How is it that so many women (and some men) are able to afford staying at home with their children?
The past three days I have been to various department stores between 9 and 11 in the morning and seen so many women with their small children. I know that some of my teaching colleagues take care of their children during the summer, but most schools are not out and I am assuming that this is a regular thing where these mothers are with their children most of the day.
On day two of seeing SAHMs, I did find out from one lady that she was actually a nanny that was hired to watch the children during the day.
This, helped me understand what was going on with some of the younger women, but at the same time, it opened up more questions for me.
Are these people really able to pay a person as much as many nannies make? Do they really make enough on one salary to be able to live comfortably and pay their mortgages and entertain and educate their children?
Or are they struggling?
Are they trying hard to fulfill the "American dream" of the man working and the woman being able to stay at home with the children while steadily getting into debt because they are on one income? Are these the people that were in foreclosure the past few years? I know that a lot of people put up a good face for others when they are really not doing as well as people think they are.
Are they living on tight budgets in order to make the one worker family successful? Or are they just getting by with the basics? Are they the coupon cutters that we see tv shows about? Are they trying to find the best deals around? If so, why are they shopping at stores that are definitely not the cheapest around? If so, why are they wearing clothes that are clearly name brand and pushing their kids in what even I know to be luxury strollers? Are they living tightly, but still trying to keep up with the Joneses?
Or are they the lucky ones that can afford to have only one partner work and still be able to afford their homes and the fancy SUVs with the fancy private school bumper stickers that I saw in the parking lots? Are they the lucky ones that take magnificent vacations and don't have to worry about how their child will pay for its education since there are trust funds for that?
Not sure, but I am quite curious.