Author Topic: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?  (Read 47841 times)

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Larrabee

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Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
« Reply #90 on: March 27, 2011, 11:46:34 AM »
Here in the UK a single parent will be supported to stay at home until their youngest child is, I think, 8. 

Giggity

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Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
« Reply #91 on: March 27, 2011, 11:47:45 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.
Words mean things.

Spoder

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Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
« Reply #92 on: March 27, 2011, 11:50:30 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.

Linley

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Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
« Reply #93 on: March 27, 2011, 11:55:38 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.


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Larrabee

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Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
« Reply #94 on: March 27, 2011, 11:58:36 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.

Linley

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Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
« Reply #95 on: March 27, 2011, 12:09:06 PM »

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.


I'm the kid who has this habit of dreaming
Sometimes gets me in trouble too
But the truth is I could no more stop dreaming
Than I could make them all come true.

-Cry, Cry, Cry- "The Kid"

sweetgirl

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Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
« Reply #96 on: March 27, 2011, 12:33:11 PM »
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.

wolfie

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Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
« Reply #97 on: March 27, 2011, 12:35:03 PM »
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"

sweetgirl

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Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
« Reply #98 on: March 27, 2011, 01:22:12 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.

Brentwood

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Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
« Reply #99 on: March 27, 2011, 01:57:38 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.

Brentwood

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Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
« Reply #100 on: March 27, 2011, 02:03:19 PM »
If we don't want the thread locked, it would be a good idea to avoid political discussion.

MrsJWine

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Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
« Reply #101 on: March 27, 2011, 03:44:48 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.


I have a blog.  I hate that word.


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Ms_Shell

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Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
« Reply #102 on: March 27, 2011, 04:43:20 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.   
"I've never been a millionaire, but I just know I'd be darling at it." - Dorothy Parker

TurtleDove

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Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
« Reply #103 on: March 28, 2011, 09:37:15 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?

Luci

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Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
« Reply #104 on: March 28, 2011, 10:14:44 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.