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Solidarity SAHMs/Ds

Love_and_Loathing's picture

I love all the people here who think SAHMs are worthless and expendable. As if our contribution somehow doesn’t count. The money my hubby makes is *our* money. I’m not sure how any relationship succeeds if the person staying st home is deemed ‘less than’ just because they don’t work a paid job. I am so glad I have the DH I do. Someone who knows that my contributions in unpaid work are worth just as much as his and I am given money accordingly. He’s also thankful I am not high maintenance as I just require the bare essentials. The only thing we splurge on is coffee, and making our lawn disappear into gardens (we hate mowing).  

Anyway, all you fellow SAHMs (or dads) should be appreciated and acknowledged for what you do (just as much as the partner earning the income). Don’t let anyone disrespect you or tell you that you owe anything more than your domestic duties (no, you don’t owe parenting responsibilities for skids just because your partner earns the money). 

 

Solidarity SAHMs/Ds. 

Comments

tog redux's picture

I would happily support DH if he did every bit of housework, yard work and cooked for me every night. No kid raising involved. Sadly, he’s the higher earner and no way in hell am I taking the home job. 

advice.only2's picture

I was a SAHM until our youngest started kindergarten.  I used to get the whole “well you stay home and raise the kids, therefore you should be doing all the heavy lifting for SD too.”  I spent years feeling guilty about that and beating myself up over feeling resentment for her and DH.

Funny nobody ever once said “Jesus meth mouth should get her ass into rehab and raise the kid she pushed out and has posioned for years with toxic PAS!”  God forbid!  

 

Love_and_Loathing's picture

I’m so very sorry you had to deal with that. My dad raised my youngest sister because her mom was a drug addicted fool who had five kids and took care of none of them (really smart of him to get her pregnant; my sister was her last). But he wasn’t much of a parent either. Very glad I was raised by my mother. Anyway, we have an excellent relationship with both of the other coparents, and I just ‘disengaged’ from my SD5 who I’d been half raising the last three years of her life. It’s still a source of a tiny amount of contention but everyone understands why I’ve done it. And it’s really helped my relationship with my SD. And I feel much more sane. 

Cbarton12's picture

I agree with you! I am not a SAHM and I dont think I could be. More power to you. You definitely do a lot and SAHM do contribute to their families. It's rare that a SAHM contributes nothing. 

ESMOD's picture

No one said you were worthless or expendable...but did point out that childcare that includes his bio as he supports everyone may not be absurd.  But I think the assumption that he didnt give you a heads up when he knew...was wrong.

SayNoSkidsChitChat's picture

I don’t do shit for demonspawn and never will again. I’m up to my eyeballs with my real  kids, anyway.

sunshinex's picture

It all depends on the couple.

I would have gladly let my husband continue being a stay at home dad, but he sucked at absolutely everything aside from taking care of our son. He simply couldn't multi-task, so I ended up still doing all the cleaning, budgeting, meal planning, cooking, etc. I was SO glad when he went back to work because I definitely felt like he wasn't "earning" his keep - I felt I just had MORE work from him being home making a mess all day. 

Jcksjj's picture

Yeah I dont get a few posts I've seen on here saying that it should be expected for a SAHM to also take care of the stepchild. All these posts about "you're not the mom" and disengaging and the negative effects if you try to be too much of the mom but then if you stay at home with the bios it's totally different? It magnifies those exact same issues 10 fold because you end up having to do way more of the parenting then dad. 

I've never had anyone IRL make any judgmental comments about me staying at home, but in general if kids are involved people somehow think it means that any tact and social skills go out the window and theyre free to openly make negative comments or judgments. And of course every single one of them is the ultimate authority on raising kids. I dont care if you have 15 kids, you're only an expert on those particular kids, not mine and if I didnt ask for your advice I dont want it and wont be even considering it. Yes, that means you random strangers at Walmart.

tog redux's picture

I could never be a SAHM, but I don't get why so many people on here think the breadwinner is doing the SAHM a "favor" by letting them be a SAHM, instead of both of them agreeing to make sacrifices so their child can be raised at home. I'm sure there are cases (all you GUBMs, I'm looking at you!) where the woman feels entitled to stay home whether the man likes it or not, but that's the not the majority of cases.

 

ndc's picture

I totally agree, Tog. I only work part time, and I watch skids on my DH's custody days.  My paying job is waaaay easier than caring for children all day. But I choose to work part time and watch the kids when we have them and DH is working because it makes sense for our family.

Monkeysee's picture

I have never, and will never, understand the animosity between working moms & SAHM's. 

Raising kids is hard, no matter which way you look at it.  SAHM's never get a break from their kids.  There's no downtime, no office coffees, very little adult interaction.  Working mom's have to cram everything into their evenings & weekends, still have all the same responsibilites of the home (though in today's age I would certainly hope an equal division of labour between parents when both work full time), yet they get a break from their kids, more adult time, in addition to earning their own money instead of depending on their spouse 100%.

There are pros & cons to both.  As I've said, I have never & will never understand the animosity between the two. Being a SAHM when you're a SM does not mean you take on the responsibility of the skid.  'Not your kid, not your problem', 'not your circus, not your monkeys'.. unless you're a SAHM then all bets are off..  OF COURSE then you need to watch skid even when BM is capable of taking care of her own child. THAT'S YOUR JOB.

Uhhh, no, it's not.

Should the SAHM help her spouse where she can with skid?  Sure, in my situation I'd help DH in a heartbeat. But I wouldn't bend over backwards to take on additional responsibility for children I didn't create, simply because ***my husband and I*** CHOSE for me to stay at home.  BM is still the BM, and she can keep her kids the same as she always has.

This isn't to say I'm going to be a SAHM.  Personally, I don't think I'd be able to do it.  I've never wanted to stay at home with my children, but if that were to change for whatever reason & my DH & I came to some kind of agreement for OUR children, it wouldn't mean I was demoted in my place in our relationship. DH couldn't suddenly start treating me with a lack of courtesy & respect because I was home with our kids.  BM wouldn't get bumped up the ladder because I was home with our kids.  My responsibility for skids wouldn't suddenly increase.

Men who agree with their wives for the wife to stay at home (or vice versa) are making an adult decision with their partner about what's best for their children.  If that means they're temporarily the sole income provider, that doesn't mean the SAHM/D is a second class citizen.

I can't stand that attitude.  THAT is sanctimonious.  The 'I'm better than you because I have a JOB and you stay at home'. 

Give me a break.  Parenting is hard, there's no way around that. I say equally to any SAHM who says working mums have it easier because they get a 'break'.  STFU.  Being a parent is hard. End of.  The only way to get around the challenges of parenthood is to relegate responsibilities to other, outside parties.  Good parents don't do that.  Good parents raise the kids they have, in whichever way works for *their* families. 

I can't stand this BS nonsense of 'my life is harder than your life', or 'you should do it this way because I'm better than you & that's how I'd do it'.  So freaking childish. Seriously.  

tog redux's picture

I agree 100%. I don’t get the attitude of “you better take care of his kid or he won’t “let” you stay home anymore.” 

I spent a few months watching my friend’s 2 yo 1 day a week and I thought I’d take the bridge if I had to put one more shoe on Barbie. Couldn’t be a SAHM. 

And we complain about GUBMs because they want to continue to be a SAHM after a divorce, living on the salary of someone who no longer agrees to support them, and who, in many cases, they abused and/or cheated on. 

Living on alimony and CS and refusing to work is different than a couple making a joint decision that one of them will stay home to raise their kids. 

ESMOD's picture

But.... here's the thing.  If the deal is you stay home and take care of kids (including mine when I have custody time) so that we don't have to pay childcare for any of the kids.. and you keep house so that we don't have to pay maid etc.. and I agree in exchange for you being able to stay home (which.. look honestly.. is something that many mothers want to do.. to be able to make their own schedules and to spend time with their kids) that I will shoulder ALL the financial responsibility... that's fair.

If you don't want to do "part of the job"... which might be taking care of my child.. then I guess the alternative should be that you go to work.. and we pay people to care for the kids.. and perhaps break up other household chores to either pay to get them done.. or split the responsibility.

There are plenty of things about "my job" at work that I might prefer not to do.  People I prefer to not have to deal with.. but If I want this job.. I have to deal with them.... just like you might prefer if you didn't have to take care of my child while I work.. but that's part of your "job"... and you are being paid via having a home.. food..and access to cash and other resources. 

So.. yeah.. I think it's completely fair for the outside job holder to say. if we want to do this.. it needs to include childcare for my child.. if that isn't an option.. and I have to figure out how to get that done without your help.. then I am losing a big benefit to having a SAHM.. and perhaps it isn't as worth it to me to be the only breadwinner and I will want my spouse to return to work so we are both financially contributing.

It can be even more onesided if the SAHM has children from a prior relationship that I am also supporting financially by them not working. 

So.. just like I might find another job if I don't like a big part of the one I have.. a SAHM can also find another job and not stay at home if they don't like dealing with their stepkid.

And.. I understand the skid has two parents.. and certainly if the other parent is able to step in.. fine.. but sometimes it isn't working that way... the other parent is already dealing with working and setting up and paying for childcare on their own time... and it isn't fair for their EX to push all the responsibility over to them without compensation beyond their current CO. 

So.. yeah.. a SAHM may provide nanny type services to her spouse's children.. it may be expected and if they don't like that option.. perhaps they should return to the workforce.

And.. I don't have animosity towards SAHP's.. but not working even as a SAHM is a choice.. one that lots of us don't have the option to consider... and choices have consequences.. so do it... don't do it.. not everyone can or even SHOULD do it... and not saying it's easy.. but then again, neither is holding down a lot of full time jobs.

tog redux's picture

See, I will never agree that a stepparent has ANY obligation whatsoever to care for a stepkid. I don't care if they are a SAHM, it's not their job to do it, period.  

You are still in the mindset that the working parent is doing the SAHM mother a "favor" to let her stay home, instead of agreeing because he wants his kid (that's her kid) raised that way.  It's not, "OK - I will LET you stay home and raise our kid, but only if you watch my kid," it's "I agree that I don't want my child raised in a daycare, so I will work while you parent OUR child."

Stepkids are never the responsibility of the stepparent, unless that stepparent agrees to it. If one individual couple decides it should be the SAHM caring for the stepkid, then fine - but it should not be a blanket expectation of all SAHMs with stepkids. 

ESMOD's picture

If the financial provider wants it.. and the SAHP doesn't want to watch the child.. then the only option is the SAHP to work for money. 

I don't agree with the Financial provider "forcing" the SAHP to stay home and watch the bio child.. and including the skid in the mix. 

staying at home is a choice and a joint decision.  financial provider has to agree to cover all financial obligations.. stay at home needs to agree to their own set of responsibilities.. that may include caring for the skid.

I think it is fair to expect a SAHP to watch the Skid if they aren't having to go to work..

and.. I do land lightly on the side that being able to stay at home is a luxury that many would like to do .. but can't.  I think it's much rarer that the sahp is "sacrificing" to stay home.. most SAHP's want to and enjoy being able to do this.  Of course, some people wouldn't enjoy it at all.. so they would be better suited to having a job.

If your spouse wants you to watch their kid as part of the "deal" to be a sAHP.. then you should do it.. if you don't want to do that.. go to work.. it's just that simple.

If they don't want you to also watch their child.. but are still ok with the deal that you stay at home with your joint child.. then fine..that's the deal then..

But it seems obvious in OP's case her husband expects the former.. rather than the latter.

 

 

Monkeysee's picture

No, OP's DH wants to be able to make deals with BM without discussing it with OP when it affects her directly.  Being a SAHM doesn't exclude you from respect within your marriage. 

You are, whether you intend to or not, placing the financial earner above the SAHP within the marital dynamic.  That's not a healthy arrangement, regardless of who stays home & who goes to work.  Being a SAHM to kids you share with a man who already has children does not mean you *have to* watch his previous children.  It's a *joint* decision, one that may not include the care for skids.  It's not YOUR choice what other couples choose to do within their marriages.  Respect between spouses should be the norm, not the exception.

ESMOD's picture

I absolutely did have an issue with him not informing her of something when he knew a week in advance.. that is not respectful.. I'm speaking here in general.. it sounds like their "arrangement" is not mutually agreed to and that is causing discord in their marriage.

Monkeysee's picture

I’m not seeing that at all. I’m seeing a woman who provided care for her skid for years, got fed up & said enough. Read her first post. She then became a SAHM & made the arrangement with her DH that it would not include her skid. 

Her DH then went around her back & made a deal with BM then sprung it on OP at the ninth hour, which would make most SP’s angry. 

You continue to see what you want to see. Nothing in life is black & white, OP is not wrong for drawing boundaries around the care of her skid.

tog redux's picture

You are making it a black/white issue when it isn't one.  And I wouldn't say you land "lightly" on staying home being a "luxury", I'd say you land heavily on that side. You see it as a gift the breadwinner gives to the SAHM.

There are other options for stepkid care - the other parent, the grandparents/aunts/uncles, and after school care that is paid for by BOTH bio parents. 

Clearly we will never agree.  There is nothing that would make me take care of a stepkid against my wishes. I'm not his mother just because I married his father, no part of his care is my responsibility, period.

ESMOD's picture

It's all a matter of negotiating the relative obligations.  If you don't want to agree to a term.. you negotiate it.. or you refuse to sign the agreement.

And really.. isn't he doing her a "favor" by bringing home money every month that keeps a roof over their head and food in their mouths.. it's MUTUAL favors.  They both get something they want...and accept that on both sides their may be things they don't love.. but they do because the "package" deal makes it worth it.

If you don't like a deal.. don't agree to it.  If you misunderstood what the deal was.. then you need to address that.

bananaseedo's picture

Tog "There is nothing that would make me take care of a stepkid against my wishes. I'm not his mother just because I married his father, no part of his care is my responsibility, period."

Couldn't he say the same thing though since he is helping support her bio son though? 

SayNoSkidsChitChat's picture

Lol nope. That’s not how it works.

Stepbrat has two parents and  Biowh0re relatives. Not my kid, not my problem. 

Monkeysee's picture

The problem with this is that the BM is partly responsible for childcare for her children as well, unless it's written into the CO that Dad pays 100% childcare.  Why would the SM provide fulltime childcare for a child she didn't create?

I agree the SM should help out when needed, which OP has said she will & does.  The issue she had initially was her DH made an agreement with BM & didn't tel OP about it until the last minute, despite having a week's notice.  That's not ok, regardless of the job status one holds.  Respect needs to exist within a marriage.

I also don't see why a BM should benefit from an arrangement a SM and her DH make, unless ALL parties are ok with that.  Saying that the SAHM SM *has* to provide childcare to skids is wrong.  There is no such thing as a black & white response to every situation, and I think that's a narrow way of looking at things as well.

SM and DH need to do what's in the best interest of THEIR household.  Sometimes that includes skid, and sometimes it doesn't. There is no *needs to* about it.

bananaseedo's picture

"I also don't see why a BM should benefit from an arrangement a SM and her DH make, unless ALL parties are ok with that"

But Monkey- why is it BM benefiting ?  Wouldn't be her DH benefiting if the care SM provides is on HIS time?  That's where a lot of us talking out of our asses is going haywire-because to me that makes a huge difference in how I see this.

 

beebeel's picture

The original situation that prompted this entire debate was one in which dad agreed that SM would watch the SK on mom's time...without even discussing it with his wife. I don't see any financial arrangement between husband and wife that would make any of that OK.

Monkeysee's picture

OP’s first blog was written because BM got called into work & OP’s DH agreed that OP would take SD on BM’s time, all without checking with OP to see whether that was ok. So instead of BM sorting it out, OP got dragged in because she’s a SAHM.

Thats not ok.

Im not saying as a SAHM someone shouldn’t care for the skid on dads time, IF that’s what they agree on. But fulltime childcare for skids? Just because they’re a SAHM? No. That’d be a hard line for me. 

Honestly, if I’m on maternity & caring for my newborn there would be zero chance of me taking skids at all in lieu of paying for childcare, regardless of who’s time it is. I’d revisit it if we decided I was going to SAH & DH wanted a break from paying for childcare on HIS time, but never BM’s. 

beebeel's picture

Does it boil down to jealousy?

I am well aware that it is a privilege and a luxury that I am able to stay at home with our toddler. It really sucks that so many parents don't have the freedom to choose. But I didn't invent the shitty system that has very little support or incentives for SAHPs and I didn't create this economic climate that usually requires two incomes.

It kinda sounds like you are jealous of SAHMs. So because this choice isn't available to everyone, they should do whatever the breadwinner says they should and STFU because they're lucky they got to choose?

It wasn't lucky that I put my DH through college, enabling him to quadruple his previous income. It wasn't luck that I waited until I was financially ready before having a child. It wasn't luck that helped us plan and make these decisions. Everyone has choices, right?

It's fine if you would agree to raise everybody else's kids if you were "lucky" enough to stay home with yours. But my husband and I made this decision together and that was with the understanding that I wasn't going to drag an infant all over the freaking place so I could play taxi to his teenagers. They have two parents and two legs.

bananaseedo's picture

Monkeysee- a wonderful post and pretty much agree with most...here's where I get stuck "Sure, in my situation I'd help DH in a heartbeat. But I wouldn't bend over backwards to take on additional responsibility for children I didn't create, simply because ***my husband and I*** CHOSE for me to stay at home.  BM is still the BM, and she can keep her kids the same as she always has."

If it's dads time then what- on dads time DAD is responsible to find care, bm doesn't have to help him out.  HE should pay for or find care just like BM has to do on HER time.  THat is where the role of a sahm (and stepparent) comes in....if she's playing the role of sahm to not pay for daycare and her contribution is to the household-that includes IMO watching his kids during HIS time (never on bm's that's her damn problem kwim?). 

You can't cake eat....not saying the OP is doing that but overall I think if he is paying for YOUR bio child-your contribution of watching kids is more then fair during HIS time.  Keep in mind her dh supports her child 100pct of the time.

Monkeysee's picture

That’s where personal circumstance comes in though. If childcare always falls on Bm’s time, EOWE for example, why should that change if Dad & SM have a baby?

If you’re on a 50/50 split, then it’s between the Dad & SM whether they keep the skid in childcare on dads time or SM takes the kid. I know plenty of people in first marriages who keep their own kids in daycare while on maternity with their second kids. If that’s what the agreement is, then that’s what the agreement is.

Theres no one size fits all answer, which is my entire point. 

STaround's picture

If the first wife was SAHM for years, and yes, that will make it harder to get a job, people here complain, complain.  Yet it is fine for second wife, even if it means SHE is not providing any support for a kid from a prior relationship.   And if DAD is SAH, HE is expected to manage everything at  home.

Monkeysee's picture

This is a venting site, people here complain about everything. That's literally what this site is for.

There are arguments to be made on both sides of the story, there's no such thing as a black and white response because no two situations are alike.  If the DH & ex-wife had decided as a couple that she would SAH, and he's forced to pay alimony for a period of time while she gets back in the work force, well guess what... Them's the breaks.

It's when the ex - or current wife - chooses continuously to stay at home despite it now being an issue with the other party that it becomes an issue.  Hypocrisy exists on both sides, not just the sides of the SAHP or the SM.  In the case of the OP here, her ex provides for his child both physically and financially, so no, her DH is not providing 100% for his skid.  The amount he is providing would have been discussed when they CHOSE for her to stay at home.

If she is staying home & expecting her DH to provide past his comfort limits, that is a problem. Anything else, totally up to THEM. Not the thought police.

tog redux's picture

When the agreement to stay home ends due to divorce, alimony is meant to give the woman time to find a job, get training, etc.  It's not meant to live on forever.  

I would hire and have hired women who were stay at home parents for a period of time, and then went back to work.  Even with the agreement of a spouse to stay home, a woman should be mindful of her future and the possibility of divorce, and not just assume the man will care for her forever.

STaround's picture

When my DD was little, I went back to work part time, even though it did not pay for much more than child care and 401K.  It did give the job market continuity. 

I agree with you that no woman should assume she will be taken care of forever.  That includes first wives, second wives, anyone.   But the longer a woman is out of the workforce the tougher it can be.  

shamds's picture

2 toddlers. I intend to go back to work when my eldest is starting year 1 and my son is in kindergarten and currently finishing my degree with a 2 & 3.5 yr old...

my husbands exwife hasn’t worked in 25 years and has a 23 & 14 yr old. She leeches off the exhusband as an atm instead of getting off her arse and contributing towards her share of financial support of her 1 minor child...

i had others here tell me to not rely of my husband on weekends to handle our kids and instead palm it off to a babysitter that him as a sole income earner entitled him to free time. That i could get free time with a babysitter... that i was selfish for my demands yet hubby is benefiting currently with me as a sahm that he can focus on work and my degree is paid off by govt loan, all i ask is he asks me first if its ok he does his sport activities certain weekend days because i am often swamped with online exams or assignments that weekend

i have been told to take control of it myself, be an independent woman and not act so defenseless... other women saying this just goes to show they aren’t in equal marriages if hubby gets to bugger off but wifey needs to hire a babysitter

i have exams in 2 weeks time for 2 weeks, hubby is taking a half day off work to watch them as my exams are right opposite his work office and since he’s the big boss, if there is an emergency he can pop in. We are staying at a hotel walking distance from his work.

this is the kind of support husbands should be giving to their wives because we will be contributing towards their future and our household too

being a sahm doesn’t make you better than a working mum and working mums are no better than sahm in my opinion

the end goal is to raise quality kids, prepared to handle the real world. Who cares how you go about it with both parents working or one sah... 

but the attitude of working mums belittling sahm and telling us to stop whining. As some working mums here say they couldn’t be a sahm, they’d lose their mind/sanity/patience...etc.....

but being a working mum doesn’t give hubby a carte blanche to palm off kids to wifey and wifey be expected to resort to babysitting for some downtime...

then again there are those who aren’t into daycare and those that are. I can tell you right now my parents were so frustrated as all the bugs and worming incidents i got at day are constantly from other kids, it put them off wanting to put me and my brother in daycare anymore

 

tog redux's picture

I'm going to add too, though - SAHMs can be just as judgy about working mothers. OP, you said yourself in this thread something about "having someone else raise your kids due to Capitalism", which isn't fair either.  Some families would like to have one parent raise the kids but can't afford it. Others have careers that are important to them.  And still others believe daycare is actually good for kids (many studies show this) past a certain age.

Both sides judge each other.

Monkeysee's picture

I agree with this.  I've got a couple friends who'd love to SAH but it's not financially feasible for them to do so. To be judgemental on either side of the fence is wrong, and I wouldn't support either argument that one is 'better' than the other.  SAHM's aren't automatically better mothers who care more for their kids, and working mums aren't automatically greedy capitalists who care more for their careers than their children. There are merits & pitfalls of both, and both are hard.  Empathy & understanding would go a long way on both ends.

ProbablyAlreadyInsane's picture

Psycho was a SAHM for the like 6 years (during seperation she somehow magically got a high up there job with ZERO working history... Go figure) they were together.  Absolute peice of s***. Didn't do anything for them, threw fits, cheated on my DH, etc. It was a mess. She was bieng a SAHM solely because she didn't want to work and for some reason thought that she deserved not to work. But also didn't care for the kids OR help around the house... Useless.

I also have a friend who's a SAHM and ROCKING it though. She shines with how much she cares for the kids, has such an upbeat personality, she even has an extremely special needs child who needs extra care, yet someone she doesn't neglect any of the others and she homeschools one of them and he's a year AHEAD in school (the system here means he has to go into the school to test on the benchmarks, so he's legitimately hitting them). Like she is KILLING it.

As contrast I used to live by a pediatrician. She obviously worked, but I have NEVER met someone who cared so much about her kids. She did things with them whenever she was home, packed lunches the night before, just some really sweet interaction and she did everything possible for them.

But there are also moms that work and absolutely neglect the kiddos.

I agree. Being a SAHM or a Working Mom, doesn't have anything to do with how good of a parent you are. That's all in the kind of person you are and what you make work for you Smile

tog redux's picture

One of my good friends is a SAHM. Her kids are 11 and 15, but her husband travels for work a lot, so she is the only one driving her kids all over Hell's Half-Acre for their dance, sports, etc.  She takes care of the home and the kids, and works per diem when she feels like it. Her DH doesn't see it as him "doing her a favor" by supporting her, he sees it as helpful for their family given that he travels.  Her house is spotless, her kids are fantastic, and they are all happy with it.  She has a Master's Degree and could work if she felt like it, but doesn't.  

I'm actually kind of jealous.  I don't want to put Barbie shoes on for toddlers all day, but staying home with older kids sounds great. For some reason, my DH doesn't think I should stay home just to care for our dogs, though.  Sad

 

ProbablyAlreadyInsane's picture

We have the skids full time so it never could happen... But SAH dog mom really does sound like the dream... Wink

bananaseedo's picture

Haha~ That's currently my DH.  He does have hundreds of applications out there however OUR choice is not having him more then part-time...main issue is his health.  He truly has horrific back/neck and joint pain-bad case of scoliosis his mother never treated.  So all his blue collar/back breakign work he did younger now that he's 40 is totally catching up to him and he is constantly in pain.  So not totally the 'dream'- he still has to taxi everyone around (they are older but none have cars-my oldest did and we had to junk that pos car). 

We have high hopes for a couple recent bites-but I don't see him being able to consistently lift 50 plus lbs for 8-9 hrs- our dogs can't be contained in a kennel that long....doggy daycare costs and he would end up in a wheelchair at this point - I still need someone to do a lot of transporting until the kids all have enough saved for cars.  In the meantime dh is it.  I'm the high earner.

Finally since we are married and he's now on insurance we're going to take care of a lot of health concerns to get him better to be able to function properly again.  I count his contributions to our home and then some....I value what he brings. He still cares for the home/yard unless he's completely inmobile for a day or two (which happens every so often).

ProbablyAlreadyInsane's picture

SAH doggy dad. That really may be the dream. Even having to help taxi everyone around... Wink

I'm so glad you two are putting his health first! It's so easy to say that someone just has to work regardless!

bananaseedo's picture

You have no idea how tough it's been...the last few years he's been unable to work except for 2 yrs- and the rest was his own landscaping business so he doesn't have enough 'credits' for SSD- he does qualify for SSI disability however that is needs based so w/my income he gets zilch-  We're tryign to get his health back on track so at least he can enough credits for SSD that if it deteriorates he's put in enough to qualify. 

Obviously are hope is that a good neck/back specialist coupled with physical therapy can get him back on his feet-literally and find great employement for the next couple decades again. 

ProbablyAlreadyInsane's picture

I really hope that works bananaseedo! It really sounds like you two are on a better track now that he has insurance again!  Keep us updated on his recovery!

shamds's picture

its the quality of parenting that counts. Working parents doesn’t automatically mean lack of quality parenting. They can still raise great kids prepared for the world, respectful of others and appreciative of how hard their parents work to support and care for them...

what happens is when some working parents are so focussed on their career that they neglect the kids and their kids mix with the wrong crowd

ProbablyAlreadyInsane's picture

I couldn't be a SAHM. Ever. Not my type of thing. I'd go insane. I really sometimes feel I don't have enough interaction with adults working full time (of course DH has INSANE hours right now). I truly admit I couldn't do it. So I'm in awe when people can!

From what I've gathered, I don't think that the animosity is towards you being a SAHM, more of, since you're staying home, would it be so bad to help with SD OCCASIONALLY (obviously not saying all the time). Disengaing is a good thing if that's what you need. But helping occasionally (I believe) helps with harmony in the home still during those stressful times.  Your DH should NOT have pulled the "I pay for everything" card though. But take a deep breathe, sometimes you really need to pick your battles.  Especially since he really is helping fund you being a SAHM, which means helping fund your child who isn't even his. Which I think is a BIG deal for him to be doing. (Edit: That's not saying he's doing you a favor. Just that he's doing that and you're doing another thing, both a balanced part of YOUR dynamic.) So I think it's okay for him to need some help from time to time.  Just remind him that next time he needs to ask before agreeing or you won't be helping. (askign honestly is a courtesy, even if he knows you're absolutely be okay with it, he should still ask out of respect for you)

I disagree with an above poster though. I think if you divorce, you no longer have an option to be a SAHM. I don't think people should be so quick to jump to "well he'll just give me alimony." Because once you divorce, you're seperating your lives. Single parents don't get the luxury of choosing if they want to work or be a SAHM, because it's just them and they need to be working to support their child(ren) regardless of what they'd prefer.  

beebeel's picture

LOL. Yeah...i said the same things. I love working. I love being independent. Then I had our son and everything changed. Wink

The plan was to return to work after the pathetic six weeks of unpaid maternity leave. We sat down and talked about our goals and values and I haven't been to work (besides some freelance stuff from home) since.

I love my little breaks from the little guy, but we're just not ready to go 8 hours a day. 

ProbablyAlreadyInsane's picture

Well should I ever be in the situation maybe things will change Wink

Major props to you though beebeel! As I said. I'm in awe when people can do that!

Give rose

sunshinex's picture

Here in Canada, we have 12 months of maternity leave with 55% of our pay. 

Should I use that maternity leave to split my attention between a stepkid and a baby? NO WAY. 

Yeah, you can say my husband "allowed" me to stay home, but that wasn't the case. I paid into it. It was my right and I still contributed (the same as him, actually, given my income is much higher so that 55% equaled more than his paycheque). 

If he told me I "HAD" to do anything for/with SD because I was home and he was working, I would have laughed in his face. Sure, I helped out with her because it made sense, but I focused my efforts on my newborn because that's what maternity leave is for. 

I was not a SAHM for two kids. I was a SAHM to my newborn and expected DH to still get his daughter to school, pack her lunch, etc. on his own. If she needed to go somewhere, I expected him to figure it out. If she had an appointment, I expected him to take off work. If I was ABLE and felt like helping, I did, but it was never expected because I was staying home. 

I was on maternity leave. Not babysitting leave. 

 

sunshinex's picture

And after 12 months, we switched so DH could stay home. He was very aware that the agreement was staying home to care for our child, and with him not working, I was going above and beyond our agreement because I was the only one financially supporting SD (no child support from BM). He was very appreciative of that fact and adamant about going back to work as soon as I felt ready for our son to be in daycare because he felt badly about me paying for his daughter. 

tog redux's picture

My state just started 12 weeks of Paid Family Leave, now at 55%.  I'm sure people will cry communism, but it's a nice benefit as far as I'm concerned. And right - it's not for caring for your stepkid. 

sunshinex's picture

I hate that other countries don't have proper maternity/family leave. In my opinion, 12 weeks is NOT enough, especially if you're breastfeeding. They clusterfeed for what feels like forever and that should be accomodated. Ugh. 

tog redux's picture

Well, they can get 12 weeks unpaid as well another 12 weeks paid now, so at least for some, it can be 6 months - and then the father can take 6 months as well both paid and unpaid, provided they have an income that can support that. Which few do.

It's a step in the right direction as far as I'm concerned, but considered "socialism" by right wing Americans.

bananaseedo's picture

This is NY?  Wow, that is amazing!  I'm glad and keep hoping for more of this...of course I live in right wing conservative christiam-women hating GA so there's that....lol

beebeel's picture

So I'm wondering if some of you people think any large income disparity in a marraige magically gives the higher earner dictatorship powers. If I made $200K and my DH made $40K, would that mean I get to tell him what he has to do with his time? That is far larger than the disparity we currently have with me not working, so does that $40K make someone more deserving of a voice? Is there a specific dollar amount or ratio that gives one person power over the other? 

I just don't get it. 

ProbablyAlreadyInsane's picture

Imma go with no. As long as both parties are doing their best to contribute to the home, I don't think dollar amounts mean much. It's all about each person giving what they can in whatever capacity they've worked out between themselves Smile

sunshinex's picture

Nope. I make 5x what my DH earns and I have never delt I have more of a voice or more power. In fact, when he was staying home and I was working, I felt he should have more "free spending" even though I was making everything and he was making nothing - simply because I knew how lonely and hard being home can be. And it sure helps pass the time if you can pay to go to the zoo, buy a new video game for when baby naps, etc. 

LuluOnce's picture

I just want to add (maybe to stir the pot! haha!) that I am almost completely a SAHM for my SDs. I work a handful of hours a week right now at a job that will be nothing on my resume. I don't have any bios and I don't plan to have any but DH and I decided this was the best move for our family, in our situation, and it's been very successful for us for the time being.

I think this is one of those issues where it is entirely, and I mean entirely, up to the couple to negotiate those terms and everyone outside of the marriage can sod right off. In some cases, it makes "just makes sense" for the SM (or SF) to take care of the skids, especially if she is already home with her bios. But in other cases? Oh hell no. Nope and nope. And I also believe that when a SAH SM takes care of her skids, it often looks very different than what a SAH BM does when she's home with her own bios.

For example, many of the SAH BMs I know are 100% responsible of child transportation: to and from school, to and from activities, whatever. DH and I split child transportation pretty evenly and many have even commented why I only do school pick-ups and DH does school drop offs. I'm not saying other intact families can't have this arrangement, I'm simply saying I haven't yet seen that arrangement for the SAH married BMs.

We talked really openly about a number of the things I was happy to do and to some I said, "No. I chose not to have kids so I wouldn't be saddled with XYZ. This task has to be yours. I can do ABC and 123 instead." And we figured out what worked for us. When I talk about this outside of this site, some people can't believe I'm doing this and feel I am 100 kinds of wrong for not letting BM raise her kids, or because I'm not earning my "fair share" or whatever other thing resonates with them. Others think I'm a saint because they say there's no way they'd put up with their skids all day. But it doesn't really matter what they think.

sunshinex's picture

You are so right.

When I was a SAHM to my son for his first year of life, DH still got up and got SD ready/off to school and we arranged to pay for someone to pick her up/bring her home everyday. If I was her biological mother, that probably wouldn't be the case. I would suck it up and get up early to get her ready after being up all night with a newborn, and I would suck it up and wake my sleeping baby to pick her up. But I'm not her biological mother, and those little sacrifices were too much for me to handle because of it. If there was an event at her school and parents could go, nobody went. If I was her biological mom, as a SAHM, I would've gone. But again, it was too much of a sacrifice throwing off my newborns schedule, trying to get ready, and going to some school thing exhausted with a newborn. 

There are just so many sacrifices that I can openly admit I'm not willing to make for my stepdaughter. Does it make me a bad person? In some people's eyes, probably. But it's not my job to sacrifice for her. I did what I could to help while I was home, but I didn't go out of my way the way I would as a SAHM for a biological child. I just kind of... did what I had to - fed her dinner, make sure she bathed, put her to bed, etc. 

ETA: This is something biological parents need to think about when asking a stepparent to act as a SAHM/SAHD to their child. More often than not, your child isn't getting the same effort/attention as they would in a daycare or with a biological parent. They're just not. Even the best stepparents are still human - we're not getting paid and we're not getting the unconditional love that biological parents get back for our efforts. So it's easy to feel a bit unmotivated to do things like attend school events, practice reading, make sure homework gets done, teach them how to cook, etc. that we'd do as SAHP to our own children. Or maybe I'm just an awful stepparent LOL. 

 

Monkeysee's picture

I think this is one of those issues where it is entirely, and I mean entirely, up to the couple to negotiate those terms and everyone outside of the marriage can sod right off.

All of this!!^^^

lieutenant_dad's picture

I really have nothing against SAHPs. I think being in a blended family makes being a SAHP trickier, though.

Being a SAHP is a job. Unpaid, but a job nonetheless. That job comes with certain job duties, negotiated between the working spouse and SAHP. There are consequences, both good and bad, when those job duties are or are not completed.

If a SAHP had agreed to being a child-minder (not in a parental way, but in a babysitter way) but reneged on that because the child was too difficult, then the working parent would need to decide if they felt their partner not performing those "job duties" should result in them pulling their financial support of the SAHP.

On the flip side, if a SAHP is being asked to do more than was originally agreed upon, then they may back out of their agreement to be a SAHP and get a job, which comes with a loss of benefits to the working parent (such as not having to worry about childcare, or cooking dinner, or doing laundry, or whatever).

That's why disengagement gets tricky when someone is a SAHP. If part of the agreement between the SAHP and working parent was that the SAHP minded the working parent's child, or did anything for the working parent's child, and now the SAHP isn't doing those agreed-upon things, then the working parent can reneg on what had been agreed upon. Or, if they feel there is still some benefit to that parent being home, may feel resentment that they are doing the work of both a working parent and SAHP, in some capacity, while the SAHP is only doing 4/5ths of their SAHP job.

It's not an easy dynamic, and one that requires a lot of communication. When something in the agreement changes, it can come with consequences. And that goes for a working parent, too. A working parent can't just decide that they are going to work 80 hours a week, or go out drinking at every networking event, or never pick up milk on the way home. If they do that, the SAHP has the power to leave or go back to work or whatever.

It's one thing to say, "SO, I'm no longer going to help you with issues related to the BP's time". It's another to say, "SO, I have disengaged from everything related to your child, even on your time, even though we didn't discuss it and I just made the decision but we had agreed otherwise as a condition of you being able to work FT and I being able to be a SAHP".

*shrugs* But I could be wrong. I've been wrong before.

CLove's picture

So...I have a degree in economics, and one of the classes that I decided to take was "Economics of Family and Marriage", created by  a female professor, who had written a book, and designed the class around the book. And it all centered around formulas and functions, derivatives and such, exactly to quantify these exact topics. So, I simply had to add my 2.5 cents worth.

I absoluely appreciate people who stay at home to take care of the family. My mother did not, could not, and I did not have any kids of my own. Many people  know have and their kidlings basolutely benefited. However, I think it is a choice. And the OP absolutely got blindsided with SKids.

But back to matter at hand.

In this class, the professor attempted to use calculations to derive the economic value of:

- Marriage

- Family

- Stay at home parenting

The applications, Im not certain if she had step parenting in mind or not, were geared more towards creating models for calculatng child support and spousal support in case of a divorce, I believe, but I think it readily lends itself to this post/discussion.

There is absolutely an opportunity cost to being a SAHP. There is absolutely an opportunity cost to working and having children. The net gain to marriage is more than double, and there are many many net gains to taking care of children yourself. The value is more than just the replacement cost of childcare, chef, taxi, maid, personal shopper, etc.

Some interesting stats and observations:

https://www.brookings.edu/opinions/the-economics-of-marriage-and-family-...

https://www.nber.org/books/schu74-1

And just for fun, the class I took:

https://economics.sdsu.edu/undergraduate/courses.html

Econ 382! Biggrin

DPW's picture

Disclaimer: I'm not a mother.

I really, really, really don't get all this animosity towards SAHPs. There are a few posters here who go after these SAHPs, projecting their own pasts and mistakes, all of the time. It really makes these posters look foolish and judgmental.

The decision (and all that goes with it - financial set up, housework load split, etc...) to have one parent stay at home is frankly no one's business outside of the family, just as it is no one's business what these parents do in their bedroom late at night and no one's business what they are going to eat for dinner that night. 

Personally, the last thing I would want to be is a SAHM. I think of it as one of the hardest jobs out there and I could never see myself doing it. I just do not have it in me. I commend women and men who do, however, and do not judge them because they made a choice that I would not make for myself. 

bananaseedo's picture

To be honest- I hate when they call being a stay at home a JOB- A job by it's VERY definition is doing a task for PAY.  Being a sahm is a life choice...you chose to have children...you don't get to associated a monetary value to raising your own children -that is ridiculous!   You chose to stay home and not enter the workforce.  It doesn't mean your contribution isn't valuable in many MANY ways-but it's a choice and it sure as hell ain't no damn job :)