Every family has different dynamics, and what works for them may not work for another family for so many reasons.
I am one who has said I do not plan on going back into paid work, and I have my DH's full support.....and full encouragement .....to not return to work. My earning capacity is about a tenth of my DH's earning capacity, he doesn't think it is fair for me to work for somebody else for 40 hours a week to bring home a very small fraction of what he does. If I wanted to, not a problem, but he certainly isn't resentful or pushing me out the door to work.
I think if I had lost my spirit or my motivation or lust for life that would be an issue for us, but not bringing home a token pay cheque? Not an issue.
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23-10-2012 13:13 #161
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23-10-2012 13:14 #162
I wasn't saying 'all long term SAHM's are uninspiring, unmotivated dependents'. But it is a very real occurrence, due to lots of factors.
While it seems ideal that once kids go to school mum can then take up work again or study, or whatever, it's also a bit unrealistic to expect it will be an easy transition after so long away from the 'real' world sts. Because while many mums say how 'wonderful' and 'inspiring' it is being a SAHM, it's not a fact of life and the reality is that many mums don't find that to be their experience at all and actually find it to be isolating and damaging to their confidence levels in many respects, especially with regards to their confidence. Many find themselves in a rut, one that's harder to get out of over time. Many don't, but many do. And yes, massive potential for power imbalance, becoming very heavily dependent on their husband, not just financially (which in itself isn't such an issue) but emotionally, everything, due to having lost oneself. Theres this perception that it's easy to have 'choices', make choices about being a SAHP etc and then after the kids are out to school one can just pick up where one left off. But it's not that easy for many many women to do.
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23-10-2012 13:21 #163
Two close friends recently separated from their partners. One has a job (a good one but not great paying) and her ability to pay for herself and her kids, and to have contact with people on a daily basis so she's not socially and financially isolated has saved her sanity. My other friend didn't go back to work after her kids were born. Their kids are now all in primary school. My second friend is broke (settlement still being sorted and may drag on), and lonely, and has plenty of time to sit around and feel miserable.
I have now returned to work in a new job. For me, I have to be realistic that I could to wind up where they are, and I know whose position I would rather be in.
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23-10-2012 13:52 #164
I find myself saying to DH sometimes.... hurry up and finish your study so you can work full-time and and I don't.
But that's simply because running our house IS a full-time job. Oh, My, Gosh. (I do want to work, just not full-time until Lysander is about in grade 4 or 5)
23-10-2012 13:56 #165Senior Member
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- Nov 2007
Just a full-time job OJ? I'd imagine it would be the workload of about four!
23-10-2012 14:17 #166Senior Member
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- Dec 2011
I agree with the power imbalance. I have an acquaintance who is and always has been a SAHM. She loves it and finds it a rewarding lifestyle. The only problem is that she doesn’t get along at all with her DH. He doesn’t respect her and often complains that she doesn’t keep the house clean enough or cook the foods he likes. She has spoken to me about leaving him but doesn’t want to give up the income that he provides (which is understandable as she has no qualifications and would find it difficult to earn an income that would support herself and her children), so she stays in the relationship. The result of this is that her DH respects her even less and feels like he is being taken advantage of (which he is), which makes him even more unpleasant towards her.
Of course there are many examples of happy relationships where one person is the breadwinner and one stays at home, but the above example is the type of power imbalance that can only exist because of this division of labour. To be perfectly honest, it seems like a very unhealthy arrangement to me.
23-10-2012 14:20 #167Senior Member
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- Nov 2007
Unfortunately working with predominantly males, some with wives who care for their children full-time, I know just the attitude they have toward their wives' roles "does nothing" certainly springs to mind, yet they'd never have the balls to say it to them.
23-10-2012 14:21 #168
Stay at home mum vs career mum
My parents were teenagers when they had children. My mother was a SAHM until I started highschool (she was then aged 30). Through her thirties, she started working as a paramedic and she also studied up to a masters level. She is now a psychologist.
She was/is a wonderful role model regardless of her paid work outside of the home.
I on the other hand am nearly 40 with a 4 year old and a ten month old. I established a career as a lawyer before I had children. I have stayed/am staying home for 12 months after each child then returning to part-time work to maintain my career. Like you, I can't imagine having to start all over again career wise but maybe that's because we've already put those hard yards in.
Like some pps I don't know why there has to be a vs thing either, you can have different or even multiple roles at different stages of your life.
Most people just want to do the best for themselves and their families and what that is will depend on their own particular circumstances.
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23-10-2012 14:57 #169
My mum was a career mum, she had a career she fought hard to have, was a boss, passionate, traveled for it etc, so not "just a job". There were SO many times when it sucked to be the kid of a career mum. Even though I had a hands on dad, did all the activities I could have ever wanted, had family holidays, and my Mum was in every way a successful example of "having it all", "balancing life" etc. There were definitely negatives to the situation to the point of my sister and I finding ourselves wondering what is best for our kids. We have both decided to be SAHM (for now) as we have non-school aged kids still and we are both scared of being like our Mum too much.
So I find it fascinating that the OP had a SAHM and is finding the negatives in that and wants to be a career mum, and I had a career mum and I found the negatives in that to be profound and I am struggling with the concept of possibly repeating those negative experiences for my kids so that I can have a better quality of life having a career (just for me personally I know I would be happier = better quality).
Dh had a SAHM who has worked but no career. He loved that and wants that for our kids and doesn't understnad why I would want to work. It really is the perfect situation for any SAHM, he never cares if the house is messy. He doesn't care if the kids are messy and not in bed when he comes home, so it isn't like he has a wife with a pristine house and the kids under control to come home to, he just likes that it is me at home with them and no one else. So it is hard to be motivated to do anything else when I have the nagging feeling of not being the happiest child with a career Mum myself, and a DH who loved having a SAHM and wants me to be one.
I still don't know what I want to do and I have age on my side, but I guess to answer you OP, I have come to the conclusion that happy parents are the best role models. There are negatives and positives either way, you have to do what makes you happy to a certain point or the unhappiness just seeps into everything you do, and that is when you can't be a good Mum imo. (disclaimer: I'm not talking extremes here, just general happy, or being content with life, and excludes parents who are happy taking drugs, neglecting their kids cos it makes them happy etc haha.)
23-10-2012 15:01 #170
My parents are divorcing at the moment. My mum was actually the bread winner, but Dad has a better super plan due to the work he did. He has to pay her the difference as all their money was always pooled for their married life, and everything else is being split, and they are both retiring age and were married 30 years.
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