are surrounding that.  
 

Edited by happysmileylady
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
53 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

Also, frankly, why does it HAVE to be the mother that stays home? I know that's a whole other can of worms, but I sometimes worry what exactly I'm communicating to my extremely bright girls by staying home. I don't regret the choices I've made in any way, but I'd like my girls to feel like they have the choice to change the world in other ways... this was my way, and they may have their own. 

Dh and I always knew we wanted one of us to stay home, and in the beginning it was actually dh who did so. It made more financial sense for him to be the one who worked long term though because of his degree and military experience. As soon as he could, he started working from home exclusively though so he could be a bigger part of things.  It definitely doesn’t need to be the mom and not every family definitely needs one parent to stay home. Most of us are just sharing our own experiences and feelings on the topic.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Joker2 said:

Dh and I always knew we wanted one of us to stay home, and in the beginning it was actually dh who did so. It made more financial sense for him to be the one who worked long term though because of his degree and military experience. As soon as he could, he started working from home exclusively though so he could be a bigger part of things.  It definitely doesn’t need to be the mom and not every family definitely needs one parent to stay home. Most of us are just sharing our own experiences and feelings on the topic.

No issues at all with people's reported experiences 🙂 . This is just my personal gripe about societal values 😉 . 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Not_a_Number said:

 

 

Hah, I really wouldn't want Ramona's situation! "Let's just have the grandmother of a friend who doesn't like you at all watch you." Of course, Ramona's family really didn't have a choice... they were broke. 

 

Totally not a choice for Ramona Quimby.

I love those books because it's such a reminder to me as an adult that kids minds are ticking away in ways that I may not realize. Their perceptions and reality can be so different from what the adults in the situation are presuming. It's so easy to forget that and Beverly Cleary did such a wonderful job of entering the mind of a child and translating it into a story.

And that's what I was trying to get at--working mom or not, it's so important to be plugged into our kids and give them the freedom to speak their own reality; that's more important than fresh baked cookies, bed time stories, and all the extra bonuses. Whether or not a kid's life preferences can be accommodated, I think it makes a big difference to a kid to have a parent hear you out and sympathize with your struggles.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, fairfarmhand said:

Totally not a choice for Ramona Quimby.

I love those books because it's such a reminder to me as an adult that kids minds are ticking away in ways that I may not realize. Their perceptions and reality can be so different from what the adults in the situation are presuming. It's so easy to forget that and Beverly Cleary did such a wonderful job of entering the mind of a child and translating it into a story.

And that's what I was trying to get at--working mom or not, it's so important to be plugged into our kids and give them the freedom to speak their own reality; that's more important than fresh baked cookies, bed time stories, and all the extra bonuses. Whether or not a kid's life preferences can be accommodated, I think it makes a big difference to a kid to have a parent hear you out and sympathize with your struggles.

You're absolutely right. 

And I've seen the opposite point of view weaponized as well. My mom is VERY difficult (we're very low contact), but whenever I'd complain about any specific treatment she'd trot out the "but I made your favorite cake!" excuse. Yeah... you did make my favorite cake. I like that cake a lot. In the grand scheme of things, that matters to me a lot less than all the things I asked you to do and you didn't, though. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

This doesn't address the financial side of things, but I guess I personally find being at home more fulfilling in general. Or at least I will when I find my new niche. I was working at something I had trained for, was good at, and enjoyed doing, for the most part (probably every job has some aspects one finds a bit tedious or boring?). But I still felt restless. Maybe I just need irons in a lot of different fires; a life more multi-faceted than I could make work in my circumstances. At first, I enjoyed the job. But after awhile, I just got so tired of it (and I have persevered for many years at various things, so I'm not just a person who has to jump around from thing to thing). My mind wants more to work on than I had, but everything I think of that I enjoy, I wouldn't enjoy as a job, if that makes sense. The things I think I would love doing, are not things that I want to do all day, every day. It might be completely different for someone who has one true passion.

Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Not_a_Number said:

Yeah, this isn't a question about this thread. More about societal assumptions. 

We have been through all the combinations  - SAHD, SAHM, PT work for dh, PT work for me, and FT work for both of us. I was a SAHM for eight years because I wanted to be home, not because it was a smart financial choice. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Not_a_Number said:

Also, frankly, why does it HAVE to be the mother that stays home? I know that's a whole other can of worms, but I sometimes worry what exactly I'm communicating to my extremely bright girls by staying home. I don't regret the choices I've made in any way, but I'd like my girls to feel like they have the choice to change the world in other ways... this was my way, and they may have their own. 


DH is the SAHD while I work FT.  He does most of the homeschooling and works on the house (on the second addition now)   

It is what works for us.   I was glad that both my parents worked outside the home, and I am a better person for it.  Just because she would have nitpicked me to death.   Having her not there forced them to leave a list of what I needed to get done.   If it was done, then they had no reason to complain.  So, I had to take responsibility to get stuff done before I relaxed.   I would have loved to have been homeschooled though.   I'm the type of kid that could have gotten a superior education by just having someone throw books at me.  
 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, shawthorne44 said:

I would have loved to have been homeschooled though.   I'm the type of kid that could have gotten a superior education by just having someone throw books at me.  

Same! I'm kind of jealous of DD8, because she reads books and builds things most of the day. I'd have enjoyed that life (except instead of building, I'd have done math puzzles.) 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/21/2020 at 11:33 PM, kiwik said:

I do agree there.  I wish I could cut my hours to 15 a week so I wasn't so damn tired all the time.  I also know it is better for me mentally to work and it is the only income we have.

And I do agree that most households do work better with one person staying at home or mostly at home.

((Hugs)) And kids raised by working moms become independent, strong, capable kids who respect their moms worked so hard for their well- being. ♥️ 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

The biggest take away from this thread should be that regardless of the roles that each parent plays in the household, the household should make plans for when the unthinkable happens.  Because as unthinkable as it is, it will happen....it's just a matter of when.  And the two most important aspects are financial and legal.  Figure out how to make sure the survivors have money, and figure out how to make sure that the survivors legal issues are as minimal as possible.

How a household accomplishes those things can be different for each household.  And ultimately, plans *CAN* be made so that a SAHP doesn't have to up and go to work if the household decides that the household is better with that person home.  Life insurance, cash savings, beneficiaries, trusts, etc etc.  

  • Like 10
Link to post
Share on other sites

I reckon kids personality types count too.  I have one kid that would not cope with all day school plus OSH care for me to work because kid really needs their own quiet thinking space.  I would not have coped either school was bad enough.  I have another kid that would probably thrive most of the time with occasional meltdowns.  

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Ausmumof3 said:

I reckon kids personality types count too.  I have one kid that would not cope with all day school plus OSH care for me to work because kid really needs their own quiet thinking space.  I would not have coped either school was bad enough.  I have another kid that would probably thrive most of the time with occasional meltdowns.  

I agree, my son is like the first if yours you described. But many people are able to work either full or part time and still homeschool, so don’t need to send them to school or use much or any daycare.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

I do think full time jobs for both parents can be hard on the kids, and they require real care to not make the kids feel neglected. I think either having family nearby or having a stable relationship with a babysitter who can pick the kids up after school is pretty key in that situation, at least for lots of kids... I've seen some pretty negative things about commercial aftercare programs. (Not that those NEVER work, but it's hard to get right.) 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/24/2020 at 5:36 AM, Not_a_Number said:

Definitely. I hope I haven't sounded like there's a "best way." 

 

Isn't saying "many kids dislike it when their mothers go to work" a way of saying that for many kids, it's NOT the best way? That seems like exactly the kind of thing we shouldn't be saying. 

I think kids like feeling like they are a priority. I think kids can feel like they are a priority even when mothers work out of the house.

Most kids don't like vaccinations and dislike many things that they need to do.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/23/2020 at 7:36 AM, Not_a_Number said:

Also, frankly, why does it HAVE to be the mother that stays home? I know that's a whole other can of worms, but I sometimes worry what exactly I'm communicating to my extremely bright girls by staying home. I don't regret the choices I've made in any way, but I'd like my girls to feel like they have the choice to change the world in other ways... this was my way, and they may have their own. 

It doesn't. I think it is now culturally acceptable but it does happen less often. I have only know 3 SAHDs . I think it will happen more as time goes by though.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/24/2020 at 5:44 AM, Not_a_Number said:

True, although that wasn't the case in my family. 

 

Of course, we don't HAVE to breastfeed, either 😉 . (And I say this as someone who happily breastfed DD8 until 2.5 and DD4 until 1, when she gave it up herself.) 

 

Yeah, I'd love that. Also, frankly, I'd like more acceptance of the fact that half a good employee is better than a whole bad employee. I wish there were more part-time jobs available, because I'm not at all sure that companies would lose out by that. 

Why don't you guys have better maternity leave? NZ only got paid leave recently but we have had up to a year unpaid leave for a long time.  I got 14 weeks paid leave (at about 80% on minimum wage which is low by international standards but it is a longer period now).  It is having your job held that is the key though.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/23/2020 at 7:44 AM, fairfarmhand said:

Well...I don't know that if the kids dislike it initially that it is a 100% bad idea. So if the childcare arrangements are lousy, sometimes that can be changed. If the kids don't like that certain things that are important to them are not happening, that can be changed. I think where things get disappointing for the kids is when they don't feel they can say that or that things can't be changed and the kids just have to suck it up and deal. 

The kids who had working moms may not necessarily have hated that their moms were working. It was that the alternatives given to the kids were unsuitable. So working parents have to do a good job of checking in with their kids and making sure that the kids can be 100 percent honest about the changes and that their needs and at least SOME of their wants can be planned for. 

My mom was a working mom after we were in school. But all of her work hours happened while were in class so it made no difference to me what she did while I was at school. My feelings would have been different had I been forced to go to an unpleasant after school care setting, especially if the work was her choice and not a necessity. 

I think about the Ramona Quimby books and how she really didn't like the arrangements her mom had made for her after school care, It took awhile for the family to settle into a better arrangement, and then she was much happier. So what I'm saying is that the kids' initial dislike shouldnt be the standard for whether mom working or not is a good or bad thing,

It really depends on the parent too. My bio mom always worked. She had me on Friday and I was in daycare by Monday. She couldn't afford to miss class. A single mom of 4 working while finishing school and med school. But I would lay on her bed while she was studying and look at anatomy pictures, went to med school with her one day when I wasn't allowed in day care. Just sat on a blanket next to her and looked at books and colored. I never felt the anger though. 

 

While living with my dad years later though my step mom went to work. She worked in public schools and so had summers, weekends, holidays off etc but it was one more added stress (she had others) and it was night and day. Instead of coming home to a friendly face, clean home, and yes often freshly baked cookies I came home, dealt with broken appliances, starting fires, babysitting brothers. All that wasn't really a big deal though. A kid likes to feel helpful. It was how stressed out she was. A simple question was usually answered with a snappish, I'm tired. Do I have to deal with that right when I get home, right before bed, when I'm cleaning, or heading to the grocery store? There was never a good time. Part of this was my father never took on more when she went to work do she had to do everything AND work. 

 

I think focusing on a healthy balance  (preferably with 2 partners actually involved) would go a long ways towards resolving this but I certainly couldn't tell you that having a mom who worked was the same or not that big of a deal compared to when she didn't. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, kiwik said:

Why don't you guys have better maternity leave? NZ only got paid leave recently but we have had up to a year unpaid leave for a long time.  I got 14 weeks paid leave (at about 80% on minimum wage which is low by international standards but it is a longer period now).  It is having your job held that is the key though.

We do have Family Medical Leave now that holds your job for 12 weeks unpaid.   Some states allow disability to be used for maternity leave as well.  I'm in NJ and we can get 4-8 weeks before and 6-8 weeks after a birth with disability pay (and disability is a required payroll deduction at least for full time jobs).     But I think there are only 4 or 5 states that do this.  

When my son was born my disability started 6 weeks before my due date because of a previous premature birth.  Then he actually came two weeks late, so I had disability pay for the whole 8 weeks.  Then I had an emergency c-section so had disability pay for 8 weeks after.  Then I was laid off due to the company shutting down (knew it was happening, I was actually glad they were giving me severance without making me return after ds was born) so received a few months severance pay.  Then I was able to collect unemployment for another 13 or so weeks.   All in, I received at least partial pay for about 9-10 months after ds was born, but it was due to a pretty unique set of circumstances.  

Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, kiwik said:

Why don't you guys have better maternity leave?

Why don't we have a better social network in general? Better support for the vulnerable, better healthcare accessibility, etc? Probably because of the focus on rugged individualism in this country. These things are "socialism", didn't you know?

Edited by regentrude
  • Like 5
  • Haha 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, regentrude said:

Why don't we have a better social network in general? Better support for the vulnerable, better healthcare accessibility, etc? Probably because of the focus on rugged individualism in this country. These things are "socialism", didn't you know

It’s because of our great big boot straps.  Gotta pull ourselves up by those. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, kiwik said:

Why don't you guys have better maternity leave? NZ only got paid leave recently but we have had up to a year unpaid leave for a long time.  I got 14 weeks paid leave (at about 80% on minimum wage which is low by international standards but it is a longer period now).  It is having your job held that is the key though.

Because the people that have the ability to make improved maternity leave a reality have enough money that needing paid time off is irrelevant, so it's never a priority. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, MissLemon said:

Because the people that have the ability to make improved maternity leave a reality have enough money that needing paid time off is irrelevant, so it's never a priority. 

I guess so.  But the same could be said in most of the countries where they do.  Paid maternity leave is a"nice to have" but unpaid maternity leave is more a basic human right.  Even if only for 6 months.  Also one year maternity contracts are really good for first jobs or getting back into the workforce.p

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...