Etiquette Hell

Etiquette School is in session! => "So kind of you to take an interest." => Topic started by: Piratelvr1121 on October 11, 2010, 05:56:13 PM

Title: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on October 11, 2010, 05:56:13 PM
There's another mom I know as sort of an friendly acquaintance in that we tend to chat in the mornings after dropping our kids off at school, then at 9am we go about our separate ways.   Last spring she got a job working in the cafeteria and started suggesting I look into job openings at the school.   Well I hadn't indicated an interest in finding a job for myself, just said "That would be a cool job" when she mentioned that position.   She said "Oh well I think there's another opening, you should apply!"   I said "Oh no thanks, I'm not looking for work now, just doing the stay at home mom thing until the kids are old enough to stay at home by themselves for a couple hours..."

Well ever since then, everytime she sees a job opening at the school, she tells me about it, saying "Well it'll give you something to do during the day and extra money, right?"   Um, I'm not exactly sitting around eating bonbons all day, I knit, I go out and do errands or go shopping for things it's not convenient to take little boys along to.   I volunteer in their classes when the teachers need me, clean, laundry, stuff like that and I really like my time at home to get things done or just have some time to myself while they're in school and DH is working.   

Today she came up to me while we were waiting for our children to be let out saying in a "Aren't kids funny?" tone that DS1 told me "All mom does all day is sit around and watch tv and email with her friend."  And she suggested I go get an application to work at the school.    ::) 

What would you do?  I laughed and said "Isn't it funny how kids think they know what we do during the day?  I'm not looking for work, now, I'm busy enough making sure that I'll finish knitting DS2's Harry Potter scarf before Halloween!" 

And why is it that some people have such a problem with a woman who likes being a SAHM/housewife in this day and age?   Why is it so hard to believe that a woman can be happy without a job or career in the 21st century?
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: Kaypeep on October 11, 2010, 06:13:53 PM
"Hahaha!  Yes, DS1 is a card!  He also still believes in the tooth fairy, Santa and the Easter Bunny!  We just love his imagination! Oh, well the bus is here. Have a good day working at the school.  I'm off to MY job, too, at my house."

I wouldn't try to explain anything to this woman.  She may be benefiting a lot from the job, and maybe likes you enough to let you in on the great opportunity. But it's simply not in the cards for you right now.   Perhaps next time answer her with something like "A part time job wouldn't fit into my life right now. I appreciate you thinking of me, but you should really pass these tips on to someone who is job hunting instead. This opportunity is wasted on me right now, I could never manage a job with everything else I do right now."   

Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: sparksals on October 11, 2010, 06:30:42 PM
I've got you one upped (not trying to one up you, because I totally relate).  I am a SAHW.  We don't have kids and you would not believe the looks and judgment I get from people, mostly with a look, 'and you don't have kids?', like I'm a lazy sod. 
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on October 11, 2010, 06:48:27 PM
I'm sure this other mom's intentions are good, and she might just like the idea of having another mom she knows on the job too, though from the sound of the job (Parent cafeteria monitor substitute) we might not even be working on the same days.   

I just wish some people would take "No thanks" as an answer the first time. 
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: Cz. Burrito on October 11, 2010, 08:54:47 PM
Did she need to get this job due to family finances?  If so, she might resent you for being able to make a choice about whether or not to seek outside employment.

Or she might just not understand why somebody would make that choice.  In any case, how annoying!
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: Oxymoroness on October 11, 2010, 09:11:17 PM
After I got back from maternity leave, I was laid off. So for 6 months I was essentially a SAHM. And you know what? I was terrible at it. Fortunately I got a job and everyone is much happier. LittleOxy is loving daycare, and our time together is much better because I'm not so squirrely.

A good friend of mine, who is brilliant BTW, and had very good, very lucrative career, made the choice to be a SAHM. And she's awesome at it. She made the finaces work. Her kids are happy. She insanely busy and active. And she's getting ready for the next phase when the kids are off to school for most of the day. She does do her own little business venture on the side, but she's managed it so that it does not interfere with the kids schedule.

I admire my friend for how awesome she is at her chosen path. I know for a fact that I couldn't do it. She respects me for my choices and for the fact that I'm mommy regardless of whether or not I happen to be in the office. 

At the end of the day even though the choices themselves are different, the ultimate choice was the same: we chose what was best for our families and their unique needs without worrying about the approval of others.

What's funny is that we've both had our share of criticism from the other camp.  ::)   
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on October 11, 2010, 09:54:59 PM
Did she need to get this job due to family finances?  If so, she might resent you for being able to make a choice about whether or not to seek outside employment.

Or she might just not understand why somebody would make that choice.  In any case, how annoying!

This may be the case.   Her husband is in construction and due to a dwindling amount of work for the company they're worried he might lose the job so she's looking for jobs to bring in some money so they won't be without income.   Which is understandable, and responsible.

I just resent the "If you stay at home when your kids are in school all day you must have nothing to do so why don't you work?" 

My best friend admits to being jealous of the fact that I have more time than she does to get things done, since she's single and lives alone and thus has to work.   She on the other hand will push me to make the most of the time I have while the boys are in school to do things that aren't easily done when they're home.  Like painting the interior walls of the house, going shopping for beads, taking walks, knitting, etc.    "Enjoy the time for those of us who don't have it!"
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: Ms_Shell on October 11, 2010, 10:51:15 PM
Ugh. This happens to be a personal pet peeve of mine, please excuse my tone if I sound a bit ranty!

IMHO, the entire point of feminist movement was to add CHOICES to women's lives; i.e. the trapped/unfulfilled housewife could run a Fortune 500 company if she was so inclined, while the women who want to stay home and raise families could do so.  Plenty of women (and men) are great homemakers, and should be allowed to follow their ambitions just as well as the person who wants a professional career.

Sorry about that, needed to get it off my chest!  :) *climbs down from soapbox*
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: MrsJWine on October 11, 2010, 11:25:13 PM
Some people just can't understand that not everyone feels the same way they do about things.  It's possible she looks down on you.  But it's also possible that she hated being a SAHM, couldn't wait to get out and get a job once the kids were in school, and she just assumes everyone else feels the same way, whether they let on to it or not.  Not saying that attitude is good, either, but it's definitely better than her thinking she's superior to you merely for having a job.
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: T'Mar of Vulcan on October 11, 2010, 11:52:24 PM
I agree with Piratelvr1121; I think the other mom is jealous. I know I am!  :D  But maybe it's also unusual in your area? In S.A. it's VERY unusual for a mother not to work - I have 31 kids in my class and every single one's mother works. So the other day when I was filling in some referral forms for a child in another class and came across the mother's occupation in his profile as "housewife", I was quite surprised. I'd just bean dip if she brings up the subject again; what else can you really do.
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: bellawitch on October 12, 2010, 05:23:07 AM
I would be interested in hearing if your dd really did say that. I find that even if dd did, her repeating it back to you as if even your kids think you do nothing and therefore you need to do what she tells you to is starting to push her nose right where it doesn't belong. I'd make a point of advoiding her company for a while, maybe then she might get a clue.
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: Spoder on October 12, 2010, 05:34:56 AM
IMHO, the entire point of feminist movement was to add CHOICES to women's lives; i.e. the trapped/unfulfilled housewife could run a Fortune 500 company if she was so inclined, while the women who want to stay home and raise families could do so.  Plenty of women (and men) are great homemakers, and should be allowed to follow their ambitions just as well as the person who wants a professional career.

POD, to the nth degree.
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on October 12, 2010, 06:12:04 AM
I would be interested in hearing if your dd really did say that. I find that even if dd did, her repeating it back to you as if even your kids think you do nothing and therefore you need to do what she tells you to is starting to push her nose right where it doesn't belong. I'd make a point of advoiding her company for a while, maybe then she might get a clue.

DS did admit to saying that, and I get the feeling it was in response to her asking him what his mom does during the day.  He doesn't know her well enough to just go up to her and volunteer that kind of information out of the blue, yk?  It's not his fault, and I am kind of annoyed that she'd ask my child that and use it to tell me I should look for a job.   
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: sweetgirl on October 12, 2010, 06:27:23 AM
I'm a stay at home mum. I'm in a fortunate position that I dont have to work. And when I do go back to work I wont have to go back fulltime. Not because its my husbands job or because I'm lazy or I dont have any work ethic. Its because I've been the child of a mother who has worked the enterity of my life,even as an adult and whilst I respect my mother and hold her to the highest esteem...this is something that I dont want for my children. Could this change in the future? yes. But I'm not going to rush back into the workforce before I'm ready and my childs ready to prove something to other people.

And last time I checked,a stay at home mum and housewife WAS a job.
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: McCutieBelle on October 12, 2010, 06:58:41 AM
I think people have to do what is right for them, and the rudeness comes from the judgment, on both sides. You should see the looks I get when I say I enjoy working and don't want kids nor do I want to get married...If I ever did have children, which won't happen, but say it did.. I would work, I need to work, and I have been very broke in my life and I could not depend on someone else for money, I don't feel comfortable with that, I need my own funds and my own things, I need time to myself as well.

I think though that a job is something you get paid for or helps you in a career, like an internship, you cannot put a housewife or SAHM on your resume. It is a choice, a lifestyle choice, but a job to me implies something you HAVE to do, and I would say being a mom and a wife is something you WANT to do :)
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: sweetgirl on October 12, 2010, 08:06:51 AM
Sorry but I disagree. By that token,employement and job satisfaction and catagory is a personal choice. You decide that you want to be a lawyer,or a nurse or a bartender and you put in the hardyards to achieve that. Same with parenthood. Only difference is that you dont get any training with becoming a parent.

And you can most definetly put this under your resume. It may not be recognized by the government and society as its an "expected" duty. But as a fulltime parent you have many roles that you have to take on during the day,jobs you need to do and relationships you have to maintain whilst doing so. All with on the job training.

We are Educators. Chefs. Chaffeurs. Cleaners. Health and safety. Stylists. Personal assistants. Negotiaters.Carers. We have to multitask and manage our lives,our households,our partners and our children.Yes this may be my choice and is the greatest job in the world. But it is a job. Theres no other employement in this world that carries as many job descriptions as ours that requires use of all these tasks every single day.

I have no problem listing housewife and mother on my resume when I do go back to work. And when I do I'll list all that I have learnt and aquired and did in this time of life as job duties. If an employee doesnt accept it as a job then thats their perogidiv. But their would ones who do aswell. I'd rather have "housewife and mother" on my resume than nothing at all. I think you would be really surprised who does count what we do as a real job.
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: cbcb on October 12, 2010, 08:18:27 AM
We are Educators. Chefs. Chaffeurs. Cleaners. Health and safety. Stylists. Personal assistants. Negotiaters.Carers. We have to multitask and manage our lives,our households,our partners and our children.Yes this may be my choice and is the greatest job in the world. But it is a job. Theres no other employement in this world that carries as many job descriptions as ours that requires use of all these tasks every single day.

I respect the choice to be a stay-at-home-parent/spouse, but saying it's more multi-faceted than other jobs (and therefore more difficult?) is just as incorrect and insulting as it would be to say it is easier/less of a job than work outside the home. People choosing that job deserve no more or less respect than those of us who work outside of the home (whether by choice or necessity).

Your statement also implies that parents who do work out of the home (again, due to choice or necessity to put food on the table for those children) don't do all of those things that you listed. Tell that to the single mother who must bust her butt at work all day and then come home and do all of those things for her children when they get back from school. For some people, your choice is not an option, and they have to balance all the same things in the home that you do. It really bothers me when either side judges.



To the OP, it's tough to tell if she's judging you, or just being a bit clueless about the fact that you are happy being stay at home! I think if it continues, you may want to gently but firmly remind her that you do have a job and aren't looking around for another!
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: TurtleDove on October 12, 2010, 08:30:45 AM
cbcb posted while I was typing, and said nearly exactly what I said below.  POD.

Being a SAHparent is an important role.  However, parents who work outside the home also perform all of the tasks you mention (or at least I do and the working parents I know do).  It is not an either/or proposition.   When I am at work, my child is in daycare (and eventually will be in school).  When I am not at work, I -- and most of the working parents I know --are educators, chefs, chaffeurs, cleaners, health and safety, stylists, personal assistants, negotiators, carers.  

I think most people recognize that a SAHparent of children who are not at school during the day is on the go constantly.  I think many people believe the choice to be a SAHparent is admirable.  Children must be cared for, which is why working parents pay daycare providers to watch their not-yet-in-school children.  However, I know of no employers who would count being a SAHparent as actual employment.  They may recognize that you bring a certain skillset to the table, but I think it would be a rare employer who would actually be swayed that being a SAHparent in and of itself qualifies a person for any particular career. Explaining gaps in employment by stating "I chose to be a fulltime housewife and mother" is probably going to be a decent explanation for why you did not work for a period of time.  It is not likely that the skills you learned during this time will qualify you for anything other than work at a daycare (unless you were doing something in addition to being a housewife and mother).  
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: sweetgirl on October 12, 2010, 08:58:22 AM
Listing out all that a parent does for their children,was not meant to offend but to prove that yes it is a job, this is all that we do and are for our child and family. And I dont believe I ever refered this solely for a SAHM. I said parent. My mother was a single mum so I am well aware of what she did do for us. But I am going to take offence to a comment being made that what I do or any other parent is not classified as a job or beneficial career wise. Because this isnt correct and is incredibly insulting.
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: Brentwood on October 12, 2010, 09:13:31 AM
Listing out all that a parent does for their children,was not meant to offend but to prove that yes it is a job, this is all that we do and are for our child and family. And I dont believe I ever refered this solely for a SAHM. I said parent. My mother was a single mum so I am well aware of what she did do for us. But I am going to take offence to a comment being made that what I do or any other parent is not classified as a job or beneficial career wise. Because this isnt correct and is incredibly insulting.

It shouldn't be insulting to say that being a stay-home spouse/stay-home parent isn't suitable for a resume.

I worked from the time I was 18 until I was 32, then I stayed home without outside employment until I was 40. At 40, I took a part-time job, which I still do 4 years later. I was a SAHM for 8 years, but I did not put that on my resume, nor did I list qualifications I don't technically possess (Am I a good cook? Yes, but I am not a chef. Can I break up an argument between 2 kids? Yes, but I am neither a mediator nor a counselor).

You will never find me devaluing what a stay-home parent does. And you will never find me belittling anyone who chooses to stay home with their children - or without children. However, the only context in which I would reference being a SAHM on my resume would be as a very brief explanation of the large gap in employment between 1998 and 2006. Running a household and raising kids is work, certainly. It's an occupation. But it isn't employment.

(Likewise, it wouldn't be correct to say that mothers who work full-time are not "raising" their own children, which is another point that often comes up in this type of discussion.)
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: TurtleDove on October 12, 2010, 09:14:21 AM
Listing out all that a parent does for their children,was not meant to offend but to prove that yes it is a job, this is all that we do and are for our child and family. And I dont believe I ever refered this solely for a SAHM. I said parent. My mother was a single mum so I am well aware of what she did do for us. But I am going to take offence to a comment being made that what I do or any other parent is not classified as a job or beneficial career wise. Because this isnt correct and is incredibly insulting.

No offense or insult was intended, and I apologize that you were insulted.  I think we all have stated that we believe being a SAHparent is an important role.  Being a working parent is also an important role.  I am genuinely curious about how being a SAHparent would be beneficial career wise -- I have never heard this to be true.  Can you explain what you mean and instances of this being true?  

And BIG POD to Cathy.
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: cbcb on October 12, 2010, 09:33:32 AM
Listing out all that a parent does for their children,was not meant to offend but to prove that yes it is a job, this is all that we do and are for our child and family. And I dont believe I ever refered this solely for a SAHM. I said parent. My mother was a single mum so I am well aware of what she did do for us. But I am going to take offence to a comment being made that what I do or any other parent is not classified as a job or beneficial career wise. Because this isnt correct and is incredibly insulting.

I was responding to this statement of yours:

Quote
Theres no other employement in this world that carries as many job descriptions as ours that requires use of all these tasks every single day.

That's hyperbole, straight up. You are saying it is a job that involves more variety of work than any other. Many jobs involve playing several roles and multi-tasking - it is not unique to parenting (stay-at-home or otherwise).

I think everyone here feels it is an important role. But I totally agree with Cathy - listing those tasks out on a resume as employment experience would not help you when applying for most jobs. Nor would having a defensive attitude about the years spent as a stay-at-home-parent.
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on October 12, 2010, 09:45:16 AM
I'll admit that I kinda get sensitive about this subject, because my parents were ashamed that their daughter was content to be a SAHM.  They'd hoped I'd be a career woman.   Not just having a job, having a career.    While I was working one job I enjoyed and was content with my position and duties, my mom would say "Is there any potential for advancement? Maybe you should take classes and push to get more responsibilities and authority.   No room for advance?  Hmmm, maybe you need to look for another job where you can advance."    When I'd tell her I was happy where I was and liked my job she'd say "Grow up, we can't all have jobs we like."   

Last spring the temp position I had ended in March and DH and I decided that it would be easier on our budget if I just stayed home during the summer instead of paying the really high prices the daycare charged for their summer program.   And since there were only a few months left of the school year it just made sense for me to start being a SAHM then.   My parents did NOT like it and for months my mother kept sending me job openings, my dad kept calling the house and asking how the job hunt was going. 

I'd hear them telling their friends "Pirate's between jobs" because apparently having a daughter who wants to be a SAHM is something to be ashamed of.   ::)  I'm good at being a SAHM, and it's nice not having to worry about using sick time to stay home with a sick kid or leaving work early when the school calls to tell me a child is ill.    And in the time I've been a SAHM in the last year and a half I've found things I'm not too bad at (Photography, knitting, beading) that I could do to bring in a bit of extra money, if I wanted to. :)
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: Cz. Burrito on October 12, 2010, 09:49:39 AM
I'll admit that I kinda get sensitive about this subject, because my parents were ashamed that their daughter was content to be a SAHM.  They'd hoped I'd be a career woman.   Not just having a job, having a career.    While I was working one job I enjoyed and was content with my position and duties, my mom would say "Is there any potential for advancement? Maybe you should take classes and push to get more responsibilities and authority.   No room for advance?  Hmmm, maybe you need to look for another job where you can advance."    When I'd tell her I was happy where I was and liked my job she'd say "Grow up, we can't all have jobs we like."   

Last spring the temp position I had ended in March and DH and I decided that it would be easier on our budget if I just stayed home during the summer instead of paying the really high prices the daycare charged for their summer program.   And since there were only a few months left of the school year it just made sense for me to start being a SAHM then.   My parents did NOT like it and for months my mother kept sending me job openings, my dad kept calling the house and asking how the job hunt was going. 

I'd hear them telling their friends "Pirate's between jobs" because apparently having a daughter who wants to be a SAHM is something to be ashamed of.   ::)  I'm good at being a SAHM, and it's nice not having to worry about using sick time to stay home with a sick kid or leaving work early when the school calls to tell me a child is ill.    And in the time I've been a SAHM in the last year and a half I've found things I'm not too bad at (Photography, knitting, beading) that I could do to bring in a bit of extra money, if I wanted to. :)

That's a very disappointing attitude (your parents).  I'm sorry that you have to deal with that.  >:(  Especially the part about how we can't all have jobs that we like.  ??? 
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: cbcb on October 12, 2010, 09:52:07 AM
I'll admit that I kinda get sensitive about this subject, because my parents were ashamed that their daughter was content to be a SAHM.  They'd hoped I'd be a career woman.   Not just having a job, having a career.    While I was working one job I enjoyed and was content with my position and duties, my mom would say "Is there any potential for advancement? Maybe you should take classes and push to get more responsibilities and authority.   No room for advance?  Hmmm, maybe you need to look for another job where you can advance."    When I'd tell her I was happy where I was and liked my job she'd say "Grow up, we can't all have jobs we like."   

Last spring the temp position I had ended in March and DH and I decided that it would be easier on our budget if I just stayed home during the summer instead of paying the really high prices the daycare charged for their summer program.   And since there were only a few months left of the school year it just made sense for me to start being a SAHM then.   My parents did NOT like it and for months my mother kept sending me job openings, my dad kept calling the house and asking how the job hunt was going. 

I'd hear them telling their friends "Pirate's between jobs" because apparently having a daughter who wants to be a SAHM is something to be ashamed of.   ::)  I'm good at being a SAHM, and it's nice not having to worry about using sick time to stay home with a sick kid or leaving work early when the school calls to tell me a child is ill.    And in the time I've been a SAHM in the last year and a half I've found things I'm not too bad at (Photography, knitting, beading) that I could do to bring in a bit of extra money, if I wanted to. :)

So they would rather you apply for a job you don't enjoy (since apparently they think a job you like isn't a real job), and pay daycare? Great plan there from your parents! Sorry they are such PITAs.
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: MrsJWine on October 12, 2010, 09:54:42 AM
I think each job, working parent or SAHP, has its own set of challenges and difficulties.  I'm a SAHM.  It's more emotionally exhausting than many other jobs are.  On the surface, it doesn't seem hard.  It's honestly not all that much work for me to keep the house neat and the children alive.  But the emotional exhaustion has me completely wrung out by their bedtime.  

The first time my husband stayed home with The Child while I was gone for the day, I came home to find him half asleep on the couch, feeding the baby, and he said, "I don't know how you do this all day."  It was gratifying.  But I could easily say the same to him.  I don't know how he can be gone from the house for ten hours a day and then come home and be a father with all the energy that requires.

I'm no more a chef, housekeeper, stylist, and daycare worker than my husband is an IT tech just because he can fix some of his own computer glitches while he's at work.  And my job isn't easy just because I don't do much physical or mental work, any more than his job is easy just because he doesn't have to deal with his coworkers' tantrums, bumps, bruises, and naptimes.

They're each jobs, and each carries its own challenges and difficulties.  I prefer to be a SAHM.  My husband and I both planned for that when we got married.  Sometimes I hate it, but overall I much prefer to be at home with the kids.  The SAHP v. working parent argument isn't terribly productive because it's comparing apples to oranges.  I can't compare the difficulties of the two any better than I can compare the difficulties between construction work and accounting.

ETA: I'm not saying they can't ever be or shouldn't be discussed or compared.  But I have never seen this discussion not devolve into a heated, us v. them snipe-fest.  If it can be done anywhere, I'm sure it's eHell, but it's a potentially contentious topic, especially when approached from the wrong angles.
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on October 12, 2010, 10:04:22 AM
Yeah, they are PITAs and that sort of attitude is one of MANY reasons we're estranged and I don't have to hear that stuff anymore.   While it's true that sometimes we do have to stick in jobs we don't like to make a living until we can find something else we do like, there's no reason someone should leave a job they enjoy for one they won't if they don't need to be making more money.  

One job I really liked and would do every year if it was closer was the soup in a bowl booth at the renfest.   They even called me a week before the season started to see if I wanted to come back and I reluctantly called them back and turned it down since $7.25 an hour would pretty much just cover the gas for the drive down and back every weekend.  

Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: Brentwood on October 12, 2010, 10:22:32 AM
 The SAHP v. working parent argument isn't terribly productive because it's comparing apples to oranges.  

And that's something many people forget. I used to frequent a debate board where the subject was discussed so frequently that it had its own forum. Some of the worst flame wars I've ever seen erupt arose out of the SAHM vs. WOHM issue, when it really shouldn't be anyone vs. anyone!

Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on October 12, 2010, 10:29:47 AM
I've noticed that when such arguments spring up is when people aren't happy with the decision they made, or aren't sure if they're as happy with their choice as they thought they'd be and look down on those who made the alternate choice.   

My feeling is to each their own, whatever works for you and you enjoy.   
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: cbcb on October 12, 2010, 11:41:45 AM
I've noticed that when such arguments spring up is when people aren't happy with the decision they made, or aren't sure if they're as happy with their choice as they thought they'd be and look down on those who made the alternate choice.  

My feeling is to each their own, whatever works for you and you enjoy.  

Exactly! People are driven and suited to different things, and forcing yourself into a role doesn't do anyone any good.

I personally could not be a stay-at-home-parent - I adore my career and would feel a great loss leaving it. I've known others who hate working outside the home and would've loved to be a SAHP (unfortunately, circumstances don't allow them that option).
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: drebay on October 12, 2010, 12:00:06 PM
I never know where I fit. I am a WAHM (Work At Home Mom).  DH & I own our own business, and run it from a building on our property.  I do get a paycheck (I write it to myself), but I had the bassinet in my office when the kiddos were babies.  I am home all day, but I am also at work all day.  People accept that DH has a "job", but seem to think that I don't.
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: Minmom3 on October 12, 2010, 06:50:49 PM
I never know where I fit. I am a WAHM (Work At Home Mom).  DH & I own our own business, and run it from a building on our property.  I do get a paycheck (I write it to myself), but I had the bassinet in my office when the kiddos were babies.  I am home all day, but I am also at work all day.  People accept that DH has a "job", but seem to think that I don't.

And the worst part of THAT is what they want you to do for them in the time you are 'not at work'....
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: Jan74 on October 12, 2010, 08:03:45 PM
I've got you one upped (not trying to one up you, because I totally relate).  I am a SAHW.  We don't have kids and you would not believe the looks and judgment I get from people, mostly with a look, 'and you don't have kids?', like I'm a lazy sod. 
I hear ya. I work from home, and I get the same judgment. If you don't commute, you are lazy, even if you are running around all day doing laundry/running errands/cleaning etc. Nevermind the 2-8h a day, depending on the day, I waste doing my "paid work" - the rest is also work, it just doesn't pay. So on a good day, I'm a SAHW and can mend clothes, do home improvement, etc. On bad days I have to be like an office worker, while my "life work" piles up waiting for me. And yet, people think I "do nothing all day".
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: Shoo on October 12, 2010, 08:16:45 PM
I'm basically a SAHW, since my daughter is in 5th grade.  I tell people that I am "retired" since I worked until my daughter went into Kindergarten, then the sheer logistics of everything made it hard for me to justify going to work.

I don't know what other people think about my situation, but as far as I know, no one has ever said anything snide.  Maybe people do, I don't know.  Really, I can't imagine why anyone would spend 2 seconds concerning themselves with what my husband and I choose to do when it doesn't have anything to do with them in any way.
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: Brentwood on October 12, 2010, 08:19:09 PM

Really, I can't imagine why anyone would spend 2 seconds concerning themselves with what my husband and I choose to do when it doesn't concern them in any way. 

That's how I feel.

Of course, even if the stay-home partner DID spend his/her day "doing nothing" (or pursuing a hobby or reading a stack of books or visiting the spa or whatever), it's still purely their own business.
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: Rohanna on October 12, 2010, 08:33:04 PM
If your lifrestyle choice isn't illegal or immoral it's really none of their business. However, I think bean-dipping the topic rather than trying to justify it would be a better tactic, as it's an extremely loaded discussion.
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on October 12, 2010, 08:34:48 PM

Really, I can't imagine why anyone would spend 2 seconds concerning themselves with what my husband and I choose to do when it doesn't concern them in any way. 

That's how I feel.

Of course, even if the stay-home partner DID spend his/her day "doing nothing" (or pursuing a hobby or reading a stack of books or visiting the spa or whatever), it's still purely their own business.

POD POD POD.   The last two days I've been sitting here on the couch knitting DS's scarf and working my way through all 4 seasons of 21 Jump Street. :)
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: Shoo on October 12, 2010, 09:01:22 PM
If your lifrestyle choice isn't illegal or immoral it's really none of their business. However, I think bean-dipping the topic rather than trying to justify it would be a better tactic, as it's an extremely loaded discussion.

That hasn't been my experience at all!  No one has EVER said anything to me that I could classify as anything other than supportive, or at least non-committal.  There have been no discussions, no disparaging remarks, nothing.  I would be absolutely shocked to hear someone make any sort of comment about my chosen lifestyle.
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: Rohanna on October 12, 2010, 09:21:11 PM
If your lifrestyle choice isn't illegal or immoral it's really none of their business. However, I think bean-dipping the topic rather than trying to justify it would be a better tactic, as it's an extremely loaded discussion.

That hasn't been my experience at all!  No one has EVER said anything to me that I could classify as anything other than supportive, or at least non-committal.  There have been no discussions, no disparaging remarks, nothing.  I would be absolutely shocked to hear someone make any sort of comment about my chosen lifestyle.

I meant on the internet. You only need to google SAHM v Working Mom to unleash the hounds, as it were.
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: Shoo on October 12, 2010, 09:52:13 PM
If your lifrestyle choice isn't illegal or immoral it's really none of their business. However, I think bean-dipping the topic rather than trying to justify it would be a better tactic, as it's an extremely loaded discussion.

That hasn't been my experience at all!  No one has EVER said anything to me that I could classify as anything other than supportive, or at least non-committal.  There have been no discussions, no disparaging remarks, nothing.  I would be absolutely shocked to hear someone make any sort of comment about my chosen lifestyle.

I meant on the internet. You only need to google SAHM v Working Mom to unleash the hounds, as it were.

Ah.  Yes, I think the anonymity of the internet tends to bring out the worst in people.  People will say things online that they would NEVER say to someone's face.
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: GoldenGemini on October 14, 2010, 08:52:32 PM
I too think it is possible that the other mum is jealous. It sounds like it is possible from their job situation, that she needs to work, or needs at least a bit extra.  Maybe she can't understand how you don't feel this way.  Still none of her business.

Can you say "oh, I couldn't squeeze in a job as well! I'm so busy right now!"? Maybe she will get the hint, but probably not!

I don't have kids, and am currently ambivalent about the whole thing.  However, I know if I had kids, it would be much safer for them if I went back to my job.  They would get much better care in daycare, and Mummy will be less likely to be down to her last nerve by dinner time.  :)

I would love to be a SAHWife, but I probably have a romantic notion of what that involves.  ::) 
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on October 14, 2010, 10:00:24 PM
I saw her again today and she said "Hey, you apply yet?" She was grinning and from her tone she might have been joking, so I just replied with a grin and a "No and I'm not going to cause I'm not looking for work now."  We were walking opposite directions as I was on my way to meet my kids and she'd already met hers and was walking back home with him.   

She waved her hand and grinned in the "Oh I'm teasing!" gesture and said okay so hopefully that means the subject's closed!
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: sweetgirl on October 15, 2010, 06:59:12 AM
What about the ever popular phrase "your life is one big holiday" when you say you'd love a vacation. Yeah. Because home is the same as a week in fiji.
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: penguinpants on October 15, 2010, 07:21:58 PM
Goodness -- I'm glad I read this thread, because the comments and raised eyebrows are already starting.  I won't be returning to work, now that we have our son.  My salary would barely cover daycare, and my former work (college-level teaching) does not end when leaving work (grading, lesson plans, paperwork, meetings, student emails, etc.).  Our son would suffer, and we would suffer.  Somehow, we'd still have to get all of the housework accomplished, my husband would still be on a national-level job search (lots of travel), and he would somehow still have to finish his dissertation and teach his classes and attend to his department's meetings and needs.  But some are still making comments like:

"Oh, it'll be nice for you to have some time for yourself." 
---Either you haven't had a baby before, or you don't recall the experience.  And housework does take a lot of time.  Laundry for 3 (including aforementioned-infant) alone is quite the daily task.

"Are you bored already, or what?"
--- Or what.  Our son is highly entertaining and engaging.  When he naps, I take care of the house, catch up with friends and relatives, read for pleasure, catch a little tv, etc.

"Don't you get any breaks from the baby?"
--- DH happily spends time with Baby when he comes home -- he misses his son during the day, and doesn't want to lose out on all of the milestones, much less the opportunity to build a relationship with the little guy.  So long as I'm not needed for feeding, I use that time to catch up on housework or personal needs.

Glad to see that it isn't just me.  I guess people thought I was quite the career woman, or something?  Or it's just so common to not stay at home that it's surprising to them?
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: Hushabye on October 16, 2010, 02:58:55 PM
I'm just waiting for it to start for us.  Not for me, but for Southern Honey, since he's the one who's going on reduced hours to stay home with the Munchkin.  And that's something that seems to really get people going: a MAN giving up HIS career to stay home with the baby!  For shame!  ::)

There have been some great responses here, though, so thanks to everyone!
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: Jan74 on October 17, 2010, 06:44:54 PM
And that's something that seems to really get people going: a MAN giving up HIS career to stay home with the baby!  For shame!  ::)
Don't you mean a SLACKER giving up his career (as per the other thread...)?
/sarcasm
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: Hushabye on October 18, 2010, 08:39:11 AM
And that's something that seems to really get people going: a MAN giving up HIS career to stay home with the baby!  For shame!  ::)
Don't you mean a SLACKER giving up his career (as per the other thread...)?
/sarcasm

Oh, yes, THAT was the epithet I was looking for!  /sarcasm

There are some special people in the world, that is for sure.
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: lilfox on October 18, 2010, 05:23:12 PM
Glad to see that it isn't just me.  I guess people thought I was quite the career woman, or something?  Or it's just so common to not stay at home that it's surprising to them?

You know what's kind of odd?  I had the exact opposite reaction at work.  My manager flat out told me he didn't think I would come back from mat leave (after I came back, that is - he never said anything beforehand).  Another senior person that I indirectly report to said he wasn't surprised that I came back this time, but he'd put money on my not coming back after a second baby.  Neither were being judgmental though.  Just matter-of-fact since, as one said, "You never know how you'll really feel til you experience it yourself."
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: kareng57 on October 18, 2010, 08:33:59 PM
Glad to see that it isn't just me.  I guess people thought I was quite the career woman, or something?  Or it's just so common to not stay at home that it's surprising to them?

You know what's kind of odd?  I had the exact opposite reaction at work.  My manager flat out told me he didn't think I would come back from mat leave (after I came back, that is - he never said anything beforehand).  Another senior person that I indirectly report to said he wasn't surprised that I came back this time, but he'd put money on my not coming back after a second baby.  Neither were being judgmental though.  Just matter-of-fact since, as one said, "You never know how you'll really feel til you experience it yourself."

True, and sometimes it's just a plain question of $$$.  Very often, depending on what daycare costs are in the area, it's the birth of a second baby, while the first is still quite young, that makes the decision.  Daycare bills of about $1000 a month might be manageable on even a moderate salary.  Twice that, no.  It might make more sense for one parent to stay home, or perhaps pursue part-time employment when the other parent would be around for childcare.

However, I really don't think it's for a supervisor to say anything about this.  He/she should really not have information as to an employee's private financial situation.
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on October 18, 2010, 08:55:03 PM
When our boys were in daycare, especially when they were both in school all day, it amounted to $200/week for both of them during the school year but during the summer the rates went up because they did a summer camp program.   Which meant higher tuition than the rest of the year, even for the kids who were there all day.   

Which is understandable for the activities they planned for this summer camp, but it made it tricky for some families. Like us.  We love the center, we just decided it made more sense for me to stay home with them than to pay the daycare so I could work.
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: learningtofly on October 19, 2010, 01:08:31 PM
I'd be a horrible SAHM.  But i find myself lucky that i know this.  It is stressful for me being a wife/mother/worker/student, but I don't see how it would get less stressful if I had to be home all day.  i still wouldn't get the housework done  ;D  Might as well be out doing something I love while DD plays with kids she loves.
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: Kittymama on October 25, 2010, 03:19:06 PM
Like a few others on this thread, I'm a stay-at-home wife (no--er, human--children ;)). I get snide remarks and suggestions of "you should apply for [whatever]!" Mostly I get the snide remarks from a few relatives and the job suggestions from a couple of friends. I do have a reputation with these people as being lazy (because I stay home). I just genuinely don't see why they care. I don't think any of them really know me enough to make that judgement, and even if they did, I still don't see why they care! I don't go around telling them to quit their jobs, or that their jobs are not important, or I bet they play on the internet all day while at work. Maybe I should start [*quickly stuffs Evil Kittymama back into her box*]. So why do they feel the need to imply that I do nothing all day? Why do they care if I don't do anything all day?

Our bills are paid; our cats are content (this is extremely important because they're very important cats :)); our house is...er, livable :P; our budget is done and planned a few weeks in advance; I'm working on a course towards a degree (not that that's any of their business); I'm finally trying to work on healing from an abusive childhood and building back my self-esteem (not that that's any of their business either, but it's something which these judgemental comments do not help!); and my husband doesn't oppose me in any of these endeavours. So what's it to anybody else?
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on October 25, 2010, 04:40:12 PM
And to be honest, there are some days where I do absolutely nothing, and not because I'm sick or hurt for any reason.   Cause sometimes it's nice to just go to the mall and browse when the stores aren't full of customers.   Or stay home and watch tv and veg.    And why should I need to justify that to other people? :)

Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: McCutieBelle on October 25, 2010, 05:19:50 PM
My brother is a stay at home papa :)

He wants to go to culinary school and SIL is a teacher, they seem very happy with the arrangement and nephew is thriving!

I find that a lot of people make "interesting assumptions" about people.
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: wheeitsme on October 25, 2010, 05:46:43 PM
You are all Home-makers.  And while not everyone chooses that job (which is okay), and not everyone who wants that job is able to have it without working a second job, it is valid, hard, important work, when taken seriously.

And don't let anyone convince you differently.

Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: Lashley on October 25, 2010, 06:09:45 PM
I've been reading this thread with great interest. It's fascinating to me how women can catch heck for both staying home and working - it seems like a "darned if you do, darned if you don't" situation. I don't have children yet, but I definitely want them, and I'm also becoming a lawyer - I graduate in May. I'm already working (pretty typical for the profession) and have had several people ask what I do, then when I respond, answer "but who is going to raise your children?"

It's amazing that people think they should get an opinion on whether you stay home or not (or be allowed to pass judgment). Like a lot of other posters mentioned, the childcare costs can be overwhelming. My mom worked until she had enough children (there are 3 of us) that all of her salary was going to childcare expenses, so she decided to just stay home. She says she worked harder when we were all living at home than she ever did in her job. Plus...I absolutely loved having her at home. She quit working when I was in middle school, and I thought it was the best thing ever.

My boyfriend is also an attorney but he's a writer primarily, and would eventually like to teach creative writing full time. We've already decided that if we're lucky enough to have kids, we want them to have a stay at home parent, and he really wants to be the one to do it. I'm crossing my fingers that it works out, because I know that'd probably be the happiest situation for us (I love love love my job; him, not so much!)
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: Sirius on November 01, 2010, 08:02:23 PM
I never know where I fit. I am a WAHM (Work At Home Mom).  DH & I own our own business, and run it from a building on our property.  I do get a paycheck (I write it to myself), but I had the bassinet in my office when the kiddos were babies.  I am home all day, but I am also at work all day.  People accept that DH has a "job", but seem to think that I don't.

I am a WAHW (work at home wife.)  I've learned how to multitask - I can transcribe dictations, do laundry, and cook dinner all at the same time.  I also get a real paycheck from a real company. 
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: Kittymama on November 01, 2010, 11:19:58 PM
I am a WAHW (work at home wife.)  I've learned how to multitask - I can transcribe dictations, do laundry, and cook dinner all at the same time.  I also get a real paycheck from a real company. 

I would love to work at home! Most things I can find either hardly pay anything at all, or are scams, though. You do transcription? Did you have to get some specialized training?
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: Lynda_34 on November 03, 2010, 12:31:27 AM
I'm 60.  I'm trying to be retired.

I work between 24 and 40 hours a week. 

However, most of them are hours of my choosing.  I'm only obligated to 24 of them in two shifts.

I love being home and just hanging out.

When my husband was normal I worked 24 hours a week.  After I was divorced I worked 40-70 hours a week to pay off debts that mostly he incurred.  (no pity here just stating facts)

I had an excellent support system since my parents lived a mile and a half down the road and I worked a night shift and early morning shift.  (not possible for a lot of people).  My daughter was a hard working *******, my son a dancing in the daisies ******* but I tried to be home for them every afternoon.  Sleeping in between.

Not an easy way to do things and not my choice.  They are both adults now, and have turned out pretty well. 

Every parent should just do the best they can for as long as they can.  One never knows while they are living it if they are making the best decisions.  I look back now and think I did pretty good but at the time most of it was "touch and go."
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: starbuck on November 14, 2010, 12:46:29 PM
Like a few others on this thread, I'm a stay-at-home wife (no--er, human--children ;)). I get snide remarks and suggestions of "you should apply for [whatever]!" Mostly I get the snide remarks from a few relatives and the job suggestions from a couple of friends. I do have a reputation with these people as being lazy (because I stay home). I just genuinely don't see why they care. I don't think any of them really know me enough to make that judgement, and even if they did, I still don't see why they care! I don't go around telling them to quit their jobs, or that their jobs are not important, or I bet they play on the internet all day while at work. Maybe I should start [*quickly stuffs Evil Kittymama back into her box*]. So why do they feel the need to imply that I do nothing all day? Why do they care if I don't do anything all day?

Our bills are paid; our cats are content (this is extremely important because they're very important cats :)); our house is...er, livable :P; our budget is done and planned a few weeks in advance; I'm working on a course towards a degree (not that that's any of their business); I'm finally trying to work on healing from an abusive childhood and building back my self-esteem (not that that's any of their business either, but it's something which these judgemental comments do not help!); and my husband doesn't oppose me in any of these endeavours. So what's it to anybody else?

Another one here. =)  DH works.  I am a SAHW, the w being either wife or writer, whichever you prefer. =D  People really think I do nothing all day or what I do is of a lesser value b/c it doesn't involve kids or "meaningful" work.  When my MIL came to stay over the summer she commented to my mom that she couldn't believe how busy I was (pullets, huge garden, canning, writing, fitness, house in order, shopping, bills, etc.) and that irked me a bit, you know?  Besides, DH and I are good.  He likes that he doesn't have to think about any of that other stuff (though he's 100 percent willing should he be needed) and I like that I don't have to be anywhere I don't care to be most of the time.  It also frees me up to pursue the things I love, like writing and personal training.

POD to all who have said it's nobody's business but ours.
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: channa17 on February 14, 2011, 05:20:12 AM
Ah, The Mommy Wars. Completely ridiculous because they're all wrapped up in subjective opinions, preferences and conveniently ignoring the different personalities and circumstances involved. While I never want to be a SAHM, I completely respect any parent - male or female - who chooses to do so. In our modern age, it is a reasonable inference that staying home was a choice, and it makes sense for them. And kudos to that. Not everyone has the financial reality to be able to do that.

Judgement comes from all sides, towards all sides: you hear SAHPs making derisory comments about mothers who choose to work, but interestingly, not fathers (as Gloria Steinem famously said - "how come nobody ever asks a man about the difficulty of balancing a career and a family?"), and working mothers who snort at SAHPs. You get people who make fun of couples who choose to have kids and couples with kids who condescendingly "feel sorry" for couples who don't. Then there are the happy singles vs. the Smug Marrieds.

It's all too darned much!

I personally am happy to be married, but we've chosen not to settle down (at least not yet, if ever), definitely not have kids (we have approx. 5-10 years to change our minds and I just don't see it happening) and I love my career. I despise housework and don't particularly like kids and all they entail, at least not for long periods. You'd be amazed - wait, no you wouldn't! - at how much judgement I get for all of this, and at how little judgement my husband gets. No fair. Borderline sexist. As though he's fine and yet my life is somehow incomplete without kids and I will be happy to change poopy diapers, mop floors and volunteer at the science fair and holiday bazaar once it's my own kid.

Yeah...no.

I have deep respect for parents who do take joy and pride in that stuff. Absolutely. So it's sad to see them getting judged for it. But we women who don't want kids and love our jobs get judgement too and it's not fair to any of us.

So, as wives and mothers and colleagues and husbands and friends and relatives, I hope we'll all just STOP.

(I mean the collective humanity "we" - you guys are doin' great).
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: irish1 on March 20, 2011, 10:19:42 AM
I agree so strongly with people who say those people who aren't happy with their own lives judge and criticise. If it's not that you feel bad about yourself, and seeing my lifestyle reminds you of why you feel bad about yourself, then why would you bring it up? Women as a group really need to start standing up for ourselves and each other, and give up the guilt!

My brother and his wife just moved to London, he has a very good job with an excellent salary. She has just finished college and is job hunting slowly. There aren't many jobs in her field and neither of them see the point in her rushing to get a job she doesn't enjoy with a low wage when they can easily both live on what he earns. But her parents are badgering her to get a job soon. I think she has some sort of policy like 'Every day you tell me to get job is one month more that I won't bother looking'  :D
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: DangerMouth on March 20, 2011, 10:56:12 AM
I'm 60.  I'm trying to be retired.

I work between 24 and 40 hours a week.  

However, most of them are hours of my choosing.  I'm only obligated to 24 of them in two shifts.

I love being home and just hanging out.

When my husband was normal I worked 24 hours a week.  After I was divorced I worked 40-70 hours a week to pay off debts that mostly he incurred.  (no pity here just stating facts)

I had an excellent support system since my parents lived a mile and a half down the road and I worked a night shift and early morning shift.  (not possible for a lot of people).  My daughter was a hard working *******, my son a dancing in the daisies ******* but I tried to be home for them every afternoon.  Sleeping in between.

Not an easy way to do things and not my choice.  They are both adults now, and have turned out pretty well.  

Every parent should just do the best they can for as long as they can.  One never knows while they are living it if they are making the best decisions.  I look back now and think I did pretty good but at the time most of it was "touch and go."

It's making me nuts that I can't figure out what ******* is supposed to stand for.

:D
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on March 20, 2011, 12:58:01 PM
What drives me crazy is when people say "Well what do you DO all day? You must have time to do X or Y if you have time to sit around the house all day!  Why don't you get a part time job?"

Well I've tried in the past to get a part time job so I could work during the hours my boys are in school, with very little luck.  People say "Well work for the school!" Well, you know, no offense to kids, but if I'm going to work out of the house while my boys are in school, I'd rather work with adults, not around kids. 

Now volunteering I wouldn't mind doing.  It seems like volunteering you can be more flexible! :)
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: magician5 on March 26, 2011, 05:39:13 AM
Years ago, early in my marriage, another resident in the apartment building was a 20-something young lady ... bright, pretty, capable, great personality. And almost due to give birth to her first.

ASSUMING, like the young idiot I was (I am now an old idiot) that in this fast-paced, high-rent urban area, that she'd have the kid and get back to work in a while, I asked how long she planned to take off from work when the baby came. She said that she had no job and didn't plan to.

I puzzled over this for a few days, thinking "but doesn't everybody put their kid in daycare and get back to the 9-to-5?" Around here, in my circle, just about everyone did.

I brought up the topic when I encountered her again, and she said that the role of SAHM was something she had always wanted, and she was thrilled to be getting her lifelong wish.

I puzzled another day or two, and it suddenly dawned on me ... NOT EVERYBODY WANTS THE SAME LIFE I WANT, AND THAT'S PERFECTLY O.K. Believe it or not, I was so mired in my own way of thinking that it simply hadn't occurred to me that other people had other wishes, and they were entitled to them.
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: Larrabee on March 26, 2011, 07:26:53 AM
Look, I am completely on board with people choosing to stay home or go out to work or work at home or work part time or whatever they want to do, not my business at all, if it works for you great.

But...

Housewife/SAHM etc. is not a job and I don't think it should be described that way.  I'm sorry but we have a pretty clear definition of what a job is and 'home maker' as wheeitsme described it, just doesn't fit.  

You don't get a paycheque, you don't have to put in a set number of hours at set times, you don't have a hierarchy of bosses to answer to or corporate policies to adhere to, you aren't answerable to customers or clients, you aren't at risk of being fired or demoted or having your hours cut, you don't have deadlines to meet in order to keep your job, you don't face disciplinary proceedings if you make mistakes.  

Yes, there are a lot of responsibilities and it can be a very important role and involves a lot of hard work, but its not a job, its not employment.  To me the desire to call it that just seems like another justification, an attempt to validate the choice by putting it on a par with the other choice.  Well, its different, its no better or worse than a job but it ain't a job!
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: sweetgirl on March 26, 2011, 08:23:27 AM
You are entitled to your opinion, but I would disagree.

There is alot of paid employement that people do that could fit under that description aswell, bar the paycheque part, that requires less work or responsibility. Plus with all due respect, every family and marriage is different and cannot be defined by those standards. Whether it be due to the family dynamic,religion,relationship etc;...every family works differently. A stay at home wife in some households very well could get paid for the work they do in the home that week, or have to adhere to their husband/child/in laws wants and needs in fear of retaliation,faith or even self respect and gratification.

As for bosses and clients...well I think any mum/mom will tell you that they deal with hierachy at some point during the day or week. It may not be paid employement, and its something that for the most part we LOVE doing. But sometimes it is a job. Not all the time. But sometimes.
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: Giggity on March 26, 2011, 08:29:39 AM
Larrabee, I agree with your theory. Also, I admire you for being brave enough to put it out here.

The differences between what I do as a salaried worker and what my sister did as a stay-at-home mother (when she did) are legion, and far more numerous than the similarities. Parenting doesn't have an HR manual, an IT staff, insurance benefits, or a carpool. Also, I get to stop work at 5:30 each day.

I understand the point of the "parenting is a job" comparison; I just don't agree fully with it AS a comparison. I agree with it, to a point, but the differences bust it for me.

All this, of course, is not to denigrate stay-at-homers. I wish I could. The Duke boys are clearly out of control and in dire need of parental guidance. (Actually, come to think of it, their most spectacular badnesses occurred when Gentleman Friend went back to work outside.)
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: ACBNYC on March 26, 2011, 08:36:47 AM
I see your point, Larrabee, but I also think there are differences between the words "job" and "employment." I have both a babysitter and a housekeeper; they get paid, I employ them and they do their jobs. There is no HR manual or corporate structure for these positions, although they can be fired.

If I choose to stop working and stay at home, the jobs they were getting paid to do fall to me. I don't see how watching/raising my child and cleaning my house cease being "jobs" simply because I am now doing them and not getting paid.

SAHM isn't employment, but it is a job. One I wish I could have sometimes.  :)
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: Larrabee on March 26, 2011, 05:29:01 PM
Larrabee, I agree with your theory. Also, I admire you for being brave enough to put it out here.

The differences between what I do as a salaried worker and what my sister did as a stay-at-home mother (when she did) are legion, and far more numerous than the similarities. Parenting doesn't have an HR manual, an IT staff, insurance benefits, or a carpool. Also, I get to stop work at 5:30 each day.

I understand the point of the "parenting is a job" comparison; I just don't agree fully with it AS a comparison. I agree with it, to a point, but the differences bust it for me.

All this, of course, is not to denigrate stay-at-homers. I wish I could. The Duke boys are clearly out of control and in dire need of parental guidance. (Actually, come to think of it, their most spectacular badnesses occurred when Gentleman Friend went back to work outside.)




Of course, this is not my intention at all, my SIL is also a SAHM for the next few years at least and I couldn't and wouldn't want to do what she does.  I work really hard in a physically tiring and emotionally draining job but when my shift is over I can come home and watch repeats of Jericho with my feet up and a tub of Ben and Jerrys, her work is never done!  If I'm too ill to stay on my feet all day I can call in sick and stay in bed, she has to take care of the babies however terrible she feels.

There are many many many differences between having a job and being a SAHM, but I think at the most basic it boils down to if you don't get paid and you can't get fired, its not a job.  This isn't a value judgement, I just like to use the right terms for things!
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: Larrabee on March 26, 2011, 05:30:56 PM
I see your point, Larrabee, but I also think there are differences between the words "job" and "employment." I have both a babysitter and a housekeeper; they get paid, I employ them and they do their jobs. There is no HR manual or corporate structure for these positions, although they can be fired.

If I choose to stop working and stay at home, the jobs they were getting paid to do fall to me. I don't see how watching/raising my child and cleaning my house cease being "jobs" simply because I am now doing them and not getting paid.

SAHM isn't employment, but it is a job. One I wish I could have sometimes.  :)

Well, because you're willing to take on that role without being paid, because they're your children.  Would you be a SAHM for children unrelated to you for no money?  

They 'they can be fired' bit is key too.
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: irish1 on March 26, 2011, 05:39:48 PM
Well, maybe because many parents have no choice but to work unpaid in the home, we don't count it as a job? I know that technically, it's not a job because you don't get paid and you can be fired. I also think that this contributes to its low societal status. There's a common enough argument that if a parent chooses not to take a job outside the home, the government should pay them a wage similar to what they would get in the workforce. I wish this could be brought in! Larrabee I understand that your point was just a question of semantics, but for many people who make the same argument, it's a value judgement and this isn't fair.
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: wolfie on March 26, 2011, 05:53:29 PM
Look, I am completely on board with people choosing to stay home or go out to work or work at home or work part time or whatever they want to do, not my business at all, if it works for you great.

But...

Housewife/SAHM etc. is not a job and I don't think it should be described that way.  I'm sorry but we have a pretty clear definition of what a job is and 'home maker' as wheeitsme described it, just doesn't fit.  

You don't get a paycheque, you don't have to put in a set number of hours at set times, you don't have a hierarchy of bosses to answer to or corporate policies to adhere to, you aren't answerable to customers or clients, you aren't at risk of being fired or demoted or having your hours cut, you don't have deadlines to meet in order to keep your job, you don't face disciplinary proceedings if you make mistakes.  

Yes, there are a lot of responsibilities and it can be a very important role and involves a lot of hard work, but its not a job, its not employment.  To me the desire to call it that just seems like another justification, an attempt to validate the choice by putting it on a par with the other choice.  Well, its different, its no better or worse than a job but it ain't a job!

Plus it is a job that every parent has. If you are going to say that taking care of your kids is a job then you have to concede that people who have kids and work outside the home have TWO jobs.
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: Larrabee on March 26, 2011, 06:05:49 PM
Look, I am completely on board with people choosing to stay home or go out to work or work at home or work part time or whatever they want to do, not my business at all, if it works for you great.

But...

Housewife/SAHM etc. is not a job and I don't think it should be described that way.  I'm sorry but we have a pretty clear definition of what a job is and 'home maker' as wheeitsme described it, just doesn't fit.  

You don't get a paycheque, you don't have to put in a set number of hours at set times, you don't have a hierarchy of bosses to answer to or corporate policies to adhere to, you aren't answerable to customers or clients, you aren't at risk of being fired or demoted or having your hours cut, you don't have deadlines to meet in order to keep your job, you don't face disciplinary proceedings if you make mistakes.  

Yes, there are a lot of responsibilities and it can be a very important role and involves a lot of hard work, but its not a job, its not employment.  To me the desire to call it that just seems like another justification, an attempt to validate the choice by putting it on a par with the other choice.  Well, its different, its no better or worse than a job but it ain't a job!

Plus it is a job that every parent has. If you are going to say that taking care of your kids is a job then you have to concede that people who have kids and work outside the home have TWO jobs.

That too!  Although more once they are old enough to be at school during the day rather than paid daycare.

If home maker is a job, then pretty much everybody has that job too, we all have to keep our homes clean, cook, pay bills etc. even if we also have a paid job.  Unless you're lucky enough to be the husband of a SAHW I suppose.
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: wolfie on March 26, 2011, 06:17:25 PM
Look, I am completely on board with people choosing to stay home or go out to work or work at home or work part time or whatever they want to do, not my business at all, if it works for you great.

But...

Housewife/SAHM etc. is not a job and I don't think it should be described that way.  I'm sorry but we have a pretty clear definition of what a job is and 'home maker' as wheeitsme described it, just doesn't fit.  

You don't get a paycheque, you don't have to put in a set number of hours at set times, you don't have a hierarchy of bosses to answer to or corporate policies to adhere to, you aren't answerable to customers or clients, you aren't at risk of being fired or demoted or having your hours cut, you don't have deadlines to meet in order to keep your job, you don't face disciplinary proceedings if you make mistakes.  

Yes, there are a lot of responsibilities and it can be a very important role and involves a lot of hard work, but its not a job, its not employment.  To me the desire to call it that just seems like another justification, an attempt to validate the choice by putting it on a par with the other choice.  Well, its different, its no better or worse than a job but it ain't a job!

Plus it is a job that every parent has. If you are going to say that taking care of your kids is a job then you have to concede that people who have kids and work outside the home have TWO jobs.

That too!  Although more once they are old enough to be at school during the day rather than paid daycare.

If home maker is a job, then pretty much everybody has that job too, we all have to keep our homes clean, cook, pay bills etc. even if we also have a paid job.  Unless you're lucky enough to be the husband of a SAHW I suppose.

I agree - years ago there was advice for sprucing up your resume after you had been out of the workforce for a while by adding "household engineer". I don't know if that worked so well for people trying it but I know it wouldn't have impressed me if I saw it. 
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: Brentwood on March 26, 2011, 06:26:11 PM

I agree - years ago there was advice for sprucing up your resume after you had been out of the workforce for a while by adding "household engineer". I don't know if that worked so well for people trying it but I know it wouldn't have impressed me if I saw it. 

I wouldn't be impressed by that either, and I am someone who had an 8-year gap in employment due to being a SAHM for those years. The best one can do is include as complete a work history as necessary and be honest about the gap.

I agree that being a SAHM is not a "job" in the employment sense. It is a job in the sense that it is a responsibility, an execution of work of some type. While I was staying home, if someone asked if I had a job, I would have said no, in the sense that I was not working for an employer nor self-employed; however, I can see saying (accurately), "My job right now is staying home with the kids."

The disconnect may come in how people define "job" (a task one takes on vs. an occupation for which one is hired or contracts for in order to earn pay).
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: sweetgirl on March 27, 2011, 06:10:15 AM
People who volounteer their services for companies,schools,health services etc; dont get paid for their work. Should that not be counted as a job since they do it by choice,LOVE their job and dont get a paycheck ?

I would say any divorcee or beaten down housewife who has ever been swapped for a new version, been abused for not cleaning the house properly or had their partner/inlaw/parent/friend run them over the coals over something they dont agree with or arent "doing right" on a regular basis would gladly tell you that at times its very much like employement. Especially if they arent valued as a respected partner. 

As I said before....every household dynamic is different. Making statements and opinions on our experiences all due to your definition of a word is hardly fair. You arent them. You dont live in their home or household or have their experience. Please dont insist that they cant use the word because you dont view it that way.
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: Giggity on March 27, 2011, 08:33:57 AM
Words mean things, and arbitrarily assigning a new meaning to make a sociological or political point isn't gonna make us language prescriptivists agree with that point.
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: Ms_Shell on March 27, 2011, 08:47:07 AM
I'm friends with a lovely couple, who don't yet have kids, but when they do the wife is going to continue with her career and her husband is planning to stay home with the kids.  It's the best choice for their family - he's much more of a nurturer where she would be miserable every day if she had to raise kids.  Also, she makes about twice what he does and is in line for a *huge* promotion soon.  Even so, you wouldn't believe the comments they get for him planning to be a SAHF.  I mean, SAHM's get snarky, snide comments, sure, but people seem to be actually insulted by the idea of a SAHF.

Sort of off the point of that story - I think that's a good example of how feminism, properly applied, is good for men as well as women.  I don't think they would have been able to make that choice before the women's movement, not that it's an easy choice for them even now.   
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: Luci on March 27, 2011, 09:29:20 AM
I had an excellent support system since my parents lived a mile and a half down the road and I worked a night shift and early morning shift.  (not possible for a lot of people).  My daughter was a hard working *******, my son a dancing in the daisies ******* but I tried to be home for them every afternoon.  Sleeping in between.

It's making me nuts that I can't figure out what ******* is supposed to stand for.

:D

Well, not quite nuts, but I would very much like to know, too, so I'm quoting for updates.

Thanks.
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: BuffaloFang on March 27, 2011, 09:32:45 AM
I agree that SAHM/SAHW is not a job, persay, but it is an important role in society.  

I volunteer at the animal shelther, and I wouldn't call it a "second job."  It's something I love doing, and do for the personal gratification it gives me.  I see being a stay-at-home homemaker the same way.  It is (hopefully) personally gratifying for those who choose to do it, it contributes to society, it's important to those who rely on it, but it's not employment in the strictest sense of the word.

For what it's worth, my DH and I are saving as much as we can so that when we do have a child, I can stay home with it for a few years.  I may try to do freelance work from home after half a year or so, but I guess it all depends on how we feel at the point.  I would argue with anyone who denigrated my choice, as we are working hard now to be able to afford it, and I don't see why anyone else cares what I choose to do with my time.
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: sweetgirl on March 27, 2011, 09:33:44 AM
The definition of a job is a specific duty and responsibility to do a task that needs to be accomplished. It is an obligation to do work to accomplish said tasks and this may or may not include paid work. There is many definitions of the word, as its examples. It is hardly arbitary to use the word job to define a days work as a sahm wife when your role and tasks fall under this same catagory.

A job is not classified legally,socially or politically as paid employement either. Nor is it classified as having to be an occupation.

Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: Spoder on March 27, 2011, 09:51:21 AM
Personally, I think that being a SAHM, and doing it well, is one of the most important jobs there is. With that disclaimer out of the way, I disagree with the idea that a SAHP (Stay at Home Parent, because I don't care which gender it is), should be paid a salary. I really do not understand how people think this is supposed to work.

When you perform work that is non-domestic (by which I mean, any work that is not running a household or raising your own children), someone is paying you because your activities help them to make a financial profit, and they pass a fraction of that profit on to you in return (as salary). If you are at home cleaning and maintaining your own household and rearing your own children, who is supposed to pay you? People suggest that 'the government' should pay SAHPs, but the government doesn't have some magic money fountain, it gets its money from the taxpayers. Who only have the money to pay tax *because* they work outside the home.

I am in no way arguing that being a SAHP is not intrinsically valuable, or is not 'real work'. I am merely disagreeing that it's economically feasible for SAHPs to be paid an income in the same way employees outside the home are, although the idea seems to come up a lot in the mainstream media.

I'm no economist, so if anyone can explain how they think this will work, I am all ears.  :)
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: BuffaloFang on March 27, 2011, 09:55:38 AM
I think we're getting caught up in semantics when it doesn't really even matter.

If I wanted to be a stay at home wife and do nothing but eat bon-bons all day, and we could afford for me to do that without dipping into taxpayer funds, that's my husbands' and my business.  Nobody else has a stake in what I do with my time, so they really have no right to criticize me.

Just like I don't have the right to criticize those people who choose to watch TV instead of volunteering.  It's our time our money, we can do whatever we want with it.

So if Piratelvr wants to stay at home with her kid, regardless of how much work it is in comparison to being a working parent/working child-free/stay at home wife, it's her perogative, and it's none of her friends' business.
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: Larrabee on March 27, 2011, 10:22:58 AM
I think we're getting caught up in semantics when it doesn't really even matter.

If I wanted to be a stay at home wife and do nothing but eat bon-bons all day, and we could afford for me to do that without dipping into taxpayer funds, that's my husbands' and my business.  Nobody else has a stake in what I do with my time, so they really have no right to criticize me.

Just like I don't have the right to criticize those people who choose to watch TV instead of volunteering.  It's our time our money, we can do whatever we want with it.

So if Piratelvr wants to stay at home with her kid, regardless of how much work it is in comparison to being a working parent/working child-free/stay at home wife, it's her perogative, and it's none of her friends' business.

POD
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: Larrabee on March 27, 2011, 10:24:29 AM


Sort of off the point of that story - I think that's a good example of how feminism, properly applied, is good for men as well as women.  I don't think they would have been able to make that choice before the women's movement, not that it's an easy choice for them even now.   


Oh absolutely.  There's a popular saying among feminists "The patriarchy hurts men too."  Rigid gender roles and stereotypes are bad for everybody. 
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: sweetgirl on March 27, 2011, 10:29:51 AM
If you can afford to be a SAHP then you do. If you cant, you get a job to help survive. Personally I dont think I should get paid for being a SAHM, but....I do think the government should be more favourable when it comes to help with childcare and medical as I find alot of people struggle with this even when they are classified high income earners.
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: irish1 on March 27, 2011, 10:35:10 AM
Personally, I think that being a SAHM, and doing it well, is one of the most important jobs there is. With that disclaimer out of the way, I disagree with the idea that a SAHP (Stay at Home Parent, because I don't care which gender it is), should be paid a salary. I really do not understand how people think this is supposed to work.

When you perform work that is non-domestic (by which I mean, any work that is not running a household or raising your own children), someone is paying you because your activities help them to make a financial profit, and they pass a fraction of that profit on to you in return (as salary). If you are at home cleaning and maintaining your own household and rearing your own children, who is supposed to pay you? People suggest that 'the government' should pay SAHPs, but the government doesn't have some magic money fountain, it gets its money from the taxpayers. Who only have the money to pay tax *because* they work outside the home.

I am in no way arguing that being a SAHP is not intrinsically valuable, or is not 'real work'. I am merely disagreeing that it's economically feasible for SAHPs to be paid an income in the same way employees outside the home are, although the idea seems to come up a lot in the mainstream media.

I'm no economist, so if anyone can explain how they think this will work, I am all ears.  :)


Well, it's good for society if people who wish to be SAHP but cannot afford to are given the means to do so. They are happier and more fulfilled, and they have money which they spend. This benefits the economy and also brings in tax revenue. There are lots of public services that are good for society, but don't bring in extra money. Something's worth is not measured in the money it generates, and a government that made the choice to pay a basic wage to SAHP may find it worth their while. It all depends on the government's priorities I guess. I think it could work out economically, in any case economics is not really about figures, but human motivation.
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: Larrabee on March 27, 2011, 10:37:57 AM
Personally, I think that being a SAHM, and doing it well, is one of the most important jobs there is. With that disclaimer out of the way, I disagree with the idea that a SAHP (Stay at Home Parent, because I don't care which gender it is), should be paid a salary. I really do not understand how people think this is supposed to work.

When you perform work that is non-domestic (by which I mean, any work that is not running a household or raising your own children), someone is paying you because your activities help them to make a financial profit, and they pass a fraction of that profit on to you in return (as salary). If you are at home cleaning and maintaining your own household and rearing your own children, who is supposed to pay you? People suggest that 'the government' should pay SAHPs, but the government doesn't have some magic money fountain, it gets its money from the taxpayers. Who only have the money to pay tax *because* they work outside the home.

I am in no way arguing that being a SAHP is not intrinsically valuable, or is not 'real work'. I am merely disagreeing that it's economically feasible for SAHPs to be paid an income in the same way employees outside the home are, although the idea seems to come up a lot in the mainstream media.

I'm no economist, so if anyone can explain how they think this will work, I am all ears.  :)


Well, it's good for society if people who wish to be SAHP but cannot afford to are given the means to do so. They are happier and more fulfilled, and they have money which they spend. This benefits the economy and also brings in tax revenue. There are lots of public services that are good for society, but don't bring in extra money. Something's worth is not measured in the money it generates, and a government that made the choice to pay a basic wage to SAHP may find it worth their while. It all depends on the government's priorities I guess. I think it could work out economically, in any case economics is not really about figures, but human motivation.

I think that SAHPs should be supported up until the child starts school (4 here in the UK) and then its not unreasonable to expect that if the family can't get by without that support then the SAHP looks for work.   
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: Giggity on March 27, 2011, 10:42:29 AM
Would that support come from tax revenue?

If so, I have a HUGE problem with being asked to support someone else as they raise a child. One reason I have no children is that I can't afford them. I certainly don't want to subsidize someone else's poor financial choice.
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: Larrabee on March 27, 2011, 10:46:34 AM
Here in the UK a single parent will be supported to stay at home until their youngest child is, I think, 8. 
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: Giggity on March 27, 2011, 10:47:45 AM
And with that, I'm out because I can literally say nothing that won't get me gagged, if for no other reason than that my opinion would reveal my politics.
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: Spoder on March 27, 2011, 10:50:30 AM
And with that, I'm out because I can literally say nothing that won't get me gagged, if for no other reason than that my opinion would reveal my politics.

Yes, I think I should go the same route.  :)

And I apologise for derailing the thread. Because as far as etiquette is concerned, I absolutely think that individuals' choices to work either inside our outside the home should be equally respected.
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: Linley on March 27, 2011, 10:55:38 AM
Personally, I think that being a SAHM, and doing it well, is one of the most important jobs there is. With that disclaimer out of the way, I disagree with the idea that a SAHP (Stay at Home Parent, because I don't care which gender it is), should be paid a salary. I really do not understand how people think this is supposed to work.

When you perform work that is non-domestic (by which I mean, any work that is not running a household or raising your own children), someone is paying you because your activities help them to make a financial profit, and they pass a fraction of that profit on to you in return (as salary). If you are at home cleaning and maintaining your own household and rearing your own children, who is supposed to pay you? People suggest that 'the government' should pay SAHPs, but the government doesn't have some magic money fountain, it gets its money from the taxpayers. Who only have the money to pay tax *because* they work outside the home.

I am in no way arguing that being a SAHP is not intrinsically valuable, or is not 'real work'. I am merely disagreeing that it's economically feasible for SAHPs to be paid an income in the same way employees outside the home are, although the idea seems to come up a lot in the mainstream media.

I'm no economist, so if anyone can explain how they think this will work, I am all ears.  :)


Well, it's good for society if people who wish to be SAHP but cannot afford to are given the means to do so. They are happier and more fulfilled, and they have money which they spend. This benefits the economy and also brings in tax revenue. There are lots of public services that are good for society, but don't bring in extra money. Something's worth is not measured in the money it generates, and a government that made the choice to pay a basic wage to SAHP may find it worth their while. It all depends on the government's priorities I guess. I think it could work out economically, in any case economics is not really about figures, but human motivation.

I think that SAHPs should be supported up until the child starts school (4 here in the UK) and then its not unreasonable to expect that if the family can't get by without that support then the SAHP looks for work.   

It seems to me that for the government to pay SAHPs is to value that over working outside the home (or even working from home) and penalizes couples where both partners work, whether because they wish to or because they bring in more money that way and need the funds, because they still have to pay for childcare. It indicates to me that the government believes that it is better for children and for society for a parent to stay home, whether or not the parents want that, which I personally do not believe is true and which I think is a value judgment far outside the sphere of government.

I feel that the argument for government payments to SAHPs can only be made if the government also subsidizes childcare for couples where both parties prefer to work. Even then, it isn't something I support.
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: Larrabee on March 27, 2011, 10:58:36 AM
Personally, I think that being a SAHM, and doing it well, is one of the most important jobs there is. With that disclaimer out of the way, I disagree with the idea that a SAHP (Stay at Home Parent, because I don't care which gender it is), should be paid a salary. I really do not understand how people think this is supposed to work.

When you perform work that is non-domestic (by which I mean, any work that is not running a household or raising your own children), someone is paying you because your activities help them to make a financial profit, and they pass a fraction of that profit on to you in return (as salary). If you are at home cleaning and maintaining your own household and rearing your own children, who is supposed to pay you? People suggest that 'the government' should pay SAHPs, but the government doesn't have some magic money fountain, it gets its money from the taxpayers. Who only have the money to pay tax *because* they work outside the home.

I am in no way arguing that being a SAHP is not intrinsically valuable, or is not 'real work'. I am merely disagreeing that it's economically feasible for SAHPs to be paid an income in the same way employees outside the home are, although the idea seems to come up a lot in the mainstream media.

I'm no economist, so if anyone can explain how they think this will work, I am all ears.  :)


Well, it's good for society if people who wish to be SAHP but cannot afford to are given the means to do so. They are happier and more fulfilled, and they have money which they spend. This benefits the economy and also brings in tax revenue. There are lots of public services that are good for society, but don't bring in extra money. Something's worth is not measured in the money it generates, and a government that made the choice to pay a basic wage to SAHP may find it worth their while. It all depends on the government's priorities I guess. I think it could work out economically, in any case economics is not really about figures, but human motivation.

I think that SAHPs should be supported up until the child starts school (4 here in the UK) and then its not unreasonable to expect that if the family can't get by without that support then the SAHP looks for work.   

It seems to me that for the government to pay SAHPs is to value that over working outside the home (or even working from home) and penalizes couples where both partners work, whether because they wish to or because they bring in more money that way and need the funds, because they still have to pay for childcare. It indicates to me that the government believes that it is better for children and for society for a parent to stay home, whether or not the parents want that, which I personally do not believe is true and which I think is a value judgment far outside the sphere of government.

I feel that the argument for government payments to SAHPs can only be made if the government also subsidizes childcare for couples where both parties prefer to work. Even then, it isn't something I support.

Good point.

We have 'child tax credits' here where working people with children receive payments towards childcare and so on if they earn below a certain amount.

I see your point about the value judgement, but I do think its not a bad idea for a baby to have at least one parent around for at least the first year or so.  Here that's covered by maternity leave (sadly not available to dads) but I understand this isn't often an option in the US.
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: Linley on March 27, 2011, 11:09:06 AM

It seems to me that for the government to pay SAHPs is to value that over working outside the home (or even working from home) and penalizes couples where both partners work, whether because they wish to or because they bring in more money that way and need the funds, because they still have to pay for childcare. It indicates to me that the government believes that it is better for children and for society for a parent to stay home, whether or not the parents want that, which I personally do not believe is true and which I think is a value judgment far outside the sphere of government.

I feel that the argument for government payments to SAHPs can only be made if the government also subsidizes childcare for couples where both parties prefer to work. Even then, it isn't something I support.

Good point.

We have 'child tax credits' here where working people with children receive payments towards childcare and so on if they earn below a certain amount.

I see your point about the value judgement, but I do think its not a bad idea for a baby to have at least one parent around for at least the first year or so.  Here that's covered by maternity leave (sadly not available to dads) but I understand this isn't often an option in the US.

I support people having the option for the first year or so but I think that it becomes almost a de facto requirement for many people if there are strong disincentives for doing otherwise. I often hear stories of couples where one partner doesn't work because the childcare costs eat up the entire salary that they could make so to add additional incentives to not work is likely to make many couples feel that they have no choice but to have someone stay home, even if neither wants to. To me, that isn't a good thing. There are many couples that both want to work. That doesn't mean that they shouldn't have children or that one of them should stay at home and be unhappy because they will be penalized financially otherwise.
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: sweetgirl on March 27, 2011, 11:33:11 AM
The government needs to look into childcare all together and offer other options so that not only working parents but SAHP are able to use these services. With children starting school, they need to have daycare and preschool as an alternative and it is not affordable to some to have this as an option. Should a SAHP, lets say need to have a day or 2 during the week to care for a relative or go and do a study, the cost of childcare would not always be an option and delays their ability to be able to do this. Same with working parents. They may want to go part time to do a course for their job or to train in other field, but with the difference in pay may not afford them to be able to do that.

If the government cant and wont subsidise people,especially working parents, for their children despite the fact that more people working builds the economy and creates more tax revenue...then they need to seriously look into supplying more funding or regulating childcare prices. Paying a premium for a state of the art childcare centre with all modcons is one thing and those who can afford it is one thing. Paying a premium and 3/4 of your paycheck for childcare that is basic and self reliant in regards to what you supply for your child to attend (sunscreen,foods,supplies) is a concern.
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: wolfie on March 27, 2011, 11:35:03 AM
People who volounteer their services for companies,schools,health services etc; dont get paid for their work. Should that not be counted as a job since they do it by choice,LOVE their job and dont get a paycheck ?

I would say any divorcee or beaten down housewife who has ever been swapped for a new version, been abused for not cleaning the house properly or had their partner/inlaw/parent/friend run them over the coals over something they dont agree with or arent "doing right" on a regular basis would gladly tell you that at times its very much like employement. Especially if they arent valued as a respected partner. 

As I said before....every household dynamic is different. Making statements and opinions on our experiences all due to your definition of a word is hardly fair. You arent them. You dont live in their home or household or have their experience. Please dont insist that they cant use the word because you dont view it that way.

And there are lots of divorcees and beaten down wives who have been swapped out for a new version, been abused for not cleaning the house properly, had someone rake them over the coals (etc) and also had a 9 -5 jobs. SO I guess that means they worked two jobs? Or is it only a job if you don't have an out of the house job? Personally I don't care - work from home, work out of the home, don't work at all. Whatever makes you happy. But if you are going to go call taking care of yourself a job (and that is basically what housework is) then you have to concede that it is a job shared by everyone who is part of a household. It is not something to differentiate yourself or compare what you do to people who do work outside the home. In fact I think comparing it to people who work outside of the house is a disservice - it is saying "jobs are more important and what I do is a job too" when you should be saying "its a lifestyle choice that is different from yours and doesn't have a direct comparison but it works for me"
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: sweetgirl on March 27, 2011, 12:22:12 PM
I never at any point said that a working parent doesnt have 2 jobs,so please dont put words in my mouth. My point was that being a SAHP was to some a job and shouldnt be discatagorized as so due to someones opinion on what a job is defined to them. My mother has worked all her life,been a single parent and looked after 4 kids. I know only to well what she went through,what she did and how much she did. I am not the one associating the word job with employement. I have clearly said that there is a distinct definition of the 2. All I have said that whilst someone may not classify it as a job, to some it is and should not be discredited as such based on a personal opinion. No SAHP is going to equivelate their role as a housewife/caretaker to be the same as an employed,paid worker. That would be ludicrous. But to discredit what a SAHP does in their household, in their family and life as not being a job should they classify it that way might be your opinion and thought, but its not your right. Your choice of employement,career and occupation is a lifestyle choice aswell. Just as you enjoy,hate,love,loathe and talk about your aspects of your day as a paid employee with your mundane,repetative tasks and jobs...so should a SAHP. Dont offend someone by your definition of a word just because you believe the word job is classified under that catagory. Good for you if thats what you think, but not everybody thinks that way and should be respected.
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: Brentwood on March 27, 2011, 12:57:38 PM
I'm friends with a lovely couple, who don't yet have kids, but when they do the wife is going to continue with her career and her husband is planning to stay home with the kids.  It's the best choice for their family - he's much more of a nurturer where she would be miserable every day if she had to raise kids.  Also, she makes about twice what he does and is in line for a *huge* promotion soon.  Even so, you wouldn't believe the comments they get for him planning to be a SAHF.  I mean, SAHM's get snarky, snide comments, sure, but people seem to be actually insulted by the idea of a SAHF.

Sort of off the point of that story - I think that's a good example of how feminism, properly applied, is good for men as well as women.  I don't think they would have been able to make that choice before the women's movement, not that it's an easy choice for them even now.   

My brother was a SAHD for about three years. He was good at it.
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: Brentwood on March 27, 2011, 01:03:19 PM
If we don't want the thread locked, it would be a good idea to avoid political discussion.
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: MrsJWine on March 27, 2011, 02:44:48 PM
I see the word "job" used in two different ways.

1:  Employment.  My husband has a job as an engineer.
2:  A task that is your duty, but that you don't necessarily get paid for.  It's my job to do the laundry and my husband's to take out the recycling (it's fairer than it sounds; our recycling dumpster is clear across the stupid apartment complex).

When people talk about having a job, they are talking about the first one.  I didn't say, "I got a job!" when I gave birth to my first child.  :)  Seriously, though, it's not a value judgment to say that being a SAHP isn't a job.  It's a weird intermingling of family responsibility and job-like duties, but it's not a job in the same way that we talk about employment.  That's all that people above are saying.  I don't see anywhere that anyone has said being a SAHP is easy, or that it doesn't require work.  It's just that it's not the same as employment.  I might refer to it as a job, but I certainly don't think of it or speak of it in the same way if I was talking with my friends about their jobs.
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: Ms_Shell on March 27, 2011, 03:43:20 PM
I'm friends with a lovely couple, who don't yet have kids, but when they do the wife is going to continue with her career and her husband is planning to stay home with the kids.  It's the best choice for their family - he's much more of a nurturer where she would be miserable every day if she had to raise kids.  Also, she makes about twice what he does and is in line for a *huge* promotion soon.  Even so, you wouldn't believe the comments they get for him planning to be a SAHF.  I mean, SAHM's get snarky, snide comments, sure, but people seem to be actually insulted by the idea of a SAHF.

Sort of off the point of that story - I think that's a good example of how feminism, properly applied, is good for men as well as women.  I don't think they would have been able to make that choice before the women's movement, not that it's an easy choice for them even now.   

My brother was a SAHD for about three years. He was good at it.

My dad loves his job and is awesome at it, but I truly believe it would have been better for everyone if he would have been the SAHP instead of my mom.  He's a better cook, a lot more organized, and my mom was horribly miserable having to do it.   
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: TurtleDove on March 28, 2011, 08:37:15 AM
If the government cant and wont subsidise people,especially working parents, for their children despite the fact that more people working builds the economy and creates more tax revenue...then they need to seriously look into supplying more funding or regulating childcare prices. Paying a premium for a state of the art childcare centre with all modcons is one thing and those who can afford it is one thing. Paying a premium and 3/4 of your paycheck for childcare that is basic and self reliant in regards to what you supply for your child to attend (sunscreen,foods,supplies) is a concern.

Where do you think the money to subsidize people comes from?
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: Luci on March 28, 2011, 09:14:44 AM
If the government cant and wont subsidise people,especially working parents, for their children despite the fact that more people working builds the economy and creates more tax revenue...then they need to seriously look into supplying more funding or regulating childcare prices. Paying a premium for a state of the art childcare centre with all modcons is one thing and those who can afford it is one thing. Paying a premium and 3/4 of your paycheck for childcare that is basic and self reliant in regards to what you supply for your child to attend (sunscreen,foods,supplies) is a concern.

Where do you think the money to subsidize people comes from?

Oops! I smell politics and thread-locking coming on.
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: sweetgirl on March 28, 2011, 09:16:53 AM
Not from me.
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: Schmoopie3928 on March 28, 2011, 09:24:15 AM
Back on the subject...
I am also a SAHW. We have been married about a year and a half and I moved About 800 miles away to be with him. His job allowed hi
 To move to the city, I was laid off from my job so here we are. I don't have any human kids, I'm terrible at housework but DH makes enough for both of us to live on comfortably. For the first year, we agreed I wouldn't work so I could set up house and get used to the major move away from all of my family and friends. It was fun for a while but now I'm looking into working so I can meet new people and not be so lonely. Totally my choice and no ones business, but it is amazing how many people comment on it. If I'm not working apparently I'm supposed to be making babies.
OP, all I can suggest is to bean dip and hope she gets the hint.
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: Rohanna on March 28, 2011, 10:21:02 AM
If being a sahp was "employment" the gov't would regulate and tax it. It nay, in some places, make you eligie for benefits - but disability and "un"employment, and in some places student status makes you eligible for benefits too. To me that is proof it is not employment not that it is.
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: Kittymama on March 28, 2011, 03:41:51 PM
I don't need for anyone to call homemaking a job. I just want people to mind their own business, rather than acting like I'm doing something wrong because I don't have a job.
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: Shoo on March 28, 2011, 04:18:02 PM
I'm a SAHM, and I have to tell you all that no one, EVER, has said boo to me regarding my choice to not work outside the home.  Frankly, it shocks me that this is a problem for some people.  I'm thinking that I do not have this issue because I am quick to disarm anyone who asks me what I "do" for a living.

First of all, I do not ever refer to staying home as a job. It's not a job for me.  It's just my life.  I'd be doing what I do now even IF I worked somewhere.  So, when asked, I am absolutely completely and 100% honest.  I tell them I take care of my home and my family, but mostly I just play all day, doing whatever I like, whatever pleases me at that moment.  And I say all this breezily and with a shrug, because it's the truth and I am not ashamed of it.  In fact, it's a great way to live, IMO, and I think my honesty is disarming.  And my husband is the same way about it.  He wouldn't have it any other way!

So I don't get the snark or judgment that I hear about so often.  No one has ever condemned me for my choice (that I know of, and if I don't know about it, why would I care?).

Maybe it's when we try to make something out to be what it's not that people start getting critical.  I don't know for sure, certainly.  But I do know it has not ever been an issue in my life and I have never tried to convince anyone that what I do is anything like having a job.  Because for me, it isn't, and that is OKAY!!  In fact, it's great!
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: Veronica on March 28, 2011, 08:24:41 PM
I think I must be a pretty self-absorbed person because I just don't care enough about other people's life choices (unless it's dangerous/affects me etc.) to even have an opinion about whether they are a working parent/SAHP/Housewife(husband). 

I am a working parent and I'm really happy with my choice.  My mom asked me this weekend if my DH got a big raise where I didn't "need" to work would I still want to and I realized that I would prefer to continue working.  I might do volunteer work instead of working for a company, but I just don't think I'd be happy staying at home.  I know plenty of people, like Shoo above, who prefer to stay at home and neither her choice nor mine invalidate the other. 
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: Brentwood on March 28, 2011, 09:05:38 PM
I think I must be a pretty self-absorbed person because I just don't care enough about other people's life choices (unless it's dangerous/affects me etc.) to even have an opinion about whether they are a working parent/SAHP/Housewife(husband). 


That doesn't make you self-absorbed. It makes you live-and-let-live. :)
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: Danismom on March 28, 2011, 09:28:10 PM
DH and I have 2 young children.  Originally, we both worked.  But with #2, we began to realize that it was costing more for daycare than if we juggled schedules so that we could stay home with them.  Now we both work outside the home and we both parent our children.  Our children no longer go to daycare as they are under our direct care (no nannies or anything like that).  We've both found that it is much more incredibly challenging than we had expected.  BUT we agree that it is definitely worth it to be there for our kids. 

I grew up in the feminist culture that says you can have it all.  Others choose to continue to live that way.  I regularly be in tears with the truth that someone else was doing the majority of raising my children when they were in daycare.  I would drop them off by 7:30a.m. and pick them up after work by 5:30 p.m.  Every morning I was waking them up before they were really ready to get up so that we could rush to get dressed and eat breakfast in the car.  It was a quick drop off and then off to work.  I would be exhausted by the end of the day and dragging to pick them up.  They'd be hungry and need to eat fairly quickly.  There was barely enough time to get them fed, bathed, and into bed.  There really wasn't any time for play as they needed to be in bed by 7:00p.m. if they were going to be in any kind of decent mood the next day.  My kids would be with a parent for roughly 2 waking hours/day.  To me, that wasn't raising my children.  Why on earth did I have them if I was going to barely ever see them?  So DH and I really looked at our options and decided that it was worth it to us to be more old-fashioned. 

Truthfully, we've found that there is a lot of benefit in the male and female archtypes.  We are both strong and individual.  I'm not criticizing how anyone else handles their life.  For us, we found that we are traditionally motivated and gender specific.  I cringe when I hear others talk about feminism like it is a wonderful thing.  I think that in many ways it may be but that for many of us, it denigrates our reality by saying we should be more gender neutral or liberal. 
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: Spoder on March 28, 2011, 10:01:32 PM
Truthfully, we've found that there is a lot of benefit in the male and female archtypes.  We are both strong and individual.  I'm not criticizing how anyone else handles their life.  For us, we found that we are traditionally motivated and gender specific.  I cringe when I hear others talk about feminism like it is a wonderful thing.  I think that in many ways it may be but that for many of us, it denigrates our reality by saying we should be more gender neutral or liberal. 

I think you and I have a completely different understanding of feminism, then.

Feminism means that women get to vote, that they (theoretically) get paid the same as men for doing the same job, that they can't be treated like chattels by their husbands. Why on earth would that make you 'cringe'? It has nothing to do with being more 'gender neutral'.

You had me nodding my head right up until your last two sentences. Fact is, I would not want to leave young children in daycare, either. If I had children, I would prefer that my husband worked and I stayed at home with my children until they were old enough to be in full-time school. But that's not my reality .

True feminism is about women not suffering discrimination simply because they are women: in domestic life, public life, the workplace, society, the education system and the legal system.

I consider myself a feminist, and I 100% support and respect your decision to never work outside the home again if you so choose. As a single woman, I don't have that choice. I would like to think that other women would applaud the feminist movement for bringing about changes that support *my* right to be respected and valued as much as a man in *my* workplace. So I am sorry that you feel the way you do.
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: Rohanna on March 28, 2011, 11:09:39 PM
Without feminism, if your husband died, or ran off on you - then your idyllic little life you had before would do you precious little good- you would have few rights or ability to rebuild your life again. You would have few rights if your husband decided that really, he thinks ehell is a waste of time, so he's cutting off the Internet tomorrow- and by the way, no more going out to the mall, because he doesn't trust you...

To say that feminism is a bad thing is a crime to me as bad as saying slavery is a good thing - because the reality is pre feminism many slaves had more privileges and freedoms than a bad husband gave his wife... And the two words could pretty much be exchanged.
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: Ms_Shell on March 28, 2011, 11:36:33 PM
Truthfully, we've found that there is a lot of benefit in the male and female archtypes.  We are both strong and individual.  I'm not criticizing how anyone else handles their life.  For us, we found that we are traditionally motivated and gender specific.  I cringe when I hear others talk about feminism like it is a wonderful thing.  I think that in many ways it may be but that for many of us, it denigrates our reality by saying we should be more gender neutral or liberal. 

I see your point.  But you both have a choice to be traditionally motivated and gender specific, which wouldn't be a choice for either of you without feminism.  And you wouldn't have been able to work outside of the home, regardless of what worked best for your family. 

There are pros and cons to feminism, like with anything.  If you and DH don't choose to be gender neutral or liberal, then you don't have to be - and you have the choice only because of the feminist movement.  So yes, I believe that feminism is a wonderful thing overall. 
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: sparksals on March 29, 2011, 12:48:02 AM
Truthfully, we've found that there is a lot of benefit in the male and female archtypes.  We are both strong and individual.  I'm not criticizing how anyone else handles their life.  For us, we found that we are traditionally motivated and gender specific.  I cringe when I hear others talk about feminism like it is a wonderful thing.  I think that in many ways it may be but that for many of us, it denigrates our reality by saying we should be more gender neutral or liberal. 

I think you and I have a completely different understanding of feminism, then.

Feminism means that women get to vote, that they (theoretically) get paid the same as men for doing the same job, that they can't be treated like chattels by their husbands. Why on earth would that make you 'cringe'? It has nothing to do with being more 'gender neutral'.

You had me nodding my head right up until your last two sentences. Fact is, I would not want to leave young children in daycare, either. If I had children, I would prefer that my husband worked and I stayed at home with my children until they were old enough to be in full-time school. But that's not my reality .

True feminism is about women not suffering discrimination simply because they are women: in domestic life, public life, the workplace, society, the education system and the legal system.

I consider myself a feminist, and I 100% support and respect your decision to never work outside the home again if you so choose. As a single woman, I don't have that choice. I would like to think that other women would applaud the feminist movement for bringing about changes that support *my* right to be respected and valued as much as a man in *my* workplace. So I am sorry that you feel the way you do.

POD!!! 
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: Cheesy Dane on March 29, 2011, 02:33:55 AM
I must admit I don't personally understand the appeal of being a SAHM/SAHW - but I would never critisize someone for that choice!
One of my closest friend's biggest dream is to be a SAHM, but their family can't support themselves financially without her income, so she goes to work every day and is miserable because of it.
I totally don't understand it, but I empathize with the fact that it makes her feel bad.

If it works for that particular family, then all the more power to them!
(It can, however, make me feel slightly frustrated if someone chooses to be a SAHM and then whines about the husband having to work so many hours to make up for the wife not working.....)
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: Larrabee on March 29, 2011, 04:55:12 AM
Huge PODS to Spoder, Shu and Ms_Shell, well except I disagree with Ms_Shell that there are any cons to feminism in its true sense rather than the way some people incorrectly interpret it. 

Feminism doesn't really care what choice you make, just that you get to make a choice and that there aren't so many gender biased exernal influences affecting that choice.

Of course, that hasn't happened yet, one of the reasons why far more mothers stay home than fathers is that women on the whole still have lower paying jobs, so theirs is the salary the family can afford to lose.  I bet there are quite a few dads who would like to at least have the possibility of staying home too!
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: Danismom on March 29, 2011, 11:16:44 AM
I agree that feminism as it was originally conceived and implemented was a wonderful thing.  I work in a professional setting, hold one master's level degree and am working on another.  I agree with equal pay for equal work. 

This thread is a great example though of how our society has forgotten the value of the traditional roles.  Choices and options are great.  The problem is that some presentations of feminism have construed it so that the only valuable contribution is working outside the home.  That's not what feminism originally meant.  I find it sad that so many are faced with the attitude presented in the OP.  Making a house into a home and running it smoothly, raising children, preparing meals, etc is work.  It may or may not be what some would call a job, but it is definitely work. 

I do take issue with the tone in this:
Without feminism, if your husband died, or ran off on you - then your idyllic little life you had before would do you precious little good- you would have few rights or ability to rebuild your life again. You would have few rights if your husband decided that really, he thinks ehell is a waste of time, so he's cutting off the Internet tomorrow- and by the way, no more going out to the mall, because he doesn't trust you...

To say that feminism is a bad thing is a crime to me as bad as saying slavery is a good thing - because the reality is pre feminism many slaves had more privileges and freedoms than a bad husband gave his wife... And the two words could pretty much be exchanged.

You are welcome to your opinion about life before feminism.  I'm not arguing that there was a time when women were essentially property.  However, you know precious little about my life or the sacrifices we make for it.  Don't presume that you do with statements about my "little life" or it's idyllic nature. Your condescension is neither appropriate not welcome.
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: Ms_Shell on March 29, 2011, 11:39:41 AM
This thread is a great example though of how our society has forgotten the value of the traditional roles.  Choices and options are great.  The problem is that some presentations of feminism have construed it so that the only valuable contribution is working outside the home.  That's not what feminism originally meant.  I find it sad that so many are faced with the attitude presented in the OP.  Making a house into a home and running it smoothly, raising children, preparing meals, etc is work.  It may or may not be what some would call a job, but it is definitely work. 

Oh, I see what you mean and I strongly agree with you.  Nowadays it seems like there's a societal backlash against the non-employed parent, and that's never what feminism was supposed to be.  Although, I do think it's a wonderful thing that men are slowly becoming more comfortable with taking on the traditionally "female" roles of caring for children and staying home to do so, if they're temperamentally suited for it. 
Title: Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
Post by: Rohanna on March 29, 2011, 06:55:38 PM
I agree that feminism as it was originally conceived and implemented was a wonderful thing.  I work in a professional setting, hold one master's level degree and am working on another.  I agree with equal pay for equal work. 

This thread is a great example though of how our society has forgotten the value of the traditional roles.  Choices and options are great.  The problem is that some presentations of feminism have construed it so that the only valuable contribution is working outside the home.  That's not what feminism originally meant.  I find it sad that so many are faced with the attitude presented in the OP.  Making a house into a home and running it smoothly, raising children, preparing meals, etc is work.  It may or may not be what some would call a job, but it is definitely work. 

I do take issue with the tone in this:
Without feminism, if your husband died, or ran off on you - then your idyllic little life you had before would do you precious little good- you would have few rights or ability to rebuild your life again. You would have few rights if your husband decided that really, he thinks ehell is a waste of time, so he's cutting off the Internet tomorrow- and by the way, no more going out to the mall, because he doesn't trust you...

To say that feminism is a bad thing is a crime to me as bad as saying slavery is a good thing - because the reality is pre feminism many slaves had more privileges and freedoms than a bad husband gave his wife... And the two words could pretty much be exchanged.

You are welcome to your opinion about life before feminism.  I'm not arguing that there was a time when women were essentially property.  However, you know precious little about my life or the sacrifices we make for it.  Don't presume that you do with statements about my "little life" or it's idyllic nature. Your condescension is neither appropriate not welcome.

And your privilidged view of the world of feminism was very unwelcome to me as well. It is absolutely wonderful that you have a great husband, and laws that PROTECT you from the knowledge of what life could be like for you, but if you could look outside your lifestyle for 30 seconds, you would see why many women, no- many people would find your statement as ridiculous and offensive as denying the wrongs of the holocaust, racism, slavery or apartheid. Women are beaten, abused, degraded, and DIE every day, all over the world because feminism is not yet a true reality, even in "first world" countries.

It is very hard not to have a condescending tone to one who is being so blatently self-introspective about the world- I am sorry if that came out in my "tone" but it is to me no worse than the offensive tone of "we women were better off in our place" that I got from yours.

http://www.amnesty.ca/campaigns/svaw_overview.php

^^ Here is a little reading for anyone who is interested in seeing that what I am saying is in no way, shape or form over-exaggeration or hyperbole. It is fact- hard, cold, and heartbreaking fact.