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.
Yes. To all of the above. I was a SAHM before my children started school. It was a struggle, but we felt it was important for one of us to be at home with our children during those years. Then when they started school, they went to the same school that my husband worked at, so . . . :) But SAHMs come in all shapes, sizes, financial status, etc. Being at home with children is important :)ReplyDelete
I totally agree that it is important during the early years of a child. I hope that when/if I have a child, we are financially able to have me stay at home and get to know them and play with them and teach them the things I feel are important.Delete
Probably all of the above. I stayed home with my kids because we could afford to live quite comfortably on my husband's income, and we both believed it was the best lifestyle for our family. I also homeschooled my kids for 12 years. We lived in a big trilevel in the suburbs, drove two cars, vacationed sometimes. We were frugal where we needed to be and yet comfortable.ReplyDelete
My daughter stays home with my granddaughter under different circumstances. Her boyfriend works two part-time jobs and neither of them pay well. But the cost of daycare would be more than she could make if she did get a job. She does some babysitting for a friend sometimes to bring in a little income. Otherwise, they live in a 1-bedroom upstairs of a double in the city. His parents and her dad pay for their cars and phones. And yet the one thing that is the same is that my daughter believes she's the best person to raise my granddaughter. And I agree. They make the sacrifices they need to for that to happen.
I don't know anything about nannies. That's not a choice I would have made, but if I were going to let someone else spend that many hours with my kids, I'd prefer a nanny to a daycare.
I love that people of all incomes believe being with their children is important! Congrats to you and your daughter!Delete
I think a nanny would be a great choice compared to day care. My younger sister just started with one and it is going great for her.
Thanks for sharing your stories!
These are all interesting questions, and I bet the questions to all of them are "Yes." Some are super frugal and that's how they manage on one income, some are in debt up to their eyebrows even on a plastic surgeon's income-- staying home with one's own young children is a choice that requires sacrifice. Those who do it but are unwilling to make the financial sacrifices necessary will rack up the debt.ReplyDelete
SAHMs and dads definitely have to choose to make some sort of sacrifice. And I know that day care is so costly and not guaranteed to have the facilities/resources that a parent may be able to provide themselves to their child(ten).Delete
Hubby had a nice white collar job, and I was fortunate to be a SAHM. It was difficult, but we made it work. I learned to stretch a pound of meat to feed five, shopped at thrift stores, and did without things when the money wasn't there. We didn't even try to keep up with the Joneses.ReplyDelete
Now that it's just me and him, I'm finding those habits are ingrained, which should help out when we start to navigate retirement in a decade or so.
I think the people who are able to stretch money and food are going to be the best at anything, especially living on one income.Delete
It is probably best that you still had those habits... more money for you and your husband in the long term!
I always imagined that I'd teach and the kids would be in daycare because Hubs would work too. I never imagined I'd be a SAHM. After I had Alpha, I worked for a bit, but things seemed so unmanageable with schedules and time, it was almost easier for me to stay home. And now that we have two, it's definitely easier for me to stay home. Money is extremely tight, and we're not able to vacation ever, we buy all our clothes second-hand. But it's worth it to stay home with the kiddos. I like knowing who they are, and developing deep relationships with them. I like knowing what makes them tick because I was there to experience things with them.ReplyDelete
Thanks for sharing!! I have loved hearing these stories of people who chose to stay at home with their kids and how much they care about the well being and the nurturing of the children!!!Delete
I think the most important thing to ask yourself is, why do you care if a woman stays home with her children or not?ReplyDelete