Are SAHMS discriminated against. Red magazine are doing an article about it.

(1000 Posts)
Darkesteyes Mon 25-Mar-13 16:58:46

Just seen this on twitter.

Are stay at home mums discriminated against? Are you one and unhappy with benefits, or feel judged? Tell us.

Darkesteyes Mon 25-Mar-13 17:33:53


lurkerspeaks Mon 25-Mar-13 18:35:05

Anecdotally they are discriminated against when they try to get back into the workplace.

I have several friends with excellent careers pre-children who are really struggling to get anything resembling a graduate job (let alone one with a top city employer) after time out to raise their kids.

Time out of the workforce prior to attempted re-entry ranges from 3-6 years.

Snuppeline Mon 25-Mar-13 18:42:15

In short - no. I don't thin SAHM are any more discriminated against trying to re-enter the workplace than someone who has been unemployed. It's the gap in the CV which makes it hard. Some women are out for quite a long time and their knowledge may not be up to date. Keeping the CV updated with some work and/or volunteering should help.

As for benefits I think SAH should be a family decision based on affordability. It's a lifestyle choice and should not be funded by benefits. Lack of benefits for SAHM is therefore not discrimination to me. Regardless of whether working parents get them or not. For the record,I don't think salaries should be supported by benefits - I believe in a living wage.

thebody Mon 25-Mar-13 18:44:20

Snupperline absolutely.

Aldwick Mon 25-Mar-13 19:04:28

What I don't understand is why we live in such an anti SAHM society not least when there aren't enough jobs out there at the moment for anyone.

I am prepared to be flamed but personally I do think it's important for children to have a parent at home especially for babies who need a secure attachment figure but even for older children.
Both my parents worked and I was so jealous of my friends whose mums picked them up every day, were able to come into school to read, attend assemblies etc. and who weren't sent into school feeling really ill some days because both parents had meetings they couldn't miss.

Even teenagers need someone to at least have a vague idea of where they are after school, someone to make sure they eat something decent , see enough of them to pick up on the warning signs that all isn't well.

I'm also very aware of how stressed a lot of my friends who work full time and have small children are. It is not family friendly for parents to be cramming in all the chores/ house admin etc. after work and at the weekends but it is getting harder and harder to be a SAHM.

I know my opinion isn't popular and I do understand a lot of people have no choice but to continue to work full time in this current economic climate but seriously, sometimes, why have children if you are barely going to see them and why doesn't the government recognise the value of having a few parents at home who can help out with various community things?

I genuinely worry that we're in danger of raising a generation who are institutionalised going first to nursery then to school with breakfast club and after school club with no continuity of care and few chances just to kick back and relax at home.

janey68 Mon 25-Mar-13 19:13:05

What snupperline(great name btw) says

HappyMummyOfOne Mon 25-Mar-13 19:19:12

How are they being discriminated against? If they are finding it tough to gain jobs after years of not working then thats down to a choice they made. They can do voluntary work etc to gain upto date experience.

As for benefits, welfare should be there for those truly unable to work as they are disabled and incapable of working or for short term help after losing a job. It should not be in place because somebody fancies not working for a few years.

Millions of parents work. If the family income can afford to have a non working adult then thats a choice they make knowing the risks.

LUCKYLOSER Mon 25-Mar-13 19:19:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

whatithink Mon 25-Mar-13 19:20:16

I personally feel that is is better for children to have a stay at home parent, whether it is mum or dad, but I know that is my personal choice and I don't have any problems with families where both parents choose to work.

I do however think that many more women would actually like to be stay at home mums, even if just for the pre school years, but they can't afford it. I think it the government had offered transferable tax breaks for instance then with this extra "money" more people may be able to afford for one parent to stay at home. Or if they have Grandparents for instance caring for their children they could pay them from this money whereas with the proposed schemes they cannot claim that back as it is not registered childcare.

Whatever, I think it should be a level playing field, and the Government should not help one set of parents and not another. I agree that people on low incomes and single parents need help with childcare, but the proposed system where couples on a very high joint income will be helped but not families on one much lower income is wrong.

INeedThatForkOff Mon 25-Mar-13 19:30:07

I certainly wouldn't want to see positive discrimination in favour of SAHMs, to the detriment of those who've plugged away at their careers.

Those who are trumpeting being a SAHM as a choice arr off the mark IMO by the way. If I did it we couldn't afford to live on DH's wage (not NMW, by any means).

INeedThatForkOff Mon 25-Mar-13 19:30:42

should read 'are way off the mark'.

CloudsAndTrees Mon 25-Mar-13 19:40:06

No, SAHMs are not discriminated against. Especially not when it comes to benefits. Child tax credits actively encourage and support SAHMs if anything.

I'm not sure about discrimination when it comes to getting a job after years if SAH. A SAHP that has done lots of Voluntary work with toddler groups, PTAs and such like can demonstrate all sorts of skills, but it's understandable that employers will choose someone with recent work experience over someone that has done no work at all outside of the home. Especially when they have so many candidates to choose from. That's not discrimination, it makes sense.

rainrainandmorerain Mon 25-Mar-13 21:00:02

Well, it's a non question as it stands, from Red magazine. Discriminated against by whom? in what way?

The only angle I'm really interested in is why, yet again, parenting and career issues are being discussed as if dads don't exist. As if women make all these decisions in a bloody vacuum.

When you look at how women's career paths and earnings take a hit when they have chidren, whether you are talking about taking maternity leave, dropping out of the workforce altogether for a long time, or changing work patterns to find part time work - it's clear that mums are paying some sort of price that dads aren't, SAHM or WOHM or all the positions in between. Can someone in the mainstream media please ask the question, why is this only happening to women?

I'm not in favour of full time childcare for babies and small children, and I think Aldwick makes some very good points about the institutionalisation of children who have 2 parents working flat out (also quite gender neutral in discussing parental role, which is nice!). But things won't change until dads change. The burden of all compromise and flexibility will fall to the mother.

A sexist society discriminates against all mums. And yet another discussion/feature which airbrushes dads out of the picture just contributes towards it all. It's not SAHMs that are a problem - it is PARENTING.

Permanentlyexhausted Mon 25-Mar-13 22:20:25

Lurkerspeaks Graduate level jobs are hard to come by, full-stop. Your friends are not being discriminated against because they have been SAHMs but because they don't have recent experience. It is the lack of recent work experience that is the issue, not what they were doing during that time. A childless graduate who had been out of the workplace for 3-6 years for whatever reason would have just as much difficulty. Blaming it on what they have been doing whilst away from the workplace just breeds resentment and encourages SAHPs to think they are discriminated against.

Aldwick having a few parents at home who can help out with various community things Sounds great but the reality is that volunteering for community things is not the preserve of the SAHP. I can imagine the muttering reactions of the SAH Brownie parents if I told them (when I tell them) that I can't be arsed to run the unit and hold down a fulltime job anymore if they can't be arsed to help out occasionally.

Valpollicella Mon 25-Mar-13 22:25:17

OP, you have to pay for media requests smile

Suggest you contact MNHQ and pay the subs and get this moved to the appropriate section

Valpollicella Mon 25-Mar-13 22:26:01

Ooops, sorry OP! Just seen you aren;t the originator! Apologies

Backtobedlam Mon 25-Mar-13 22:37:33

SAHM's are definately discriminated against when moving back into the work place. I know people who took SAHM off their CV and just left a gap instead, suddenly they were getting interviews, that's not a coincidence. In some jobs having a career break like could cause problems if knowledge needs to be kept up to date (such as medical profession) but in a lot of jobs a short training course that all new employees go through would be easily sufficient. It's a shame that a lot of people in society no longer see the value of bringing up your own children. Yes it's a choice, but why should being at home with your own children for 5yrs mean that your career should be over? I don't think it is the same as just stopping working for 5yrs to do nothing, being a SAHP can actually enhance lots of skills needed for the workplace, if only employers (and sadly a lot of WOHP's) would take their blinkers off.

Goldenbear Mon 25-Mar-13 23:19:10

I know anecdotally for sure SAHMs that have been discriminated against, where the jobs being applied for were senior posts and in large corporations/organisations. The idea that they are not discriminated against is farcical. The problem is exacerbated by the dismissive attitudes people have of the role- I.e that it is of little value to society because it has no monetary value.

Goldenbear Mon 25-Mar-13 23:36:32

Oh and I agree with Rainrainandmorerain. Antiquated working practices still exist in this country that don't allow parental responsibilities to be split equally. Why should someone be penalised for wanting to care for their own child, full time, in the early years. This inevitably happens because the full time child care is not split equally- organisations don't accommodate this as well as they should and the attitudes of society reinforce that behaviour- there is not enough demand for that change.

Darkesteyes Mon 25-Mar-13 23:49:58

Im the OP i started this thread because i knew there would be some good posts about the sexism involved here.
rainrain i totally agree.

Im childless but i remember being asked about whether i planned to have children at an interview 9 years ago.
When i said no he then said "Why not? Dont you want the responsibility.
So you cant win confused
And late in the 90s during a period when we were both signing on i was asked to sign a piece of paper saying that i would consider part time work. DH was asked to sign no such thing.
So when i was younger the attitude to working women seemed to be "Know your place" looks like not much has changed.

MsAkimbo Tue 26-Mar-13 01:03:41

Hmm. Depends.

I am a SAHM. Some people think it's because we shit gold and I am just a lady of leisure.

Others pity me and think I am because we can't afford childcare and have no family to help out.

I think ultimately, any time you tell people your choice, people will make assumptions.

Short answer? Yes.

Aldwick Tue 26-Mar-13 09:10:27

I have been thinking about this some more and ultimately it's not that they are discriminated against just not valued. It seems that bringing up your own children has become the exception as opposed to the norm which just seems bizarre to me.

I think I also feel very strongly that we are being sold the notion that children are 'better off' in childcare but having once worked in a field that had me in and out of nurseries (granted this was in London) I can honestly say that for every lovely warm welcoming nursery there would be ten where I wouldn't leave my hamster. Places where only the kids that screamed the loudest got any attention, where what was on the advertised menu bore no resemblance to what was actually served and where bored teens stood around discussing their weekends and texting their boyfriends rather than interacting with the children. How could I possibly trust these people (many of whom put on a great show of being warm and caring at pick up time) to nurture my child and instil in them the attitudes and values that matter to me.

I know there are some wonderful child carers out there but I also know what I saw and what strengthened my resolve not to have children until I could stay at home with them at least while they were tiny and unable to voice an opinion or tell me what was going on.

I also think it's really important for children to have a sense of 'real life'. Good childcare tends to be that which is totally child focused whereas I want my children to grow up seeing normal things like 'doing the laundry' and having to either amuse themselves or get involved with chores so that they learn how to do them.

I also think that any environment with lots of small children in can be quite a stressful sensory overload especially for a small person and I am furious about the plans to lower ratios as that will make things even more manic.

I don't expect any financial assistance to stay home (although I think removing child benefit in the way they have done is shocking - I would have preferred to see it capped at two children just so that women in difficult relationships still had some money in their name only) but I do object strongly to my choice being so devalued by society and the government appearing to decide for me that my children are better off in childcare.

The double standards of removing child benefit on the strength of my husband's wage but not allowing him to have my tax allowance is also just wrong.

We are not wealthy by any means. We lose out child benefit by mere pennies and live in London where housing costs are high but I still firmly believe we have made the right decision for our family and wish that other women at least had the 'choice'.

janey68 Tue 26-Mar-13 09:31:27

I disagree that people are 'sold the notion' childcare
Is 'better' for children. Rather, the reality is that there is no conclusive reliable evidence either way- to say that having a
SAHP or WOHP is 'better'. Hardly surprising really, as there are so many variable and so many possible measurements of outcome anyway- academic achievement, confidence etc

I think there is a genuine debate to be had here- whether SAHM are genuinely discriminated against or whether they are just in the same position as anyone else who has been out of the workplace for some years. It would be a shame if it's derailed by people just wanting to bang the drum that being at home is 'better' and therefore 'should' be what people do.

Of course everyone will have anecdotes about the dreadful nursery they worked in, just as we could all cite examples of rubbish SAHP. You cannot extrapolate from that, that childcare is bad. I am also very hmm when someone says 'of course the nursery workers all sprung into action and looked warm and friendly whenever a parent dropped by but were cold and uninterested the rest of the time'... It just comes across as a quite unpleasant way of trying to undermine WOHM by darkly hinting that their children are stressed and unhappy. agree with the principles of child led learning, and certainly the cm and the nursery my children attended operated like this- it was very 'real life'. Anyway, childcare has been around long enough now that if there were significant differences when children reach adulthood, then I'm sure we'd be able to spot all those poor adults who are emotionally damaged and don't have happy lives or successful careers- all because their mum worked!!!

So it would be good if this thread doesn't go down the route of trying to undermine WOHM.

One thing that would be interesting to know is whether there is any actual evidence that SAHM do less well at getting back into the workplace than others who have had a similar amount of time out for other reasons? I can see that someone who hasn't worked for several years is going to lack recent experience if they are competing for a post against someone already working in that field. But I suspect that would be true of anyone who has been out of the workplace. Be good to hear if anyone knows of any research on this

AmmiMajus Tue 26-Mar-13 09:50:32

Having been one for a good while (8 years or so) I think yes.
People just stop seeing you as a useful person. They stop asking about your day. I run a business from home - it's small scale but I contribute to the economy. Does anyone give a shit? No. Including family and friends.

Backtobedlam Tue 26-Mar-13 09:51:43

The point is though that SAHM haven't been just say on there bums doing nothing, they have in effect, been working, its just that they've been working at looking after there own children rather than in paid employment. I'd imagine someone who left employment and set up their own business, or went travelling to gain life experience, would be looked on a lot more favourably than a SAHP. Trying to get back to work after being a SAHM seems from my experience, seems to be looked upon as the equivalent of dropping out of work, and sitting at home on your bum for x amount of years!

janey68 Tue 26-Mar-13 10:20:48

As someone who has responsibility for recruitment to my team, I can honestly say hand on heart that it's not just about getting someone with the right skills set but getting someone who will fit well into the existing team. I've appointed people from all sorts of backgrounds. Re: time out of the workplace, I think most people doing that these days would be doing something quite purposeful (be it caring, travelling, further study)- I have never come across anyone who has time out just to sit around or go to the gym, so it would be a case of seeing what skills etc they have developed during that time.

It's also worth remembering that recruitment is a costly business- it costs around £1000 to appoint someone to my team so the over riding criterion is 'who is the best person for this job'. Mistakes are costly to an employer. I don't care whether they are female, male, or whether they have just come from a similar post elsewhere, as long as i know they can do the job and do it well .

Goldenbear Tue 26-Mar-13 10:23:49

Janey, it is not about banging any drum in my mind, it is about choice- parents should have the choice to bring up their own child in the early years. Working culture and practices in Britain are not set up to facilitate this option. So if you want to bring up your own child/children full time then one person has to sacrifice their career, job status, in the early years. This role is not valued by men and woman alike and this is where the discrimination comes In- employers' tend not to see how any worthwhile skills/experience has been accrued within that time, it is seen as a 5 year extension of the weekend with all the leisurely pursuits that entails!

mirry2 Tue 26-Mar-13 10:35:56

I think that it's great that some parents can afford and choose to SAH but most don't have that choice. Parents who work can be discriminated in the workplace just as much, for example when training sessions take place in odd locations or out of core work hours ; when they want to take time off to attend to school events and can't or when 'getting on' means socialising in the evening.

janey68 Tue 26-Mar-13 10:41:01

Erm.. I'm sure you don't mean to offend, but WOHP do bring up their own children too you know smile

I think it's totally up to individual families to decide what they feel
Is best for them. This doesn't need to be a SAHP/ WOHP divide at all. As people often point out, it's about making different not better or worse decisions.

Out of interest, what practical and economically sound strategies would you implement to try to improve the situation? If a woman has time out of the workplace, what can be done to ensure she isn't discriminated against? And equally that any strategies don't discriminate against people who haven't taken time out? I also think time scales are a big factor here. A woman who wants to stay off work for say, the pre school years may easily be out of the workplace for 10 years if she has several children. Some mums feel they don't want to work until the youngest child is , say, 7. Or even in secondary school. So we're then talking a lot longer out of the workplace

I have no personal axe to grind: I took maternity leave and worked 3 days a week when mine were small, and then back up to full time when youngest was 4, and of course I have (along with dh) raised my children, who are now quite a bit older and very happy and well adjusted. I don't think I could easily have got back into my post if I'd given it up, because I work in a fairly fast changing field and I honestly don't see how I could have kept pace with people who had remained in the job. Though I agree you develop all sorts of skills as a parent (whether WOHP or SAHP) many of which are useful in the workplace .

whenitrainsitpours Tue 26-Mar-13 10:54:50

Aldwicktotally agree with you. With this Universal Credit coming it will push any sahm to have to shove their one year old into nursery to find a full time job. It's all very nice to want everyone to be working but our children still needs their mum or parent to raise them. They already are starting blooming school so young now a days at 3 in nursery. It use to be that children stayed home with their mum and played and started school at age 5. Our society is changing so much we are become so materialistic!

janey68 Tue 26-Mar-13 10:57:28

Oh dear.. 'shoved into nurseries'.... . And it looked as though this could have been an interesting debate... Ho hum.

ihategeorgeosborne Tue 26-Mar-13 11:02:30

Hear, hear Aldwick, great post.

I agree with Ammi and Aldwick. As a SAHP myself I don't think there is anything wrong with what I do, or what WOHPs do, but I do get fed up of people's reaction to my telling them I'm a SAHP. They presume we are well off. Actually no, we got rid of my car and go without lots of things. I think there are more parents who would like to stay at home (male or female), but they can't afford to. It's all very well the government trying to push everyone out to work, but where are the jobs? The trouble is it's all or nothing at all, more flexible working and part-time jobs would be a start.

Shagmundfreud Tue 26-Mar-13 11:26:22

"With this Universal Credit coming it will push any sahm to have to shove their one year old into nursery to find a full time job"

Given that some nurseries will now have a ratio of 1 nursery nurse to 4 under ones, and that some of these nursery nurses will be 17 year olds with a level 2 qualification in Childcare earning £3.68 an hour......

janey68 Tue 26-Mar-13 12:05:22

I think that what's coming across is that parenting is undervalued.

Imagine a high achieving male- lets say a solicitor- at a a dinner party. He'll be given respect and approbation but it will be for his career, his status. He might be the most brilliant dad in the world, raising his children to be well adjusted and successful young people. But no one would show him respect for that. In fact I would say if the solicitor were a woman, she'd be more likely for it least to be acknowledged that she had children. The man could go home from a social function without people even asking him about his family. So I think rather than a specific SAHM issue (even the thread title mentions mums not dads) it's about the role
Of parenting not being given approbation, which of course it deserves when done to the best of the parents abilities

fromparistoberlin Tue 26-Mar-13 12:44:25

Yes for returning to work

NO NO NO NO for benefits, cannot people see it as a roundabout way to make childcare less costly? we have the highest childcare costs in the EU

the SAHM backlash lands as shortsigted, and entitled IMO. whinge whinge whinge

Permanentlyexhausted Tue 26-Mar-13 15:37:21

Goldenbear employers' tend not to see how any worthwhile skills/experience has been accrued within that time, it is seen as a 5 year extension of the weekend with all the leisurely pursuits that entails!

The onus is on the job applicant to show what skills they have and how they have developed them. If employers don't tend to see worthwhile skills/experience it is because it is not being demonstrated. Or because there will be some twee little comment about how "being a busy mum with small children means I have excellent time management skills", with no proper examples of how this might be the case. Remember that interviewers and selection panelists may well have children too, so wishy washy stuff about how managing to raise a family means you have gained a load of skills isn't going to impress if you can't give very specific examples.

When I am shortlisting anyone who has an unexplained gap in their work history on their CV, rather than stating they took time out when they started a family, will find their application lining my waste paper basket. I have neither the time nor the inclination to bother to find out what you've been up to.

Kazooblue Tue 26-Mar-13 16:07:41

Whinge,whine,whine errrr that goes both ways.

Sorry why should the state help out working mothers any more than sahm,why exactly are they more entitled?

Childcare isn't right for all families it just isn't.The needs of children should come first whether that be having a sahp or a wp and it would be nice if both could be helped instead of penalising sahp to fund rich wp.

Darkesteyes Tue 26-Mar-13 16:14:39

Kazoo dont you think youve bought into the women vs women propaganda there. We dont pit fathers against fathers!

Faxthatpam Tue 26-Mar-13 16:22:47

I think both Janey and Aldwick raise some very valid points. I have been both WOHM and SAHM and have for the last 5 years been a SAHM. During that time I have volunteered both at school and for children's charities and have gained some amazing experience from both. I totally agree that it is parenting that is undervalued, my DH is often asked about his work, rarely about being a father to 4 boys. At social occasions I am asked what I do and when I answer SAHM there are many who literally glaze over and start to look for other people to talk to. I don't give a hoot but it is a common reaction and quite depressing really. It is an undervalued role in society, and that view is being encouraged by the current government. I don't agree that SAHPs should get financial help with childcare (they don't need childcare if they are at home) but it was the government response when questioned that they wanted to help only those who 'worked hard to get on' that riled the SAHPs. The obvious insinuation was that if you chose to stay at home you are clearly workshy and a drain on the economy.

In my own case the decision to stay at home was not just mine, it was a joint one made with my DH. We both worked in an industry with very unpredictable hours - often away from home and with very little opportunity for part time work. One of us had to take a break from work if we didn't want to spend an inordinate amount of income on childcare. We both decided it would be me as this made sense financially at the time, and I was happy to take the break from a very full on career. It has enabled my DH to continue to work unpredictable hours and travel abroad at short notice. It was hard work for us both, we were very short of money for the first few years but as he has been able to progress in his career, are now happily slightly better off. My being at home with the children has enabled this career progression. We are very lucky to have had this choice, and I agree many families would be happy to have the same choice. I also think it's unfair that they are not given any incentive towards that choice, but plenty to go to work at a time when there are fewer jobs to chose from.

Backtobedlam Tue 26-Mar-13 16:23:37

Permanentlyexhausted...did you see my earlier post where a friend applied for several jobs stating she had been a SAHP for x number of years and got no interviews, but then removed this and left a gap and suddenly started getting interviews, when going for very similar job roles. I am pleased to hear that you would actually look more favourably on someone who explained what they'd been doing than just leaving a gap on their CV. The fact not every recruiter is doing this, is as clear evidence of discrimination as you can get really.

Kazooblue Tue 26-Mar-13 16:25:03

I wasn't the one saying whine,whine,whine.

The fact is childcare will not suit all families or children so families should be helped to have a sahp (if we still actually care about what is best for all children). Instead we're taking away money from hard working families who have spent years paying tax in order to fund wealthy families with 2 tax allowances,2 pensions and higher household income.

So very sad that raising your own children is looked down on in such a negative light and actually beginning to be stigmatised.

rainrainandmorerain Tue 26-Mar-13 16:26:17

I totally agree that Universal Credit and other changes the govt are making are based on the assumption that parents should get their very small children into fulltime childcare. And changing the ratios of carers to small children won't of course affect the wealthier families who can afford bespoke childcare - but most working parents can't afford that.

As an educated feminist parent, it makes my blood boil that we are being pushed down this route. Rather than looking at how hands on parenting and having work/a career need some radical, innovative thought, the debate is reduced to - "MEN have been able to have families and careers because someone else looks after their children. So that's what WOMEN must do too!'

No. Where are the dads? what tf are they doing? Where is the change in their lives? Why are women accepting and promoting the idea that if you want to work seriously, as a mother, your only choice is a full time childcare from an early age? WHERE ARE THE DADS?

I agree with your post Aldwick - raising small children in a 'real life' environment is so important, for their own emotional/practical/civic development. My mother (educated feminist woman, fwiw) made the observation the other day that she sees very small children having very long days in environments/doing activities that keep them out of public life. Taken from the family home in a car to nursery for an 8 am drop off - all day at nursery, which might have a lot of activities and even an outdoor space, but is still a very specific environment - picked up at 6pm in parental car, driven home, fed and put to bed. She was making the points that she feels a lot of small children aren't given the experience of being in an environment that isn't all about them - AND that the parents aren't skilled at managing their children in those environments when they do have care of them at the weekend/on holidays. She sees that as a change from when I was small (70s) - but doesn't blame women for working, is just disappointed that as a society, we seem to think that's how working/parenting works. I see where she's coming from.

Darkesteyes Tue 26-Mar-13 16:27:49

No. Where are the dads? what tf are they doing? Where is the change in their lives? Why are women accepting and promoting the idea that if you want to work seriously, as a mother, your only choice is a full time childcare from an early age? WHERE ARE THE DADS?

THIS THIS THIS.....A thousand times THIS.

BettyandDon Tue 26-Mar-13 16:33:08

I am a SAHM and I feel lucky, not discriminated against in any way. I would never have considered a nursery. I wanted to spend as much time as possible with my kids in the pre-school years.

I just feel sorry for any women who are doing not what they wanted or planned for whatever reason whether that's working or staying at home.

OrWellyAnn Tue 26-Mar-13 16:34:52

I think it's sad that fear of not being able to take the break from work to look after your kids has stopped so many of the people i know from taking the break they wanted to, to look after their kids. I know at least two women who have to work away from home 3 nights a week to keep up their careers so that they don't suffer so that they can afford to keep their homes. I'm sure that will be met by comments about them changing their homes/lives/expectations, but if we all did that where would businesses be without their (often highly educated and) competent female workforce?
The thing that seems most wrong about modern life is that the choice is there, but it means hge sacrifices in other areas. I am a SAHM, will never be employable in my old field without going back very full time (60hpw). We have had to give up having a home of our own, all holidays, pension etc. God knows how we will pay for all of this when I do return to work, currently I am self employed and getting a very few clients. it IS a choose I made, but it's sad that we can't take 5 or 6 years out without such negative consequences...

Kazooblue Tue 26-Mar-13 17:13:18

Dark loads of sahds round here.

The fact is many women want to be with their dc more.

My sister and dh both gave up a day a week.Plenty for him but dsis pined for her dc.

Women shouldn't be made to feel bad for wanting to be with their dc.

Kazooblue Tue 26-Mar-13 17:16:56

How ironic that I in contrast am a sahp and as a family they earn more,both have healthy careers ,pensions,tax allowances etc however it is our family losing CB.hmm

Goldenbear Tue 26-Mar-13 17:21:59

Permanently, I'm not looking for a job coach - thanks all the same! I know quite a bit about the recruitment and selection process as my previous employment was overseeing this activity. TBH your comments epitomise the prejudice that SAHP have to overcome. I have turned down a job share in the past where the Line Manager clearly had a seething resentment for my status of SAHM at the time and was very aggressive in her questioning about my relatable experience- an attitude similar to the one you have demonstrated above. I got the job due to the other panel members, this is what I was told by previous boss who got me the interview. I'm glad I turned it down because my friend who they employed on a PT basis said that I was spot on with my observations and she was very difficult to work for and inflexible.

I don't understand what is so difficult about understanding the concept that some people want to be the childcare for their children all of the time, especially in the baby/early years. Why are parents put in a position where this is not a choice. It is not a better choice, it is just a different choice. Neither should be discriminated against.

maisiejoe123 Tue 26-Mar-13 17:29:23

It IS diffciult to get back into the workplace after xx number of years. Of course it is. You wont be on an equal track with other applicants and that is exactly why I didnt do it.

janey68 Tue 26-Mar-13 17:37:14

Rainrain- I agree with your point about young children needing a 'real' environment- but tbh I think the number of parents who use nursery all day all week are few and far between, and where they do, there are no doubt circumstances to that specific family which make it the better option. Families I know where both parents work in high pressure long hour careers tend to have a nanny, so the children are looked after in there own home. Also, ML is so much longer now that it's less usual to see very young babies in childcare. The thing is, many women , myself included return part time, so the child isn't in childcare
For full weeks. I used a cm to start off with (as I retuned when dd was 5 months) because I wanted that real life experience you describe, and switched to nursery a little later which provided an excellent experience as a part time thing.

There are two more points which spring to mind having read this thread : not judgements at all, just observations. One is that I think women need to be very honest about what they want. It's clear that there are some women who Categorically do not want to use childcare because they want to stay at home- which is FINE- but they need to be clear about that. Because sometimes it does feel a bit like women say they'd love more affordable childcare, but the truth is that even If the best childcare in the world were offered to them for free, they would still rather be at home themself. As I say- nothing wrong with that if you want to do it and can afford it , but it's important to be clear that that's what the issue is- not having subsidised care.

Secondly- its important to remember that all Of us know our OWN family and circumstances best. We know when our children are happy, unhappy, secure etc. and that goes for WOHP as much as SAHM. Maybe if you have never been a WOHP, or youve tried it but it didnt work out for you, that's hard to accept, I don't know. Sometimes when I read posts (and I'm not referring to most on here, it's just a minority) youd almost believe WOHP dump their kids in any old nursery without doing tons of research and visits, and then we pick them up again at age 5 ready to dump them in the nearest school! It so ISN'T like that. When you watch your children blossoming and building relationships and growing in confidence then you know they're fine. And yes, I know children of SAHM develop all those things too- they are just different (but equal) ways of doing things.

janey68 Tue 26-Mar-13 17:39:52

Oops- their not there... Blame it on the long day at work grin

maisiejoe123 Tue 26-Mar-13 17:48:47

I agree Janey. I think SAHM's need to be clear whether they want childcare or not. I think some (not all!) would like the childcare allowance but not use it for childcare.....

Having brought up two DS's. If I ever felt that they were not thriving and happy with the early years childcare I would have thought again and maybe taken a part time option for a few years. Its not always all set in stone what you do.

However - I might get flamed for this. I wouldnt leave completely and then expect to pick up my career when I was ready. It doesnt work like that.

SAHM's will not be at the top of all employers lists tbh. That's life. On another thread I quoted that I had recruited for a part time role a while ago. I knew it would appeal to a parent looking to go back to work. What I wasnt ready for is the sense of entitlement during the interview process. Maybe they had just been out of the workplace for too long.

Three didnt turn up, and one cancelled saying that they had to take their child to the GP and asked to meet another time even though they knew interviews were on one day. And the most surprising one was the mother asking to do the role at home so that she could save on childcare costs for her young baby!

janey68 Tue 26-Mar-13 18:04:57

The CB issue: personally I would rather it has remained as a universal benefit, though capped at two children (apart from multiple births ) to reflect the fact that we are hugely overpopulated and that having large families is a luxury

But the childcare issue, I just do not get why some SAHM are up in arms about it.
It's like me complaining that someone else does a job where they travel a lot and get a company car, even though I don't want their job with all it's travelling. It doesn't make it unfair that they get one.

maisiejoe123 Tue 26-Mar-13 18:07:44

Having lost CH - I would too Janey. Yes, it is strange how people are envious of others but wouldnt dream of doing what they are doing. Sorry, but if you stay at home you wont get childcare benefits until the child is 3 and that isnt a great time to wait....

rainrainandmorerain Tue 26-Mar-13 18:09:37

But Maisiejoe - you've put your finger on it in a way. Every case you mention is a mum. No dads. Just mums.

There are so many observations to be made off the back of that. One I'd start with is that surely for some of those mums, them staying at home to look after children, or returning to work part time, is what enabled the children's FATHER to continue his career path undisturbed. Who exactly is 'entitled’ there?

The complete absence of dads in all this is what is making these judgements about women/mums possible. If flexible working patterns or career breaks were something that dads used as well as women (and they are, in some other countries....) then our whole attitude to it would be different.

I do find it interesting that we are quite accepting of the idea that mums who work should be entitled to some form of help/subsidy with childcare, but that mums (I'd love to say 'parents', but it is overwhelmingly mums) who chose to drop their income to look after their children are expected to pay for it themselves, totally (via their partner's income).

As a WAHM mum who took no time off at all with her 1st dc and who has always been the main earner in her household, that doesn't strike me as fair. If as a working mum, I was told that I should get off my arse and earn enough money to pay for my childcare instead of expecting the state to sub me or my 'lifestyle' in any way, I'd be livid!

It looks as if we really don't value hands on parenting. We accept that a working mum is making a measurable monetary contribution to the economy, but we don't have a comparable way of valuing a SAHP, so are dismissive. Even if we take into account that a SAHM may be the very thing that allows a working dad to either not pay a fortune in childcare, OR compromise his career to look after his own children.

Kazooblue Tue 26-Mar-13 18:09:58

Because it's money that could be paying off debt going to wealthy families who don't need it.

Kazooblue Tue 26-Mar-13 18:12:36

And we seem to have had CB taken off us to fund it!

rainrainandmorerain Tue 26-Mar-13 18:13:26

But not all mums are working because they have no choice. Some of us work because we want to, and we love what we do. It forms a huge part of my identity and I would be very unhappy if I wasn't able to work at all.

To play devil's advocate, why should I expect anyone to help me with childcare costs to do something I enjoy, and have chosen to do...?

rainrainandmorerain Tue 26-Mar-13 18:14:37

(sorry, umpteen x posts - I'm not sure who I am talking to anymore! probably myself. I might go for a lie down....)

birdsnotbees Tue 26-Mar-13 18:18:43

SAHM are not discriminated against; mothers are. And it's about time we all stopped perpetuating that discrimination by getting distracted by the whole SAHM vs. Working mother thing. It's not the issue. How this government & employers treat mothers & women in general, however, is.

maisiejoe123 Tue 26-Mar-13 18:23:08

As a SAHM (P) you dont generate an income. You do a very important role but you are not paying tax. I am sorry but its a economic situation. So if SAHM's want to be paid or claim childcare costs - who will pay for this.....

The people working......

And please dont lets get into 'well my DH pays tax or that nonsense a few months ago where a pair of 18 year olds had a baby claiming that their parents had paid tax and they were just claiming there share back!'

SAHP's and working parents are BOTH bringing up their children. In different ways of course and their children are all different. For us we chose to both work and not to have a career break. Its the right decision for us and I fully understand some want to stay at home but surely you cannot be expected to be paid for this..

janey68 Tue 26-Mar-13 18:29:36

Rainrain- yes, exactly as I said earlier, I think parenting is what needs to be valued. And parenting is a far bigger concept and far more difficult to pin down than the various day to day tasks which make up quite a bit of caring for children and running a home.
It must feel pretty galling, as a high achieving working man, to receive respect and approval for your career, while the fact that you might be a brilliant dad goes unnoticed.

As far as 'where are the dads ?'- again, I think women need to be very honest about what they are doing on a personal level. Do they automatically assume that they get 'first dibs' on working part time or not
Working at all? Are they going to make use of the upcoming transferable parental leave, taking the first 6 months themself and then handing over to dad ? (god- now thats something I'm envious of- conditions
Are so much improved nowadays, my dh had the day dd was born off and was back to work next day). Ultimately it's down to women as individuals to shape their family set up in the way that works best for them. It's no good deciding from the outset that you wont push ahead with your career, you'll always play Second fiddle to your husbands career, and then complaining about your choice. It may mean some tough decisions, such as both of you having decent but not jet setting careers rather than one of you being the high flier and the other giving up entirely. But A lot of this is about the choices people make as a family unit, and there aren't 'right' ones or 'wrong' ones- there are just different ones.

maisiejoe123 Tue 26-Mar-13 18:36:05

I am not sure all men are chomping at the bit to share parental leave. it certainly wasnt around when I had the boys.

And of course, yes, if you give up your career you are giving up an independence of sorts and relying on your partner to support you. Of course if the relationship breaks down it becomes extremely difficult. I am not all doom and gloom but marriages/partnerships DO break down and people move onto other people.

Wasnt it Terence Coran who said all his ex wife who didnt work do was put a few meals in the microwave and ferry the children around..... No - actually she supported you in such a way that it allowed you to have a wonderful career jetting around the world not worrying about picking up from nursery or school

Permanentlyexhausted Tue 26-Mar-13 18:36:45

BacktoBedlam - yes I did see your earlier post and, in part, it was what prompted me to write mine. There may be some anecdotal evidence as you suggest but, I really do think this is far from the norm. Certainly in my experience.

Goldenbear - I would not dream of spending my precious time acting as your job coach, I was merely making some general observations. Perhaps you'd like to explain further, though, in exactly what way you feel that my comments epitomise the prejudice that SAHP have to overcome. Because I suggested that SAHP may have to compete in a job interview on a level playing field with other candidates, i.e. by being able to give well thought out concrete examples of their skills?

maisiejoe123 Tue 26-Mar-13 18:40:41

I feel a 'well I have been a SAHP for 5 years - could I be given priority for a role' type of feeling in some of the answers here or is it just me.

It is not prejudice against SAHP's - its getting the best person for the role.

janey68 Tue 26-Mar-13 18:41:02

It'll be iteresting to see how many dads do take up the transferrable leave option- and indeed, how many mums will let them!
Personally I think it's a great idea, and my dh would have been well
Up for it. For the mum to take 6 months and then dad taking the next 6 months will be fantastic for the children, and will give couples a
Far greater insight into each others role (how often do you read
On MN about women whose husbands apparently have no idea about what it's like at home....) I also think it will make it harder for dads to lose contact with their children in the event of a split up, having had that time.

Permanentlyexhausted Tue 26-Mar-13 18:47:57

I agree Maisiejoe.

Kazooblue Tue 26-Mar-13 18:51:19

Maisie my dp is paying tax 40% worth (and a lot more than many getting CB and help with childcare) he couldn't do his job without the kids suffering if I went back to my career.

Dp pays more in tax on 60k than 2x 30k

Why should families earning that and more and working be paid to put their dc in childcare? It too is a lifestyle choice.

maisiejoe123 Tue 26-Mar-13 18:59:29

I pay 40% tax too... I have lost CB. And depending where you live (ie SE and London) the cost of housing and commuting means that you often do need two salaries.

Of course one could move - maybe to the middle of Wales to lower those costs but then my DH and I couldnt do our roles and pay all our tax!

Kazooblue Tue 26-Mar-13 18:59:30

And I am doing a valuable job!

Kazooblue Tue 26-Mar-13 19:03:05

Well my dp couldn't do his job without my job as a sahp.

We are financially a lot worse off than 2 people earning the same.

Your choice to live where you do,why should we fund families on high wages?You could move,get lesser paid jobs and still pay tax.Would probably cost the state less now it is funding your childcare.

janey68 Tue 26-Mar-13 19:12:07

Actually this thread has been really useful in clarifying things in my mind!

Do I think personal tax allowances should be transferrable? - no. The principle of taxing people as individuals rather than regarding a woman as an appendage of her partner is hugely important. And like I said (on this thread or similar- ive lost track!) - its not relevant whether a mother had paid tax in the past, or whether her husband or father or granny does... It's like me saying 'I've had 2 low natural births without expensive pain relief or doctors in attendance- does that mean I'm 'owed' some sort of payback by the NHS'- of course not! It doesn't work like that. You'll never be able to balance up exactly what each individual pays in and takes out

Child benefit... Ideally would remain a universal benefit, but I would cap it at 2 children. Large families are a luxury (barring natural multiple births )
As the country is in an economic mess, it's probably not feasible for it to remain universal, but basing it on a HR tax payer is a reasonable way to do it. Families where two parents work and are both just under the threshold will have a lot more outgoings in the form of childcare than a family with one earner just over the threshold

Should SAHP have the same criteria applied to them for free / subsidised childcare as WOHP? Of course not. They don't need childcare. Anyway, they'll get their free 15 hours when the child is 3, and the irony is that they are more likely to be able to make use of it than a WOHP. A WOHP needs childcare at specific times, so if the 15 hours is only available across 5 mornings, for example, it will be the SAHP who can make best use of them.

What about families where mum claims she can't hold down a job because she has to support her husbands high flying career? - this comes down to personal decisions within each family as to what they want. If you partner someone who has such a career, or you allow your own career to take second place then that's an individual choice, it doesn't need to be like that. There is nothing wrong with that set up if it suits you but then just be honest about it. No one wakes up one morning finding themselves with 3 kids and a husband who works away a lot... These things develop over time and there is always the chance for couples to regularly renegotiate if they are both happy With how their lives are shaping

Do I think SAHM are discriminated against? Unless someone can provide some hard and fast evidence to the contrary, I don't think SAHM are treated any differently to anyone else who has been out of the workplace, be it for travelling, caring or just taking time out.

rainrainandmorerain Tue 26-Mar-13 19:13:23

I agree it would be better all round for dads to have more of an idea about what is involved in taking care of a small child and running a household. I think dad-child relationships would only improve with dads being more involved in their care.

It won't change overnight. We have CENTURIES of conditioning telling us what a mother's role is versus a father's role. There are external and internal barriers for mums and dads in terms of how they negotiate parenting/work roles. For a start, even where dads can request flexible working atm, they rarely do. There is a structural assumption that it will be mainly women who ask for it, and it can be seen as more damaging for a man to ask for it than woman, in terms of career. And many men see childrearing/domesticity as a bit emasculating. It's not just a case of 'will women let them take over more.' And no, a lot of blokes won't want to do more than a bare minimum of hands on parenting. That's sexist behaviour which needs to change.

I think the SAHDs who take on that role at present often have to be quite brave about being the sahp in a world that is very mum-dominated and feminised. And vice versa - for those of us mums who have taken on the role as main breadwinner in the family - well, I can't look at other women in my extended family who have done that before me. Sure, they've always WORKED - but they haven't always had careers, and they certainly have not been the main earner. I'm the first one. It's impossible not to internalise these things in some way.

I think it's oddly punitive to keep saying 'well, ladies, it's up to you to decide what you want! make your minds up!' For my mother's generation, it was generally accepted that if you really really wanted a high flying career, then you didn't have children (if you were a woman, I mean. obvs as a man, you just had a wife...). A generation later, I feel personally like I have been raised and educated to 'have it all', and that I should be able to have a career AND children - but the devil is in the detail, and the small print has got some nasty clauses! (like, whenever the media talk about about women and work, it is always assumed the mum can only work when SHE earns enough to cover HER childcare costs.... again, WHERE ARE THE DADS.....). Rome wasn't built in a day, I guess.

I think btw it is absolutely fine for mums to decide that actually they do want to do the hands on parenting themselves, and are happy to give up a place at work to do that. I just know that by adding more dads into the mix, we acknowledge that parenting is not just carried out by mums, it would inevitably become more valued, and we would all have a greater degree of flexbility and genuine choice. The sahm/wohm 'debate' is a smokescreen - it hides the continuing absence of dads in the whole equation.

Snuppeline Tue 26-Mar-13 19:13:42

Some themes seems to have emerged on this thread, as others have picked up on. Here's my tuppence worth.

First theme, Working environment not being family friendly and leaving some not being able to do what they want (such as sah) for fear of loosing out in the workplace. I am a feminist but I am also a pragmatic and I think it is my duty to change the workplace from within. For the sake of my dc who one day will be there too. If all women leave work or work pt when they have children all society is stuck with is men who is enabled to work 60hour plus weeks because their female spouse is doing all the child related stuff. No man will be inspired to change the way things are if we all did that. I'd rather see my fellow male colleagues slog into work after the school run for a 09 am meeting telling the boss "hang on mate, why don't we change meetings to start from 10 am...". Coming from me it won't be taken as seriously as from him. I also want my colleagues to stay at home with sick children and leave early to pick up from school/nursery.

So that brings me on to the second important topic. Where are the Dads? Not a clue myself! But perhaps the answer lies in the first topic, namely that the Dads need to be given equal responsibility from the off in order for them to take that responsibility both at home and at work later on.

The third theme appear (to me) to be about parenting styles. I.e. an either "full time in nursery being institutionalised" or "at home to be free to play". I have worked full time since having first child, as has the father, but managed to use holidays so that we could phase the nursery time from 2 to 3 then 4 days and at the age of 3 to 5 days. That was a parenting choice we made as I am sure many other parents make similar choices (and not just working reduced either). It's a fifty shades of parenting I assure you - not black and white!

The fourth theme is whether SAHP are discriminated when returning to work. I think it must depend on industry your in. For some industries, fast paced (e.g. Tech changes etc) it may be that being out of the loop means you are truly outdated. If that is the case you would have weighed this knowledge up before deciding to leave work - bemoaning the fact later does not equal discrimination. If you truly wanted back in you should have stayed current (freelanced, done a relevant course or similar). In some industries it may be that the attitudes are too "male" and that being out of work is seen as "weak" and not having been able to deal with the stresses of working life while having a family. In which case we're back at my first point - namely that we need some women to stay on the inside to change the work culture.

scottishmummy Tue 26-Mar-13 19:18:58

Don't make me laugh the housewives are 1st dish out the precious moments and daft quips
They disadvantage selves by leaving job market,and being dependent upon waged partner

Kazooblue Tue 26-Mar-13 19:33:39

Well. I think that is tosh Janey,highly unfair and yes discriminates sahp.

Love your ideal scenario that suits your life just fine and dandy and makes families on a lot less who often pay more to the state even worse off.hmm

Jeez the selfish attitude of some.

And again what about the actual children involved?Anybody care to facility an upbringing that is preferable and beneficial to many.As. I said before childcare does not suit all families or children but hey as long as. Janey gets what she wants.

OrWellyAnn Tue 26-Mar-13 19:42:41

Rain, can i just say that you seem to be speaking a lot of sense and very eloquently. grin

FasterStronger Tue 26-Mar-13 19:43:53

Kazoo - non transferable tax allowances don't discriminate against SAHP because no one can transfer unused tax allowance.

so a couple earning 45k and 25k cannot transfer say 5k to have 40 k and 30k so remain in the 20% tax bracket.

janey68 Tue 26-Mar-13 19:52:08

Kazoo- rather than spouting emotional
Claptrap and insults, why not try to explain exactly what is discrimatory about it?
And as far as choosing a family set up which suits your family- well yes, precisely, that's up to every family isn't it? If you don't want to use Childcare, and you prefer to stay home and support your dh in his high flying career then presumably you've made the choice you want: I could equally level the cheap jibe at you : what kazoo wants kazoo gets!
I could have stayed home and let my husband climb the dizzy heights
If I'd wanted, but we chose instead to both earn more modest amounts and both have more equal input with the house and children. Horses for courses isn't it.

Kazooblue Tue 26-Mar-13 19:56:40

Already have.

stopgap Tue 26-Mar-13 19:58:35

I've experienced zero discrimination/resentment for being a SAHM. I'm in America (NYC) so maybe attitudes are different. Not that I've expected anything of the sort, but I've been commended for wanting to stay at home during the early years, which could well relate to the fact that nannying in NYC, by and large, is an utter shitshow.

janey68 Tue 26-Mar-13 19:59:58

Exactly fasterstronger.
You can guarantee if personal tax allowances were transferable, the first people to whinge would be the SAHM bleating that dual earners were transferring part of their allowance to get the maximum advantage !

FasterStronger Tue 26-Mar-13 20:02:16

SAHP get pension credits worth about 2k per year.
WOHP get childcare assistance to 2.4k per year.

different but very similar in value.

Kazooblue Tue 26-Mar-13 20:04:50

"Bleating" what's with the rude and patronising language?hmm

FasterStronger Tue 26-Mar-13 20:07:09

Kazoo - do you have any comments on my posts about transferable tax allowances and pension credits?

or not?

I totally agree with Janey68 post at 9.31. And I am a sahm most of the time.

Goldenbear Tue 26-Mar-13 20:18:30

MaisieJoe, in some family units where there is one SAHP and one person working, the tax being paid by that individual is more than the combined income tax generated by two parents going out to work. My brother pays 50% tax and his wife is a SAHM. Based on your rationale they shouldn't qualify for childcare vouchers because the mother does not generate an income. However, as a family unit my SIL's SAH status accommodates the demands of my brother's career who in turn generates an income of which a considerable amount of tax is deducted, contributing to chilcare vouchers for those who probably don't generate as much income tax. They have never used the vouchers but frankly it is obscene to think my family is contributing towards chilcare vouchers for people on a combined income of £299,999 under Cameron's new reforms!

If we had Income-splitting tax system, SAHP's would be less discriminated against because their status would have some value - it would not all be about the person who generates an income. It is evident from this thread that income generated is what defines a person and that it is a valid definition??

rainrainandmorerain Tue 26-Mar-13 20:23:47

(OrWellyAnn, you are most kind. And have great judgement grin)

FasterStronger Tue 26-Mar-13 20:28:17

golden ^ it is obscene to think my family is contributing towards chilcare vouchers for people on a combined income of £299,999 under Cameron's new reforms!^

this is not true.

2 x 150 kpa salaries = a total of 120k tax per annum. you are not paying anything for them, they are paying it themselves (and quite rightly so)

tilder Tue 26-Mar-13 20:32:15

Well this didn't take long to descend into a sah/wah issue.

FWIW, I've never seen or heard people that I know being derogatory about being a sahp.

Do I feel sahp are discriminated against? I guess a lot depends on whether you feel the tax and benefit system discriminates against those who don't earn a wage but perform a role, so could include all voluntary stuff like caring, clubs, charities etc as well as sahp.

As regards returning to work, I think a sahp needs to be realistic. Several years out means you are unlikely to be able to return at an equivalent level, means your qualifications and experience may be out of date etc. There is also a perception that many sahp looking for work want part time work that is flexible re school times and holidays. All these can, rightly or wrongly, make an employer think twice.

Is that discrimination? I honestly think a lot is due to practical realities of the workplace and sometimes unrealistic expectation. Sorry.

HappyMummyOfOne Tue 26-Mar-13 20:32:53

Dads get a raw deal as many women wont even consider swapping and returning to work whilst the male stays home. Many consider it their right to not work whilst the man goes out with the responsibility of being the only income earner. Many believe only one adult can work and deem themselves indespensible and couldnt possibly be expected to work too.

SAHM's may not be first choice job wise for employers but no different that others that have no recent work experience.

UC tighteng up allowing people the choice of not working will be good for the economy and our future children. Not working is a luxury, lovely if the household can support it and the non working person is happy to take the huge risk of having no income if their own should things go pear shaped. However that luxury should not be provided by the state. Schools, hospitals etc are crying out for money yet we give it to those actively choosing not to work at present.

fedupofnamechanging Tue 26-Mar-13 20:37:03

janey, first of all there is no guarantee that 2 wohp will have greater expenses than a family where one parent sah, therefore there is no justification for 2 people earning 49k each to keep cb when a family with a single earner on 60k and a sahp will lose theirs. You assume they are paying for child care and have double the travel costs, but they a) have significantly more money coming in to cover these things and b) might have free childcare from granny/company car. You can never tell.

Also 2 people earning 30k each will pay less tax as a family than one person on 60k.Families with a sahp are therefor discriminated against if one partner is taxed at 40% compared to families with 2 earners bringing in the same gross wage. For this reason I believe the tax allowance of a sahp should be transferable. I don't buy the idea that 2 workers are generating more employment (by using child care, for ex) as that is all rather dependent on the jobs themselves.

To answer the OP, sahp are discriminated against when it comes to divorce and financial settlements. In sah, they are sacrificing a career to do something that both partners generally feel to be in the best interests of their family. It enable the wohp to build a career, but upon divorce the man often gets to duck child support with little consequence.

Kazooblue Tue 26-Mar-13 20:39:01

Well by that argument Faster there is no argument re cutting CB and maybe as a 40% tax payer dp should get more given back.

We're supposed to be paying bak debt not helping millionaires,wealthy pensioners and families on 300k.

sundaymondaytuesday Tue 26-Mar-13 20:44:18

10 years ago when I started thinking about starting a family there was a lot of pressure to give up work. WOHM were accused of being uncaring and the media tried to portray nurseries as being on a par with communist orphanages. At the time there were lots of jobs for skilled professionals and taking a career break didn't have to mean the end of a woman's professional career.

10 years on there are fewer jobs and the salaries are very low. Women are no longer vilified for working. SAHMs are now the villains they are portrayed as lazy latte drinking entitled waste of spaces. The language used by the Tory party when the CB changes were introduced has a lot to answer for.

I don't have a daughter but if I did I would advise her to develop a thick
skin because she will be in the wrong whatever she chooses.

janey68 Tue 26-Mar-13 20:47:35

Yes, 2 people working and earning 30k each will have a higher household income than one person earning 60k. We're going over old
Ground here- we all get that. We just don't all agree that its discriminatory against SAHP. You're not comparing like with like for
a start- it's trying to compare two working people with one.

Re: dual earners not having more expenses. Highly unlikely unless they are using a relative for child care and not paying them. Well frankly you can't legislate against individual family choices. If you get a family where 2 people earn 30k each and use granny as a free childminder - well, personally I would feel like I was exploiting my relatives doing that but it's a free country...

If tax allowances were to be made transferable, the reality is that you'd have dual income families transferring parts of their allowance to gain the maximum advantage as fasterstronger pointed out earlier. And
I can guarantee SAHP would still complain because they were still perceive the fact that dual income families were better off
as some kind of unfair advantage.

ihategeorgeosborne Tue 26-Mar-13 21:05:10

I would not complain at all if we were allowed to transfer tax allowances between spouses. It seems to work well in most other European countries. Why not here? It would give families more choice as to how to spend their own money. We are a family unit after all and are treated as such for the claiming of benefits, so why not for the payments of tax? The child benefit fiasco is a nasty policy and quite deliberate by this government. They think they've been clever with this, but we shall see in 2015.

Kazooblue Tue 26-Mar-13 21:14:53

No people don't get that and to just disregard it as old ground.hmm

janey68 Tue 26-Mar-13 21:16:02

What you're proposing isn't a specific SAHM issue though . It would be about transferring tax allowances between husband and wife (or civil partner or some other chosen person). It would definitely lead to lots of dual income families transferring part of their allowance to ensure they paid less tax overall. It would be interesting to see where that led to; I suspect some SAHM would still complain because they seem to perceive the concept of a transferable allowance as something only they should benefit from. The underlying theme of a lot of these threads is that SAHM feel undervalued and want some kind of recognition specific to them, some sort of positive discrimination, to validate what they do.

Kazooblue Tue 26-Mar-13 21:19:30

No I would like CB to be fair and at least an attempt to enable women to stay at home with their children.I don't think families on decent incomes should have help with childcare,poorer families yes but not wealthy families.

OrWellyAnn Tue 26-Mar-13 21:19:33

Fasterstrnger. You make a very good point about the pension credit v childcare assistance, but it does depend on our generation actually getting our pensions...not personally that hopeful ours will ever come grin

ihategeorgeosborne Tue 26-Mar-13 21:24:14

I just want a fair tax and benefits system. We all know that a couple on 30k each pay less tax than a couple with one earner on 60k. So why add insult to injury by removing the single income family's child benefit? Then they really take the biscuit by giving a tax benefit to the dual income family in the form of child care benefits. These three measures tell me loudly and clearly that this government doesn't care for families with a SAHP. It cannot be a coincidence that the SAHP family is considerably worse off when these three measures are taken into account.

maisiejoe123 Tue 26-Mar-13 21:25:32

Well, we have double travelling costs and no relatives to help with childcare. I have to say I see no case for SAHP's to get any childcare vouchers. They are the childcare!

Its like me saying that I would like a Disability Allowance and not being disabled.

GoldenBear - taking the example of your brother. He pays 50% tax and his wife doesnt work. Why should they get childcare vouchers. She is the child care!

And Karma - when you choose unwisely and your relationship breaks up and you have also chosen to be a SAHM, what has that got to do with the government. Do you want to be paid for making mistakes...

Kazooblue Tue 26-Mar-13 21:29:17

Maisie you have been told over and over again sahm mothers having vouchers isn't the issue with this,you seem to be ignoring what people are saying.

As an aside there are many sahm that do need childcare.

ihategeorgeosborne Tue 26-Mar-13 21:31:16

I just want a fair tax and benefits system. We all know that a couple on 30k each pay less tax than a couple with one earner on 60k. So why add insult to injury by removing the single income family's child benefit? Then they really take the biscuit by giving a tax benefit to the dual income family in the form of child care benefits. These three measures tell me loudly and clearly that this government doesn't care for families with a SAHP. It cannot be a coincidence that the SAHP family is considerably worse off when these three measures are taken into account.

Kazooblue Tue 26-Mar-13 21:31:59

My sister has no travel costs(company car and allowance,two dc at school,helpful grandparents),she pays less tax,will keep CB and get help with the little childcare bill she has.Totally wrong and a waste of money that could pay off debt.

fedupofnamechanging Tue 26-Mar-13 21:32:01

janey, I wouldn't complain about dual income families transferring their tax allowance and I don't know anyone who would tbh.

Sahm don't spend all their time comparing their lot to that of wohm and feeling hard done by, but we would like not to be financially disadvantaged for a lifestyle choice which is what happens if you have one hrt payer in the family and one sahp. That's not the same as expecting money for looking after our own dc (again, no one I know would see that as reasonable), but we would like to be on a level playing field. The cb fiasco does illustrate that sahp are at a financial disadvantage.

Kazooblue Tue 26-Mar-13 21:32:54

And what Ihate said-with bells on!

janey68 Tue 26-Mar-13 21:34:43

Ok- genuine question here.
If tax allowances were made transferable, Mrs
A, who's a SAHM with a higher earning husband can transfer hers. Mrs B can do the same- her children are all grown up but she does voluntary work. Mrs C has grown up kids too but doesnt volunteer and spends her days lunching and at the gym, but never mind, that's between her and her breadwinner husband. Meanwhile Mr and Mrs D both earn and are going to juggle their allowance to pay the least tax possible.

Is this really going to make the SAHM who are feeling undervalued any better? Because reading the many threads on it, what's coming across as the major theme is that they want some sort of exclusive recognition. If they are given some advantage which is then available to WOHP too, then I honestly think we'd just have more of the same threads, saying they feel undervalued and unrecognised.

Id be interested in hearing what any economists have to say about how it would work in reality too- im just looking at it from the 'people' aspect in terms of how people perceive themselves, but god knows what impact it would have on the economy...

maisiejoe123 Tue 26-Mar-13 21:35:44

A company car is a perk with a lot of tax attached to it, its not 'free', you often only get it if you are putting the miles in.

Sounds Kazoo that you are pretty envious of your sister tbh....

Many SAHM need childcare - really what 50% perhaps? Why??

fedupofnamechanging Tue 26-Mar-13 21:37:50

Maisie, I would like to see sahp protected if their marriage breaks up and the working partner has benefitted, career wise from having a sah spouse. The government has a responsibility to ensure that maintenance orders are complied with. as things stand it is too easy for men (mostly) to retain all the financial advantage and the state does little to protect women.

I was answering the wider question of how sahm are discriminated against. It's not just about getting child care vouchers. Personally, I don't think a sahm needs them, but equally, I don't think two high earners need them either.

But somehow it's okay for the state to finance their lifestyle choice. The only people who should be getting child care vouchers are those who actually need them, unless as a country we are going to offer free childcare to anyone who requires it!

Kazooblue Tue 26-Mar-13 21:37:52

Heaven forbid that young children utterly miserable in childcare and mums pining for their dc should have help to be together.hmm

Childcare is not good for all children and families,are we supposed to just ignore that.

Kazooblue Tue 26-Mar-13 21:39:38

No Maisie not jealous,you never get those years back.I know how miserable leaving her children made my sister.

Kazooblue Tue 26-Mar-13 21:40:43

Never said 50% however many mums are carers or students.

maisiejoe123 Tue 26-Mar-13 21:41:49

Karma, actually I dont think the SAHP should be protected by the government due to her/him chosing to get together with someone. No one is forcing you to be with this man, have his children, give up work and then complain you would like some protection because you chose unwisely.

Its funny how we have 100% choice in our partners and when it goes wrong we want the 'government' to sort it out.

Kazooblue Tue 26-Mar-13 21:42:14

Many would like to go back to work eventually,training,courses etc.

fedupofnamechanging Tue 26-Mar-13 21:42:22

You are putting the miles in, because that's your job. If you are getting a company car, it doesn't cost you what it would if you had to use your own car or use public transport.

janey, I don't want an exclusive perk, but I don't want to be at a disadvantage.

I'd happily settle for scrapping the 40% tax rate across the board. I don't see that any govt has a right to take nearly half of what someone earns above a certain level.

And I think the economy would be just fine if the govt focussed it's attention on tax dodging big business and dealing with corruption within the financial industries.

maisiejoe123 Tue 26-Mar-13 21:42:46

Kazoo - you choose what is right for your children and I will chose what is right for mine.

Thank you!

mirry2 Tue 26-Mar-13 21:43:00

The tax allowance is for parents working outside the home, who have greater childcare expenses than sahm.What's wrong with that? This is a non argument.

fedupofnamechanging Tue 26-Mar-13 21:44:21

No maisie, I think the govt do have a responsibility to ensure that men pay for their children and fulfil their obligations. Why should high earning men be able to dodge that and keep all their money, then the state ends up paying for their kids.

Kazooblue Tue 26-Mar-13 21:44:55

Well Maisie many can't because sahp just get penalised and not helped.

ihategeorgeosborne Tue 26-Mar-13 21:45:10

It would make me feel considerably better if government policies were fair and not just pathetic soundbites promised into the far off distant future, in the hope that they might get elected again. Obviously, they have no chance of that but that's for another thread. I don't need or want child care vouchers. I stay at home and look after my children. Why would I? Equally, why should I be stripped of £200 a month in child benefit, when families on nearly twice our income keep all of theirs? Now they will have this nice little earner on top of their massive joint incomes and child benefit. Is it any wonder that families with a SAHP are getting a little bit pissed off to put it mildly when we are having our incomes reduced and told that it is fair, when it clearly is not.

janey68 Tue 26-Mar-13 21:46:03

(whispers)My children were very happy and thrived at their cm
and nursery. I expect someone who doesn't know them will pop up
in a minute to tell me different though smile

Kazooblue Tue 26-Mar-13 21:46:08

No it isn't Mirry because wealthy families(over 60k)shouldn't be getting it.

ihategeorgeosborne Tue 26-Mar-13 21:48:55

Also, agree with karma. Why should people pay 40% tax on earnings above 32k? They are paying the same percentage as people earning nearly 150k. How is that right? The government seem to think that 50% tax is too high for people earning over 150k, so how the hell can they justify 40% tax for people earning 32k.

Kazooblue Tue 26-Mar-13 21:49:08

Not all providers are good for children,not all children are happy in childcare and no provider is as good as a parent.

maisiejoe123 Tue 26-Mar-13 21:49:16

What has your choice of man got to do with the government? Chose wisely and then you wont be in that situation.

If you choose someone who shirks his responsibilities and insist on having children with them and become a SAHM, well you are really reducing your options. Why someone else should then be responsible for your error in judgement is confusing. Surely you knew what they were like before you lived with them, gave up work and had children....

ihategeorgeosborne Tue 26-Mar-13 21:50:53

Yes, if families with a single earner on 60k are too wealthy to receive child benefit. Can someone please explain how families earning loads and loads more are not too wealthy to receive a child care freebie? Genuinely interested.

maisiejoe123 Tue 26-Mar-13 21:51:06

I disagree Kazoo - there are very disadvanted children with very poor upbringings who are much better of outside of the family unit and to say no provider is as good as a parent - what all of them??

janey68 Tue 26-Mar-13 21:51:27

'Not all providers are good for children,not all children are happy in childcare and no provider is as good as a parent.'

A childcare provider isn't a parent and never replaces what the parents are and do, so that's something we agree on smile

Kazooblue Tue 26-Mar-13 21:52:47

And it's a shame many children have to go without either parent for often as long as 10 hours a day.

Kazooblue Tue 26-Mar-13 21:54:35

Maisie you're talking about a minority.Children in a normal,happy home would prefer/be better off with a parent(if that parent wanted to be there) than 10/6?hours a day in childcare.

ihategeorgeosborne Tue 26-Mar-13 21:55:21

Incidentally, my oldest dd was telling me once how so and so in her class always had x, y and z gadgets and why didn't she. I explained that both her parents worked. I told her that she could have more of these things if I was bringing home money too, but she would have to go to after school club and breakfast club. She told me point blank, that she was happy the way things were and she didn't want to do that. She has never asked me about having more 'stuff' since. I think that told me that in our situation, they prefer me to be at home.

Kazooblue Tue 26-Mar-13 21:56:51

Obviously if a family couldn't make ends meet then childcare would be preferable/necessary but to pretend somehow that childcare is desirable and children need it is wrong.

Parents have been parenting since time begun just fine

fedupofnamechanging Tue 26-Mar-13 21:57:25

maisie you are missing my point entirely. I think the govt should be responsible for ensuring that the men, themselves pay proper maintenance for their dc and former spouse. As things stand the govt doesn't enforce this and as a consequence you have many women relying on benefits who otherwise wouldn't be.

As an aside, generally women think they have chosen well. Few women think 'This man is a complete fuckwit - I know, I'll have a bunch of kids with him'.

Goldenbear Tue 26-Mar-13 21:58:43

Mirry, I think it is very much evident that it isn't a 'non argument'.

janey68 Tue 26-Mar-13 21:58:47

For someone supposedly happy with your lot kazoo, you seem to be worrying an awful lot about unknown children who are supposedly pining away in day orphanages. You know your own children and what's best for them. You don't know anyone else's.

If I were being cynical I might suggest you seem to have a desire to want to undermine WOHP... but then that would be a strangely unpleasant thing to do wouldn't it...

Kazooblue Tue 26-Mar-13 21:59:03

Ihate we had the same conversation re gadgets,holidays,house size,horseriiding etc.All 3 hated the idea.

At least it eradicates nagging for things.grin

ihategeorgeosborne Tue 26-Mar-13 22:00:11

Yes, I do laugh about choosing a 'responsible' spouse. Surely everyone does this to the best of their knowledge. Obviously, none of us can see into the future and what might happen in life. How can anyone possibly know?

Kazooblue Tue 26-Mar-13 22:00:47

Janey. I do,I was a teacher. I care about children.

I don't think we've even begun to see the fallout yet re this issue.Behaviour in schools,behaviour in boys,depression in teenagers.I guess only time will tell.

anotheryearolder Tue 26-Mar-13 22:00:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

scottishmummy Tue 26-Mar-13 22:01:22

Housewifery is post war affectation.the norm before was women and children worked
Factories and education acts put tariffs on working day,and loosely tried to compel children out workplace
Don't kid yourself on that housewifery is the norm for isn't now,and in past only v rich women were at home with governess who did the childcare

maisiejoe123 Tue 26-Mar-13 22:03:21

So now ALL children would be better off with a non working parent.. And exactly how would that work? You are looking at this as blue sky (or from your own set of circumstances).

40 years ago marriages lasted (rightly or wrongly tbh). Now they dont. We need to ensure that society moves with this. Paying and chasing endless numbers of men to get them to pay maintenance/support etc will have to be funded by someone and it is unlikely to be the SAHP.

anotheryearolder Tue 26-Mar-13 22:04:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Kazooblue Tue 26-Mar-13 22:04:47

No it's arguing the point that facilitating mothers who want to be at home with their dc and dc who want to be at home instead of at childcare is important and should be looked at.

Ignoring that parents/kids want/need this to shelter wp's feelings is wrong.

Kazooblue Tue 26-Mar-13 22:05:42

No another and going to work doesn't make you a more deserving citizen.

janey68 Tue 26-Mar-13 22:06:54

'I don't think we've even begun to see the fallout yet re this issue.Behaviour in schools,behaviour in boys,depression in teenagers.'

You can barely disguise your hope kazoo!!

You'd be very disappointed with my children who have turned out fine, despite going to a loving childminder old witch, and then a fabulous nursery orphanage. They are very happy, emotionally in tune and don't nag for gadgets either. Oh wait... you're going to tell me in a moment that I'm not out of the woods yet, they may turn bad at age 40 or something. grin

maisiejoe123 Tue 26-Mar-13 22:07:24

Its funny how Kazoo and a few others are saying that when the children asked them for the latest gagets and explained that due to them not working they couldnt afford them they went skipping off merrily...

Of course they would say that whether it was true or not. It backs up their argument that their children really really want them at home and no gaget in the world is now necessary.

anotheryearolder Tue 26-Mar-13 22:07:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Kazooblue Tue 26-Mar-13 22:07:46


Kazooblue Tue 26-Mar-13 22:09:40

Maisie compared to the security of being at home with a parent no no gadget is necessary.Oh wait you're going to tell me they needan Ipad each now.

maisiejoe123 Tue 26-Mar-13 22:11:15

Kazoo - now you are just being silly. My teenage DS at BOARDING school (what on earth does that make me!) is not depressed and his behaviour at school is fine. Why wouldnt it be? Sorry, I forgot, he has 'childcare' and I am a worse mother than you....

And as others have said on this thread. Stop bashing the working parents.

fedupofnamechanging Tue 26-Mar-13 22:11:45

Actually mine said 'go back to work and buy me an ipad', but in years to come they might appreciate that I was able to go to their school plays instead (couldn't have done this in my former job, because I was teaching and couldn't book time off).

Goldenbear Tue 26-Mar-13 22:12:51

anotheryearolder, that wasn't even my parents' experience of childhood in the 50's, early 60's, indeed, by all accounts it wasn't the experience of their friends either. I was born in the 70's and grew up in the 80's, I don't ever recall anyone being told to piss off until tea time. I 'm sorry but I don't think it was the norm.

maisiejoe123 Tue 26-Mar-13 22:12:51

What do you mean security of being at home? I live at the home too! Also, do you go to school with your children? It sounds as though they are with you day and night!

ihategeorgeosborne Tue 26-Mar-13 22:13:28

I think we're going off at a tangent now. My view is that both parents working is fine if that works for the couple. One parent working is fine if that also works for the couple. What I think, most people with SAHP are fed up with is the governments inference that tax breaks should be given to working parents over and above SAHP. This is not to say that I think SAHP should need child care relief, just that they shouldn't be penalised through measures such as unfair removal of child benefit and more tax. Both lots of families should have the same financial incentives to make their own choices.

candyandyoga Tue 26-Mar-13 22:14:47

Add message | Report | Message poster Aldwick Mon 25-Mar-13 19:04:28
What I don't understand is why we live in such an anti SAHM society not least when there aren't enough jobs out there at the moment for anyone.

I am prepared to be flamed but personally I do think it's important for children to have a parent at home especially for babies who need a secure attachment figure but even for older children.
Both my parents worked and I was so jealous of my friends whose mums picked them up every day, were able to come into school to read, attend assemblies etc. and who weren't sent into school feeling really ill some days because both parents had meetings they couldn't miss.

Even teenagers need someone to at least have a vague idea of where they are after school, someone to make sure they eat something decent , see enough of them to pick up on the warning signs that all isn't well.

I'm also very aware of how stressed a lot of my friends who work full time and have small children are. It is not family friendly for parents to be cramming in all the chores/ house admin etc. after work and at the weekends but it is getting harder and harder to be a SAHM.

I know my opinion isn't popular and I do understand a lot of people have no choice but to continue to work full time in this current economic climate but seriously, sometimes, why have children if you are barely going to see them and why doesn't the government recognise the value of having a few parents at home who can help out with various community things?

I genuinely worry that we're in danger of raising a generation who are institutionalised going first to nursery then to school with breakfast club and after school club with no continuity of care and few chances just to kick back and relax at home.

...this is a good, spot on post.

Kazooblue Tue 26-Mar-13 22:14:52

Exactly I hate,not hard to understand.

candyandyoga Tue 26-Mar-13 22:15:57

Absolutely ihategeorge it is disgusting that sahm are penalised for staying at home.

ihategeorgeosborne Tue 26-Mar-13 22:16:28

maisiejo, you say that children of SAHP will not complain about not getting gadgets. In the same way, do you think they would not also complain about not having one parent at home? Just making the point that both are valid surely. Also my Dh went to boarding school and hated it. He's told me many times that he doesn't understand why his parents didn't want him. This is a grown man. His parents have no idea of course. They think he loved it. He didn't want to hurt their feelings.

Kazooblue Tue 26-Mar-13 22:17:27

Candy kids must also be knackered by the time they get home and eat,when do they do homework,play outside etc?

scottishmummy Tue 26-Mar-13 22:18:37

Red can write this up as as the housewifes nodding at least they don't outsource
Maybe do a cliched comparison ms avaricious and ms precious moments
Interview a martyr mum who cuts own hair,gave up career,and lives off her wage slave

Goldenbear Tue 26-Mar-13 22:19:00

Maisie, you have been very dismissive of SAHPs lets face it- Mothers, recalling your recent experience of interviewing some of them and how 'entitled' a lot of them came across as. I hardly think are in a position to play victim given those and other remarks.

anotheryearolder Tue 26-Mar-13 22:19:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ihategeorgeosborne Tue 26-Mar-13 22:19:42

There seems to be a lot of talk on here about bashing parents who both work. I am distinctly seeing the opposite.

Kazooblue Tue 26-Mar-13 22:20:46

I'm off to bed,got shedloads to do tomorrow,obviously in between the continuous latte drinking and manicures.hmm

janey68 Tue 26-Mar-13 22:21:41

Oh dear, it's gone the way of all threads....

SAHM = fine
WOHM = fine

Some parents good, some poor. How your children turn out is to do with parenting not whether the parents work or not.

Anyone who tries to make out that one whole subgroup of children, whether they are children of SAHP or WOHP are going to turn out 'less well' (depressed, behaviour problems etc) is clearly transferring their own feelings about their situation onto another group of people. People who are content with their own life generally don't need to bash others.

anotheryearolder Tue 26-Mar-13 22:24:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

maisiejoe123 Tue 26-Mar-13 22:24:39

Oh God - now I have sent my child to boarding school, he hates it and will never tell me as he doesnt want to hurt my feelings.

And yes, I did have experience of interviewing a few SAHM's who were looking to get back into the marketplace. Why does my experience/opinions matter less than yours?

maisiejoe123 Tue 26-Mar-13 22:27:33

Janey, exactly! Honestly all this what works for me will work for you marklarky!

Why a certain group of children are as happy as larry and the rest (with working parents) arent is just nonsense

ihategeorgeosborne Tue 26-Mar-13 22:29:53

maisiejo, was just saying how it was for my dh at boarding school. I'm off now, you sound thoroughly unpleasant tbh and I'm tired of having to justify myself to you. You pick arguments based on your views and opinions and when someone turns it round the other way, you don't want to know. Night!

Viviennemary Tue 26-Mar-13 22:31:20

I think people must do what suits them. But over the last few weeks I have notice this martyr stuff in articles about SAHM's. Poor us. We're so downtrodden and not appreciated. And it's sooooooo difficult to get back into the workplace. Well I'm sure you are appreciated by your family. It's getting more than a bit annoying.

ihategeorgeosborne Tue 26-Mar-13 22:36:04

Oh, one more thing maisiejo, maybe the myriad of SAHM you interviewed, decided that they wouldn't want to work for someone like you. After all, an interview is a two way thing.

partTimeWorker Tue 26-Mar-13 22:37:29

When I went back to work (part-time) after (most of) my maternity leave, my DH took the remainder of the year's allowance and then went part-time too; so we both work 3 days, and both care for our son 2 days, with one day of nursery to cover the day we both work.

This seems like the ideal solution to us - both get to spend time with our son, both keep our careers going. I wish it were easier for more couples, if they want to, to both work part time and both do childcare. But I think that society needs to change a lot, to regard part-time working as a suitable option, for men and women, to consider childcare something both men and women can/ want to do. (I don't know if its a reflection of DHs workplace, or the fact that he is a man - very hard to draw conclusions from 1 person - but he has had far more stick than me - suggestions that he is unmanly for wanting to care for his child, a shirker for wanting to go part-time, etc.).

Now I'm being made redundant - company folding - and all the roles I am likely to want to apply for are full-time. We had the perfect solution (for us) and its only lasted a few months. sad

I'm not sure where this ramble is taking me - except to say that I think SAH-ing is a viable/ desirable option for some, as working full-time is for others, but I wish there were more chances for both parents to spend time with their Dc(s) and work - and that the whole discussion about children, childcare, childcare costs, how much of a salary is 'eaten up' by childcare costs, the effect of nurseries on children, the effect on work, the effect on careers and the choices people make about all of these wasn't always portrayed as being about 'mothers', but instead was about 'parents'.

scottishmummy Tue 26-Mar-13 22:38:36

Red might want to do a housewifes have spoken quiz. The why have children if
A)you never get to see them
B)work all hours for materialistic gain and useless iPad.mere baubles
C)Didn't marry well enough to be nice gerl with a man who'll work to keep you

janey68 Tue 26-Mar-13 22:43:26

partimeworker: That's a shame that it's going pear shaped so soon after finding such a great solution. You talk a lot of sense and the crucial thing is about working together as parents to find a solution you are both happy with, and then regularly 'revisiting' the situation to ensure things are working smoothly. I think it's also important to remember that things change, and what may be good at one point in time may not be viable or good at another. I'm sure even if there is a temporary hiccup in your plans, you'll be able to work things out with such a positive approach

tilder Tue 26-Mar-13 22:44:28

I know Vivienne. I don't know any such martyrs in rl, although I do know a lot of sahp.

By the way, cb stops for all families where one parent earns above the threshold. That includes families where both parents work too. I know there are some families where the breadwinner is very controlling of the purse strings and it maybe the only money the sahp receives in their name, but that is not the majority. Am really not sure why for most cases a sahp would feel the loss more than a working parent.

Isn't this thread supposed to be about returning to work not making inflammatory and unsubstantiated remarks about childcare and a desire not to work?

Goldenbear Tue 26-Mar-13 22:46:26

Maisie, you described your 'experience' of interviewing SAHMs for a part time post and implied that they were ALL lacking in some way or entitled. You attributed these faults to their SAH status. When in reality it has nothing to do with that and if you where recruiting fairly and objectively their SAH role would be an irrelevance. That is poor recruitment practice because you are exhibiting some kind of bias. SAHP, returning to work after a few years out haven't a hope in hell if shoddy recruitment and selection practices like that are used!

Goldenbear Tue 26-Mar-13 22:47:02

Were not 'where'

anotheryearolder Tue 26-Mar-13 22:52:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MoYerBoat Tue 26-Mar-13 22:55:15

Scottishmummy - you are a daft apath smile

scottishmummy Tue 26-Mar-13 23:03:38

aye mo,well I've never married,I'm avaricious husk and kids go mrs hannigans nursery
so are you choosing A,B Or C

partTimeWorker Tue 26-Mar-13 23:05:58

Thanks anotheryearolder and janey68 - I am just really sad about it at the moment, but hopefully I will manage to find something that suits us all.

I should add that DH says that the comments he got about going part time from colleagues weren't too bad/ too many (and some were envious); point is he got some negativity and I got none.

fedupofnamechanging Tue 26-Mar-13 23:16:32

I think that even if we end up with a situation where men can work part time/take parental leave (in the same way as women) etc, there will still be a lot of jobs where this is not tolerated/encouraged and one parent will still end up working in a full on role while the other stays home to facilitate this. the only change will be that more women will be doing the full on role, while more men will be doing the sah one.

It will make women feel less disadvantaged in the workplace, but in terms of economic benefit to a sahp, it will be much the same.

ihategeorgeosborne Tue 26-Mar-13 23:27:03

I just found this article while perusing through the headlines of tomorrows papers. Thought some of you might be interested.

Wow, I have been amazed by how much I have read over the last few days everywhere on the SAHM argument. There are a lot of very angry people out there!
I am a SAHM and while I don't feel discriminated against, I am mightily hacked off about the ridiculous way in which the government has attempted to fix all the benefit problems across the board. I am sure cb won't exist for much longer, fine, but how can currently taxing ours back from my DH be the best way to go? I have no faith in our tax system. Would it not be fairer to pay cb for each child up until age 5?
I can't decide if the government is just incompetent or if it's a cynical divide and conquer policy, come up with random figures, reasons and thresholds for cutting all benefits and hope there won't be any joined up protest for it.....
I am happy being a SAHM. I didn't have a career, I have had jobs and although I was made redundant at the end of my maternity leave so I did not have the opportunity to go back, none of those pre-child jobs would have been important enough to go back to for me. Yes, we have given up a lot and no, I do not have a lifestyle of ease and luxury, but I love that I could make the choice. And I know that I am so lucky to have the luxury of a choice. It's so sad that so many parents don't have the opportunity of that choice. The ideal would be to support those who want to work while also supporting those who want to stay at home. It will never happen and until then, we can all just bicker amongst ourselves about who is the most wrong in their parenting choices.....

Misty9 Wed 27-Mar-13 00:06:12

This is a topic very close to our family at the moment - and as this thread hasn't descended into silliness/insult swapping yet I thought I'd post my tuppence worth. I'm a sahm to our 18mo ds, partly through choice and partly because there are no jobs in my field at the moment. A field I spent nearly ten years training to qualify and haven't actually worked in (as a qualified) since having ds just after.

I also believe that ideally (and only when the parent wants to, because a depressed sahp is the worst option for any child, though I know some depressed parents have no other option but to be the main carer) babies and toddlers do best with a parent at home looking after them. That doesn't mean that wohp are doing wrong by their children - just that they're doing the best they can given the circumstances. As we all try to do. I was shocked at how many of my parent friends have had flexible working refused (I naively thought it was a right to have it, not just to request it) and think the attitude towards part time working is a massive part of our problem in this country. That and the culture of only women requesting it. I wholeheartedly agree with aldwick's early post, and was pleasantly surprised to see such sentiments expressed on this forum.

For me the main issue is not a need to feel validated for what I do as a sahm, but other people's attitude that looking after a child full time is 'opting out of work for a few years' (or words to that effect as posted by someone up thread). I am not opting out of working - I am doing a job I personally consider to be more important right now. And yes, some acknowledgment of that by the government would be nice.

I highly recommend a read of 'shattered' by Rebecca Asher. Lots of research about this very topic, and good coverage of the 'dads' aspect too.
As for me, I think I'll continue to look for work (pt) and am very fortunate to not financially need to at the moment (would be royally screwed if it was financially necessary) but I am very concerned about the effect of a long absence on my cv.

HappyMummyOfOne Wed 27-Mar-13 07:51:24

If SAHP's need validation it should come from their spouse not the government, presuming of course the spouse was in full agreement as some SAHPs I have seen told their DHs they were being one regardless.

The Tories are trying to reverse the situation we currently have where Labour threw money at people for not working. All the changes to policies have been to ensure working pays as we need as many people as possible to contribute to the pot. Therefore giving free childcare to parents who dont work doesnt fit with that message hence the change.

SAHP have their pension contributions paid for them, if they want payment then that comes from working not the state. We dont need to pay people for their lifestyle choices. Choosing not to work then throwing a hissy fit about not getting handed money by the the state in the guise of "validation" is daft.

FasterStronger Wed 27-Mar-13 07:53:19

but CB does not discriminate against SAHP.

One WOHP and one SAHP earn one salary of 35k. they get CB.
One WOHP and one SAHP earn one salary of 65k. they dont get CB.

now if the SAHP now starts paid employment, nothing changes (unless they start earning over 60k) - so the govt is neither incentivising or disincentivising that family to have a SAHP.

of course you can always pick and choose numbers that you don't think are fair, comparing yours with another family, but everyone can do that all the time and tis pointless.

fedupofnamechanging Wed 27-Mar-13 08:03:13

But happy, high earners in a household with a sahp, pay more tax than dual earners on the same combined salary. How is that fair or of benefit to society? Also dual earners on low wages get topped up by the state because they often don't get a living wage. This is just the govt supporting business by subsiding their wage bill. Of course this is paid for by people like my dh, taxed at 40% and not in receipt of cb.

If sah is a lifestyle choice, so is working in a highly paid job that you don't need in order to survive. Am not sure why it is okay to subsidise their child care bill.

FasterStronger Wed 27-Mar-13 08:10:40

But happy, high earners in a household with a sahp, pay more tax than dual earners on the same combined salary

but high earners pay a higher rate of tax than low earners. this is nothing to do with SAH/WOH. dual earner family are each paying less tax because they each earn less, not because of some special allowance for families where both WOH.

if one of the 30k per year couple stopped working to SAH, the others tax rate would not change. not would their CB entitlement.

so WOH/SAH does not affect tax rates or CB entitlement.

wordfactory Wed 27-Mar-13 08:12:19

Well karma it's a matter of pure economics, innit?

The more high earners the better vis a vis the country's tax take.

Let's be honest, a small number of tax payers carry the tax burden. So we need to increase their numbers. We know that many women drop out of that category post DC, so any means of encouraging them to stay in the work force means more lucre for the state to spend on public services.

A small bit of government help might result in a tenfold repayment.

Almost everyone is discriminated in some way, shape or form. Some groups are discriminated against more than others. Some people just always see discrimination when it doesn't apply to them.

Single people can feel discriminated against because they get clobbered for single supplements on holidays and weekends away. Those without kids can feel discriminated against because they pay all their taxes but get far less back than those with kids.

It's never going to be perfect, sadly.

fedupofnamechanging Wed 27-Mar-13 08:22:20

But I lose cb on the basis of my dh's wage, whereas families with the same income get to keep theirs. Either we are viewed ans taxed as individuals or we aren't. Seems the govt stack the odds to favour whatever group is currently in favour. Still don't see why my dh should pay for everything and get nothing back, when families with higher income keep cb and get child care paid for

FasterStronger Wed 27-Mar-13 08:31:32

Still don't see why my dh should pay for everything and get nothing back

you get pension credits which the working couple wont get.

wordfactory Wed 27-Mar-13 08:33:37

What on earth do you mean, you don't get anyhting back?

Do you not use the NHS? Do your DC not go to school? If your house was on fire would you call 999?

fedupofnamechanging Wed 27-Mar-13 08:39:58

I am talking about in taxation terms As for tax credits, I view those as being paid for by my dh and of limited worth, given that the eligibility age of pensions continues to rise and there is no guarantee I will ever receive it.

fedupofnamechanging Wed 27-Mar-13 08:40:30

Meant pension credits, not tax credits.

FasterStronger Wed 27-Mar-13 08:44:37

karma - but everyone else pays NI and has no guarantee of an actual pension. you are no different.

and a couple where both earn over 60k could view they have paid doubly for CB but don't get any. again SAH/WOH again has NO effect.

janey68 Wed 27-Mar-13 08:45:33

I think it's been explained really well on here,.
I don't this is an issue of anyone not understanding- its just that people
Don't agree. That's doesnt equal discrimination against SAHM mums though.

Karma- your DH earns over the threshold so you lose CB. If you go out and get a job tomorrow, you still won't be paid CB. Therefore its not a decision based on SAHM.

I agree with the point that the govt has a massive task trying to reverse decisions made by previous govt which really disincentivised people from working. The govt is unashamedly encouraging people to work because that's what generates money. That doesn't mean SAHM are 'forced' into the workplace, if you want to stay at home and can afford to then fine, twas ever thus.

janey68 Wed 27-Mar-13 08:54:24

As for pensions, don't start me on those.. NI contributions disappear out of my wages and from next month my occupational pension contributions increase massively... Does this mean I'll get more pension at the end? - er, no. The pension deal remains the same, I just have to pay more in to get the deal I signed up for. And as for state pension, well that couple of hundred quid continues to go out of my pay packet each month and god knows whether they'll be any state pension left by the time I retire! Does that mean I'll get a refund for all the tens of thousands I've paid in over a lifetime- nope, it doesn't work that way

Believe me, you don't have to look very far to find things that seem
Unfair when you're working, but life doesn't work that way does it- you pay into the pot regardless of what you take out. I've also mentioned before that I have never been in hospital, didn't even have my babies there so I cost the NHS the minimum amount through pregnancy and childbirth- does that mean I get some sort of payback? - of course not

It's possible to see 'injustices' everywhere If you look at your own personal circumstances rather than the bigger picture

rainrainandmorerain Wed 27-Mar-13 09:01:15

Misty9 - Rebecca Asher's book 'Shattered' is excellent, I agree. Although her starting point was that of a mum who found mat leave v tough and was relieved to go back to work after a year (think it was a year) - she picks apart the 'choices' available to women re work and family, and how dads' experience is so different.

She's also good on why women waste time attacking each other and losing sight of the bigger picture in terms of parenthood/money/work.

janey68 Wed 27-Mar-13 09:38:02

Rain- I haven't read that book but my theory as to why so many women end up attacking eachother is quite simple. We all love our own children so much, and our one core desire is to see them grow up healthy, happy fulfilled and feeling in charge of their own life. We invest so much in them that it's very difficult to accept that we have far less control over their destiny than we think. All those different debates- bf or ff, attachment parenting or not, working or not, childminder or nursery, which school... I think there's a real pressure to feel that if we nurture our children in the most approved manner (according to whichever trend is in fashion at the time!) then they will grow up to be happier, more successful etc
The fact is, there are so many different ways of doing things and it's sometimes hard to accept that what we do may not make the impact we like to think.

I think parents should try to enter into parenting doing their best (obviously) but not assuming that any particular course of action, or any particular sacrifice, will necessarily bring about a particular result. And that's an issue which cuts across WOHP and SAHP. Imagine a working parent thinking "I've worked hard all these years to provide a better life for you"... It's parallel really with a SAHP thinking "I sacrificed my career to provide a better life for you..."!!! I feel very strongly that decisions about working or not need to be based on what the whole family (and that includes dad) feels is right for that individual family at that time. Not because you are expecting some sort of pay back from your children.

I am fortunate: my two children are healthy, happy and settled. Do I think this is because I'm a WOHM? No. I think they would be the same if I were a SAHM. A lot of it is down to personality, genes, and of course ensuring the key adults in their lives are caring etc

FWIW my mum was a traditional SAHM in the 60/70s and my dad worked long hours so we saw less of him, and mum did 99% of the domestic tasks. I feel closer to my dad than I do to my mum. Probably because personality and a huge number of other variables come into play rather than a black and white equation.

Sorry- went off piste a bit there, but was interested in the book rainrain mentioned

mam29 Wed 27-Mar-13 09:46:05

found this in telegraph.

figures come from oecd.

The OECD, which brings together the governments of the world’s advanced economies, studied the taxes on wages in its 32 member countries. It studied the four typical household groups – single people earning the average wage, a single parent with two children earning two thirds of the average, a one-earner couple with two children on the average wage and a two-earner couple with two children.

The report compared tax take today with figures from 2009 and 2000.

In Britain, the single parent had seen the biggest fall in tax from 15 per cent of their earnings in 2000 to 8.4 per cent, largely because of the tax credit system. The single person’s tax rate fell from 32.6 per cent to 32.3 per cent.

The two-earner couple’s tax rate fell from 28.3 per cent to 28 per cent now.

However, the single-earner couple’s tax rate rose from 27.8 per cent in 2000 to 27.9 per cent. They have also seen a large rise in taxes since 2009 – far outstripping the increase for the other groups. This is because of the reduction in child benefit and changes to tax credits.

Traditional British families pay an average of 1.7 percentage points more tax than the international average – equivalent to £170 additional tax annually for every £10,000 they earn.

In America, a family earning twice the average wage pays only 25.6 per cent in tax – 13 percentage points less than in this country. Even wealthy traditional family units in Germany fare better.

The study prompted renewed calls from Conservative MPs for the Coalition to do more to support stay-at-home mothers. Several ministers, including Iain Duncan Smith, the Work and Pensions Secretary, are becoming increasingly exasperated at the failure to introduce the tax break for married couples.

Nick de Bois, the Conservative MP for Enfield North, said: “The instincts of the Conservatives is to support families, including through the tax system. These figures show that we need to do more to recognise those families in future Budgets. A good start would be transferable tax allowances.” Campaigners have pointed out that Britain is one of the few countries in the world not to
recognise marriage in the tax system

Last week, the Coalition angered stay-at-home mothers by changing its system of support for child care to exclude those not returning to work.

A stay-at-home mother, Laura Perrins, who confronted Mr Clegg on the issue, said on Tuesday night: “It is wrong for the Government to be stacking the economic incentive against a mum who may want to stay at home and look after her children. They are incentivising mums to go out to work. Whether she decides to go to work full time or part time is a private decision. Stay-at-home mothers have a contribution to society that you are not able to measure on GDP figures.”

Last week, speaking to The Daily Telegraph, Danny Alexander, the chief secretary to the Treasury, defended the child care plans, saying it was economically beneficial for mothers to return to the workplace.

On Tuesday night, a Downing Street spokesman appeared to play down the importance of mothers staying at home by saying the system was designed to help those who want to “work hard and get on”. He added: “The UK’s system of individual taxation provides stronger work incentives than the tax systems of many other OECD countries.”

Most sahm mums worked and paid tax prior to leave.

Some higher earner single incomes pay more tax than 2basic rate tax payers.

2basic rate tax payers can get more in befenefits due to their low earnings that tax paid so their contribution tax is negative one if state has to pay 70%of their childcare to allow then to go work in nmw job for huge company , they get cheap labour and state subsidises low earners.

I would much rather have seen child benefit capped at 2kids and I have 3.

Even if more affluent families husbands can be abusive an controlling.

Im a sahm mum not through choice if I had capability of highre earnings and family nearby I would have stayed as working mum.

The new changes dont benefit or incentivise middle income mum to go out find work because

both incomes need to be over 10k I know a lot of part time working mums and pro rata or min wage they be under than threshold.

But because their partner is deemed to earn too much they possibly got child benefit taken away, wont be eligible for new 1200 per child as under 10k but wont be eligible for tax credits once again because their partner earns too much.

worked out on old salary of 20k under new system childcare for 3 i be £1600 worse off by working and thats not even including commuting costs.That was just gross income -gross childcare.

I think people need to stop judging each other.

not every sahm is lazy and being subsidized by the state.

That most time its number crunching so if dads lower paid then sometimes he choses to stay at home.

They need to take a good look at childcare provision across the country as its very uneven.

I was shocked to discover that 3hour session at my local preschool is less than 4quid same amont time in south east essex, lomdon, kent is 14-16quid!

Not every state school has breckfast club or after school club.

Not every area has aqdequate provision on holiday cover and state school holidays 14weeks a year plus inset days not even adding in sickness , bad weather days then thats alot for working parent to coveras most get 6weeks a year so have great sympathy for single working parents.

It smacks to me of stupidy they want all the gains without the investment or checking out the provision.

Lower the rations of childcare wont bring down the costs or increase he quality.

Its bit like the bedroom tax which in principle I agree with but disagree with execution.

If theres no smaller social homes for them to downsize to then what choices do they have?
They not having mass building of social housing like they need to be.

Feel the whole childcares similar analogy of the provisions not there.

Or the costs prohibitive.

then what choice does the sahm have.

I hate the way working parents and sahm parents been pitted against each other.

we all crunch the numbers look at provison and the jobs incomes we have and make choice accordingly who am I to judge those at work but who are they to judge me.

I think in employment when went back fultime after maternity i felt discriminated against.

I cant do my old role part time.

I cant afford to retrain

so at moment im stuck at home trying to be self employed and full time carer to 2 under 4s.

I love them have good days and bad.

I have enabled husband to move companies and possibly inline for promotion his salary has increased but so has cost of living and we lost £40 a month tax credits last april.

I dont think its the financial stuff that sahm are most peeved about although the wealthy getting more is unfair its the negative use of language.

the whole we support those who want to work hard and get on and when questioned about sahm mums they have no answer.

Britain’s genius policy excludes 1.2 million stay-at-home parents. And to make matters worse, the PM had some very choice words for SAH mums and dads. Good ole’ Cameron’s official spokesman (who will probably be unemployed after all of this — just sayin’!) responded to a comment by press asking if the Prime Minister was concerned that the vouchers penalized SAHMs. And the official spokesman responded on behalf of the PM that the measures were “very important as part of supporting those who want to work hard and to get on.” Uh, sorry — but can you explain again how SAHM or SAHD’s are not working hard? And not getting on? ‘Cause to be honest, I’m a little confused.

But here’s the real kicker — the press continued with questions, asking whether or not Mr. Cameron “believed that stay-at-home parents were less in need of state help than working parents.” The spokesman, who officially dug his own grave with this response, said that the Prime Minister wanted to support “aspiration.” AGAIN — SO CONFUSED. How are SAH parents not aspiring?

Never fear! The insults just kept on comin’. The spokesman (can this guy stop talking already?!) added, “The announcement is very specifically focusing on helping those who want to work hard and face the very high child care costs.” He then said that the Prime Minister stressed that the Coalition wants to direct its help at parents “who want to go out to work.”

I mean do they not have half a brain to consider a sahm mums reaction to this?

Dont know % of sahm thse days guess we dwindlining numbers and not as powerful as greay bote but guess what being at home I can easily go polling station and vote them out thats if dident hate labour so much.

Rock and hard place springs to mind.

Im so dissaapointed in them I dont think

we all in this together
The word big society long forgotton volunatry work is worthless I guess as doesnt pay the tax man!

Maybe im living in fairy land but would love to see all parents working or sahm campaign for fairness in tax system and greater support towards working parents.

Lot of these changes are unfair and we should fight them.

Im happy to stand up and be counted say thsi childcare change is
unfair to working mums and student mums and im neither of those groups.

Im also happy to say it disadvantes lower earners and my husbands a middle earner.

I dont just care about my old self interest.

At end of day its not about money at stake its our children in their botched policies will affect kids.

I dont see why wealthy oaps cant ease some of burden.

wordfactory Wed 27-Mar-13 09:46:24

karma I wonder how much your DH is paying in tax that he apparently is covering everything wink.

scottishmummy Wed 27-Mar-13 09:54:27

If a housewife need validation sort yourself out dont Expect govt to magic a validation potion

IceBergJam Wed 27-Mar-13 09:55:34

I am loving Janey's posts, and could not agree more.

Ultimately people need to own their choices.

mindosa Wed 27-Mar-13 10:03:54

No I don't believe that they are discriminated against, but if you choose to stay home, you should not do so relying on state benefits.

maisiejoe123 Wed 27-Mar-13 10:05:50

It is strange how others are considering that someone else i.e DH are paying their share of tax too....

Tax doesnt work like that, I rarely use the NHS or the state education system which is of course another debate completely. Can I get my money back because I am paying for others to use it who are perhaps not working? No, of course I cannot.

God forbid we start literally counting up what someone has contributed in tax over the years and then decide what they can have but many on this thread are saying that so and so has paid taxes and therefore they are entilted to claim etc etc.

Pensions go to everyone regardless of whether you have paid or not. This means that someone will be paying for others... Its how the system works.

fedupofnamechanging Wed 27-Mar-13 10:07:52

It's not about 'owning choices', it's about not being discriminated against for making those choices. As a hrt payer, dh gets no cb, tax credits for his family, but he and many like him will be contributing to the child care and cb costs of families whose income is higher than ours.

We either view people as individuals for tax or we don't. I have no independent income but am not viewed as separate when it comes to benefits. I don't actually think that's wrong, but by the same token family income should be considered across the board.

fedupofnamechanging Wed 27-Mar-13 10:11:58

The way things are going maisie, I don't think it's a leap for the govt to soon say only direct tax payers can access benefits of any kind. It shouldn't be forgotten that dual earners can pay tax but get more back in tax credits etc than they pay in. Therefore, they are no more valuable, in an economic sense than the hrt payer with the sah spouse.

I don't want validation from the govt, I just want a level playing field.

FasterStronger Wed 27-Mar-13 10:15:08

karma - how much tax do you want to be transferable? what do you think would be fair?

maisiejoe123 Wed 27-Mar-13 10:23:23

You know I would NOT want to see us judged by how much we put in or have the ability to opt out. Having said that if I had that option it would really benefit our family income wise if we could do that but I know this isnt going to happen in a million years.

From an economic point of view it wouldnt work as I and my DH are effectively the sort of tax payers the gov likes. If they lost us economically who will pay for the services? I dont mean we are single handely paying everyone else's taxes (!!) but when someone doesnt work (and uses education, NHS etc) the money has to come from somewhere. Its not a dig at people who have chosen to be a SAHP but the money has to come from somewhere.

musicalfamily Wed 27-Mar-13 10:25:53

To a certain extent in this current climate I think we are all on a lose lose.

Unless you are fortunate enough to be a millionaire, then it has become harder and harder to have a reasonable standard of living without a dual income - this I think is a reality for many families.

The government wants us to consume to keep the economy running, but this inevitably means two incomes as if you have one income these days, unless it is in its 6 figures, you are not able to consume as much as you were 10 years ago - and this includes the costs of housing, which are astronomical.

maisiejoe123 Wed 27-Mar-13 10:26:43

The tax transferable idea. It would be a nightmare to administer.... What would be classed as a relationship? A marriage, a gay relationship, a relationship that is permament after say xx months. What would happen if the relationship broke down etc etc. Who would be informed? There would need to be 100's of extra gov people to manage this.

In my parents generation it was easier. Marriage was far more common, single parents were not as common.

janey68 Wed 27-Mar-13 10:26:55

Thank you iceberg smile

I also believe strongly it's about looking at the bigger picture.
If the govt are incentivising dual middle income families over the traditional set up of high earner father and SAHM then ideologically I have no problem with that. It's not that long since the pendulum was firmly swung the other way and women had very little choice but to find a husband and then remain at home. And god knows there are enough women on here bemoaning the fact that they've had to sacrifice their work life to support a high earning husband, doing 99% of child and home related stuff so they can facilitate his career. Is this really what you aspire to for your daughters? To have the pressure of university, career choice and then the pressure of giving it up to enable the husband to fly high? And do you want that pressure for your sons? hmm

I think incentivising families to have more equal roles is a step forward,
not backwards. If a husband doesn't have the pressure of having to earn the big bucks single handed, it will give him more time to do the childcare and home stuff which all these high flying husbands we keep hearing about aren't able to do.

If in a couple of generations it's more the norm for couples to be more equal, sharing parental leave, domestic things and earning, then RESULT! Of course, it won't be our generation which directly benefits which is why so many people don't welcome change- unless they are the direct beneficiary. But I would like to think my children and grandchildren have more balanced lives. And of course for those who still want the set up of a career husband and SAHM, well that's fine too, it's still a choice if you want it, but I think it will be progress if it's not just seen as the norm.

KarlosKKrinkelbeim Wed 27-Mar-13 10:28:01

If Laura Perrins had explained her concerns in less sexist language (ie referring to SAHPs not SAHMs) I might listen to her more sympathetically. As it is she seems to be saying the government should exped taxpayer's money to support a parenting choice (stay-at-home motherhood) in the absence of any clear evidence that this leads to better outcomes for children than the alternatives. She cannot seriously expect the government to make policy on this basis.

fedupofnamechanging Wed 27-Mar-13 10:31:10

maisie, because dh is a hrt payer, I do think that he is subsidising me to be a sahm, not the state. I can see that it would be viewed differently if we were topped up by tax credits. But then, there would be no need for tax credits etc if the govt forced big business to pay a living wage.

As for amount of transferable tax allowance, maybe 10k. Just enough to compensate a bit for the 40% tax rate. Although I would much prefer an end to the 40% tax rate, certainly at the level at which it is applied. Truthfully I don't have any hard and fast figures in my head regarding that - it's more the principle of it, really.

Just read start of thread (sorry, will catch up, but first thoughts ....)
Early on supperline said that SAHM's aren't discriminated against any more than people who've been unemployed shock And that "it's the gap in the CV that makes things difficult" Others have suggested that filling that "gap" with voluntary work or P/T work may help. But to me it shouldn't just be seen as a gap
It's time that's been very purposefully, busily, and positively spent on the important task of raising the next generation ! It's silly if being a parent governor or some other relatively small voluntary commitment is viewed so much more positively than what our main job (raising our DC's) has been.
It needs to be recognised, especially by employers and government, as a perfectly legitimate and respected endeavour in it's own right.

fedupofnamechanging Wed 27-Mar-13 10:33:38

janey, I would hope for that too, in the long term, but I honestly don't see it happening because it would require too much from companies who are invested in keeping things exactly as they are.

fedupofnamechanging Wed 27-Mar-13 10:37:31

I don't see transferable tax allowance as that hard. As for changing it if circumstances within a relationship alter - that happens all the time within the benefits system, or even from tax year to tax year, people's tax codes alter.

ihategeorgeosborne Wed 27-Mar-13 10:41:38

"The tax transferable idea. It would be a nightmare to administer.... What would be classed as a relationship? A marriage, a gay relationship, a relationship that is permament after say xx months. What would happen if the relationship broke down etc etc. Who would be informed? There would need to be 100's of extra gov people to manage this".

In the same way that we currently make it work for the benefit system. It works well in the rest of Europe, and they manage to define who a family is perfectly well.confused

janey68 Wed 27-Mar-13 10:42:00

People will be complaining in a minute that transferable parental leave discriminates against the higher earning husbands, because they can't afford the drop in earnings as easily as a dual middle income family!

Honestly, you have to wonder whether some women actually want greater equality. Yes, if you partner a guy who earns big bucks and your career pays second fiddle, then when you have kids you'll no doubt have more pressure to take the 12 months leave rather than split it between you, because his income will drop further. But it's a CHOICE isn't it? Swings and roundabouts.

Sorry NN should have been Snuppeline not supperline.
You can blame it on my poss mild dyslexia/ADD or that I hadn't had any breakfast yet !

iclaudius Wed 27-Mar-13 10:54:26

Sorry not had time to read thread
Yes I have felt discriminated against for a long time. Choosing to raise my kids has put me on the lowest rung of the socioeconomic ladder. Invisible to those in politics ....
Status wise - I have none
Tax brakes - none
Support - none
Respect - none
Acknowledgment - none
I don't regret it but have been BITTER and chucking things at the tv on budget day for many a long year

slug Wed 27-Mar-13 10:54:28

Women are discriminated against. Working women, SAHM, women who are SAHM then go back to work.

rainrainandmorerain Wed 27-Mar-13 10:55:48

janey68, nothing you have said really explains why MUMS attack each other. And why you just don't hear or see dads doing the same (or commenting much at all on parenting, in fact. It really would be worth you having a quick glance at Rebecca Asher's book - you don't have to read the whole thing, it is quite 'dip in and out-able' for specific areas.)

while I think an assumption that other parents are probably not idiots and probably do think about decisions affecting their children is v sensible, as is recognising that is is very rare to be completely in the picture about anyone's individual circumstances...

Your argument seems to be that parents shouldn't be making decisions based on what they think is best for their child. Or that they have some odd ideas about predicting outcomes that they shouldn't have.

That doesn't make sense. I do take into account, where I can, mainstream evidnce based info about what is best for my child. I chose to breastfeed - I know full well that it REDUCED the risk of some illnesses for my baby. I knew that did not mean it would GUARANTEE he would be illness free.

If there was a lot of decent evidence saying that babies were better off being looked after in fulltime childcare than by a parent, I'd be taking that into account. As it happens, there isn't - it tends to go the other way - so I am taking that into account. As damn inconvenient for my working life as it is! I know that encouraging my toddler to eat a healthy diet now won't GUARANTEE he is a healthy non obese adult. But it will give him a better chance than feeding him junk food. As a feminist and a mother, I want to be making responsible informed decisions wherever possible.

The argument that we can't possibly know how our children will ultimately turn out or be affected by our decisions doesn't mean that 'anything goes and therefore ALL choices are equally valid.' (it reminds me of my MIL's argument for not stopping smoking, which was that non smokers could get lung cancer too. Yeah - but they are a lot LESS likely to get it).

I do honestly think most parents understand they are dealing with possibilities and probabilities than guarantees.

Khaleese Wed 27-Mar-13 11:00:25

It appaling to remove CB when it was a universal credit. It was never intended as a benefit and should not have been cut.

I will be voting with my feet at the next election.

Divide and divide the coalition have done a good job, over the next few years CB will reduce and reduce until no one gets it.

janey68 Wed 27-Mar-13 11:03:09

I think if you read my post you'll see I certainly say nothing of the sort! Of Course parents should equip themselves with reliable knowledge, and do their best- but there are so many variable that deciding on a specific course of action does not come with guarantees of payback.
If you don't want to work, or do want to work, then fine either way. Just don't assume (as someone ludicrously did a few pages back) that your way is RIGHT and your children will be BETTER than everyone else's because you stand to be disappointed !!

rainrainandmorerain Wed 27-Mar-13 11:07:11

Oh - a basic point I keep meaning to make, and forgetting! is that I don't think looking after small children, and raising children in general, is regarded as a valued activity - by some women, plenty of men, and by society in general.

I don't know if this is because it has been traditionally a women's role, like most 'caring', and is therefore undervalued - or because it has been associated with 'home' rather than 'work.' (same point, really).

I have heard mums complaining about how much they pay for childcare when it is basically 'wiping noses and arses'. So god knows what they think of sahms.... I often see how much respect I get for the professional, paid work I do (nothing to do with kids) - but time spent with my dc is regarded as either a holiday, or by some as a tedious chore (obvs it can be both!). It is very rarely regarded as a skilled or valuable activity.

As a highly educated working mum, I find it utterly baffling that people can be si shortsighted about the raising and care of children, and devalue it so much. A scant hour reading anything on child psychology/language development would put paid to the idea it is just 'wiping noses and arses'.

tempnameswap Wed 27-Mar-13 11:09:22

Well said Juggling! Yes, the point is it isn't a CV gap. Why can't this society view SAHPing as valuable in itself? It has been said before but there is a complete lack of logic in the way we value childminding and yet not the same job done by a parent. Just because childminding is paid? Madness....

slatorre712 Wed 27-Mar-13 11:10:18

I think it is important for one parent to stay at home. One of the parents should be home with the kids in the early years before they start school. It is crucial to building the child parent bond and can have life long effects on all areas of the child's life if it is not developed properly.

But for that parent to be discriminated against when they are looking to join the workforce again is insane. Yes they missed a few years, however they do have the education and experience just the same. If anything they have more experience after being a SAHM in regards to market research and development.

BlackMaryJanes Wed 27-Mar-13 11:10:27

I feel discriminated against. Here's a convo I've had with an aquaintence:

Her: What do you do?
Me: I'm a SAHM.
Her: You're a kept woman then? [smurk on her face]

iclaudius Wed 27-Mar-13 11:13:18

Temp and juggling EXACTLY !!!!

FasterStronger Wed 27-Mar-13 11:21:34

Could posters pls link to research when they say SAH is important for child development.

scottishmummy Wed 27-Mar-13 11:26:58

If you don't work youre financially dependent upon waged partner you are kept woman.fact
Housewife is an arrangement were one waged person is solely responsible for earning
The economically inactive partner is financially dependent.

KarlosKKrinkelbeim Wed 27-Mar-13 11:33:30

I think there is discrimination in the way in which employers automatically regard experience gained as part of one's parenting role (whether you work outside that or no) as largely worthless. I work full time and in that capacity manage one person and mentor about half a dozen others. In my home life I manage a full-time employee as well as the people who work for me on my DS's programme of support (he has ASD). I actually get just as much people management experience in that capacity if not more than I do at work. but if I mentioned it in any kind of interview or promotion attempt I think I'd probably be laughed out of the room. Why?

fedupofnamechanging Wed 27-Mar-13 11:36:47

I'll bite, SM (not literally). Kept woman implies she sits on her arse all day and does nothing beside await the return of her lord and master. A sahp is working. They are looking after dc etc, so within their family unit have agreed a system to divide the labour - one person does out of house work, the other does in house work.

BlackMaryJanes Wed 27-Mar-13 11:37:04

FasterStronger read this. You will probably find it surprising.

IceBergJam Wed 27-Mar-13 11:38:53

I wonder if parenting is given less credit because the vast majority of the population do it ?

FasterStronger Wed 27-Mar-13 11:39:01

BlackM - that is a book by someone trying to sell their book. I doubt there is much money in - you know what, they will probably be fine, most people are.

maisiejoe123 Wed 27-Mar-13 11:39:46

Juggling made an interesting point regarding what companies need to consider. The problem is that they dont and why should they tbh. I have a close relative who is a SAHM. Her DH is a high earner. She has help around the house. Please dont flame me - but I do wonder what she does all day although she says she is very busy....

anotheryearolder Wed 27-Mar-13 11:44:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

scottishmummy Wed 27-Mar-13 11:45:07

So if housewife works with family,what work is being undertaken when kids at school?
Bottom line govt will reward working families as both wage earners contribute tax,ni
A housewife doesn't economically may individually benefit family but is economic inactivity

anotheryearolder Wed 27-Mar-13 11:46:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

iclaudius Wed 27-Mar-13 11:46:23

'Housewife' lovely

FlowersBlown Wed 27-Mar-13 11:47:29

Caring for children is low status work, whoever does it. Jobs in childcare often pay minimum wage and are considered suitable for teenagers. That probably is connected to the fact that it has traditionally been women's work.

Why do women turn against each other? There is a way of creating staus in motherhood, by treating childcare as a competitive field. This type of mother always looks amazing, cooks fabulous healthy meals, and does loads of educational activities etc. But she is only able to gain status at the expense of other mothers.

iclaudius Wed 27-Mar-13 11:48:41

The SAHM is dependant on her partner financially just as the earning partner relies on the SAHM to raise and nurture the offspring Scottishmummy

impty Wed 27-Mar-13 11:49:51

I have been a sahm for 13 years.
The child care payments for working parents seems reasonable to me. We no longer receive child benefit, but why would we receive money for child care when one of us is at home to do that? I do however, feel shocked that this is not available for those earning under £10000.
When dd1 was born there was no help from the state with child care and so I feel any help with this is beneficial.
However, sahm are undervalued in our society. Unfortunately if you don't pay taxes in our society you are perceived as a 'burden'. Hand on heart I'm not and not likely to be. UK plc will only ever profit from our family, yet my role is dismissed.
I feel I am the glue. I invest time and energy in my children, and their schools. I look after my husband and he is able to earn, he creates business for the economy and pays a great deal, by any bodies standards, to the tax man. Looking at our peers we as a family earn more by taking this route than by balancing 2 careers. But, I concede this may not be the same for everyone.
I silently help out where needed at home and within the community, but as I don't earn a wage/ pay taxes my efforts are brushed aside.
I have no desire to tell those who choose to work that this is wrong, I believe women should be able to chose the best course of action for them and receive support whether they choose to stay at home or go to work. Neither makes you better or worse.
So, no I'm not discriminated against in real life. Although I seem to be a figure of hate for some, on these boards occasionally. My role within society is definintly undervalued.

FlowersBlown Wed 27-Mar-13 11:54:56

You need to be able to step away from the idea that your role needs to be valued by others in order to be valuable. I work in childcare, a low status role. I know people think this is a waste of any talents or education I may have. But I try to focus on the fact that I am happy, unstressed and feel that the role is actually important.

impty Wed 27-Mar-13 11:59:17

Scottishmummy to say that if you don't earn then you are not economically contributing is correct. To suggest that this is the only way you can contribute to society is at best naive. It does highlight the ignorance stay at home mothers have to occasionally put up with. Well done.

FasterStronger Wed 27-Mar-13 12:00:34

impty - can you list the non financial ways that people contribute to the economy.

impty Wed 27-Mar-13 12:02:37

FlowersBlown this is a great point. It would be nice if child care was seen as important work though, wouldn't it? Teachers have pressure on them to produce results, but the care aspect of bringing up children is also very important, and easily dismissed.

KarlosKKrinkelbeim Wed 27-Mar-13 12:07:02

Oliver James is to child psychology what my 5 year old DD wielding a pair of scissors is to neurosurgery. I tend to adopt the following rule of thumb; believe the opposite of any contention adavanced by James and you'll be on the right track.

impty Wed 27-Mar-13 12:10:06

So, I help/ have helped in the community, reading at school, school trips, helped out at the local library, shopping for elderly neighbours, help for a neighbour who was ill. Looked after friends children when they are ill, given lifts for people. Tidied up local areas. Hospital visits.
So I sound a bit like a 'do gooder' but I promise I'm not! it's just that I can be available more often than those who work. I cannot remember how many times I've done things for friends because someone's stuck in traffic/ had to work late etc etc and can't pick up a child on time. It's fine I can do it, am happy to as I have the time to help out.
I am aware that many people work and help out in the community too.

katedan Wed 27-Mar-13 12:11:25


SAHP listen to reading in schools and help out as unpaid help in schools/fundraising etc. They run toddler and other pre school groups often donating alot of hours to help others. They do volunteer work. They care for their own children aswell as often elderly parents/grandparents and nieces/nephews etc. They contribute as much as working parents and I beleive it is a mistake of this goverment to make all mothers work. It should be a choice.

As someone who would LOVE to do paid work now my cildren are in school but is unable to find work despite having a very good job for 12 years I would love to now where all these jobs are that "lazy" sahp should get.

very interested in the post above about SAHP who try to retun to work being discriminated against at interview.

Why can't women all bond together to help one another instead of attacking each other.

anotheryearolder Wed 27-Mar-13 12:13:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

impty Wed 27-Mar-13 12:16:48

fasterstronger As a family we contribute a great deal to the economy financially. The imptyfamily pay in far, far more than we will ever take out! I also contribute to society in non financial ways. Earning money doesn't validate me as a person.

anotheryearolder Wed 27-Mar-13 12:17:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ihategeorgeosborne Wed 27-Mar-13 12:19:16

It is pretty clear from this thread that parents who both work think that they are doing the right thing. While parents who stay at home with their children think that they are doing the right thing. We can talk endlessly about the rights and wrongs of both of these choices, but it seems to me that it is probably a case of 'never the twain shall meet'. Clearly we will have to agree to differ.

anotheryearolder Wed 27-Mar-13 12:20:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

anotheryearolder Wed 27-Mar-13 12:22:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

katedan Wed 27-Mar-13 12:32:52

anotheryearolder - sorry in our school all the unpaid classroom assistants are SAHP's and the same for the committee that ran our twinsgroup but I know there are working parents who also volunteer I was just answering the question about what contribution sahp do that is not financial.

I was in the public service which has expereinced huge cuts so despite getting interviews have not been successful. I have been told by frinds wo recruit that employers would prefere to employ people already in work as it shows you are employable so it seems very chicken and egg.
I am now doing a degree to retrain but it has been horrid and if I had my time again I am not sure I would have made the choices I did to be a SAHP as it is too difficult to get back into the workplace without accepting a huge paycut. I was very lucky I had the choice and it makes me cross that the goverment wants to take away a mothers choice to be at home.

fedupofnamechanging Wed 27-Mar-13 12:33:28

Am I not contributing to the economy in that I support my husband, who is then able to concentrate on his career and generate lots of tax for the economy. Of course we could both work in lower paid, more family friendly careers but this would generate less tax than he currently pays at present and would actually cost the economy in terms of cb, ctc and child care vouchers.

Not directly generating income, doesn't mean we aren't indirectly generating it.

I can see different financial benefits that SAHMs and WOHMS get - help with childcare costs for WOHMs, and NI contributions paid for SAHMs, for example. I am not sufficiently financially astute to be able to work out which group gets more financial support - maybe others can work this out.

But, having been a stay at home mother for almost all of my children's lives, what I noticed was not the financial differences per se, but the respect or value that I felt they represented - and I definitely felt undervalued as a SAHM. I felt as if I was doing an important job, that was not being seen or recognised by society in general, because it didn't have a price-tag attached. Because I wasn't earning anything, I didn't feel that society thought I was worth anything - and so I thought that a payment of some sort to SAHMs would redress this - but I did know that this wasn't going to happen.

I also felt, when child benefit was taken away, that this took away the last financial contribution that I was making to our household, even though I knew that many other families needed it far more than we did, because dh earns a good wage. Sometimes I look at my particular circumstances, and wonder if the Government would like to take anything more away from my family. Dh has a marginal tax rate of 62%, we have lost all child benefit, our children are not entitled to any help beyond the bare minimum with university, and due to changes with pension schemes, dh will see none of the money he has paid into his scheme for the whole year.

On the question of WOHMs vs SAHMS, it has always been my belief that people do what they believe to be best for their family, and you cannot judge their choices because you don't know their circumstances. Being a SAHM was the best choice for me and my family, but in no way does this mean that it would be the best choice for every family - far from it - and I respect all parents for taking the right decisions for themselves and their families. Being a SAHM is not an easy choice, and neither is being a WOHM - the difficulties are different, but still there, and both roles deserve equal respect, imo.

er, i didn't think media requests could go here, let alone be dod?

Wishihadabs Wed 27-Mar-13 12:36:32

Have managed to read to the end. I think mothers in general are discriminated against in the work place. There is an assumption that they will be taking time off and generally not giving 100% in the way a man or a childless women would.

As rain so eloquently says the problem lies with the distribution of labour within the partnership. DH and I try for an even split, but it sometimes does feel like society conspires against this and we have both been guilty of yielding to societal pressures on this from time to time.

I have been tempted to take less challenging roles so that I could be "on-call" for childcare. DH is more prone to agreeing to things without considering who will do the pickup. However I think equality is worth striving for and accepting that children and childcare are women's problem undermines this.

Incidentally both dcs when asked like having both mummy and daddy involved in the day to day minutiae of their lives. Both Mummy and Daddy like to go to work and have some time with the dcs.

scottishmummy Wed 27-Mar-13 12:38:00

I feel affinity based on pov shared,common values and's not a gender construct
Why should some stick together on gender,have affinity because absurd
There is no reason I should concur with someone because we both female

merrymouse Wed 27-Mar-13 12:43:16

Agree with rainrainandmorerain.

Women as parents (and potential parents) are discriminated against, not SAHM's.

It is assumed that women, whether working or non-working will take on the lion's share of responsibility for childcare, whereas I don't think employers think twice about whether their male employees have children.

IME, most women will take a substantial career break when they have children (a year is a substantial career break) and have periods of working part-time, and in all likelihood take the 'mummy track' when making career decisions. This is where the inequality lies. The world of work, childcare and school is still structured around the idea that to be a high flyer you need to have a wife.

Model in suit holding baby vs. model in apron making cup cakes may make a nice photo, but it doesn't have much to do with real life for most people.

merrymouse Wed 27-Mar-13 12:45:01

So, also agree with Wishihabdabs.

matana Wed 27-Mar-13 12:47:40

They are discriminated against as much as women who both work and have DCs and neither is right because it is down to personal preference and/ or circumstances.

I have had to endure similar comments to the one early on in this thread "why have DC if you're going to let someone else raise them.... " etc. When in fact being a FTWM is every bit as exhausting (mentally and physically) as being a SAHM. When DS was born i took 10 months off and enjoyed every minute. I returned to flexible working, ensuring i worked from home twice a week even if on full time hours, left early some days, worked late others, my DH took care of DS Monday afternoons. I spent as much time as i physically could with my DS and can count on one hand the amount of times he has been looked after by people other than us and his CM. I have taken days off work when he's been sick, even though to do so has put me under a lot of pressure professionally. I cook him home cooked meals. I pack home cooked food for his lunches and/ or dinners at his CM the night before. I come home in the evenings and neither DH nor i sat down until 8pm to eat our own dinner. We have bathed, played with, educted, read to, tucked into bed, tickled, laughed with, enjoyed our DS every day if his 2.5yo life. I have always put him 100% first. I have also dealt with my boss's expectations of me and a visit to occupational health due to issues over work/ life balance and feeling a failure for not, apparently, being a 'proper' mum because i dare to work as well. It has been a massive balancing act and at times i have felt split in two.

I don't say this to illustrate that i am unhappy - i am genuinely not and now think i do an amazing job and am a good role model to my DS. But coping with the prejudices of others, and my expectations of myself, has definitely at times pushed me to my limits. Being a working mum is every bit as hard as being a SAHM and made all the harder by similar prejudices.

Whiteandyellowiris - the OP is not the journalist - she's a mumsnetter who has seen the request on twitter, and the story, and has started a thread on the subject here.

oh, ok then

Matana - I think you do an amazing job too - as do all the other WOHMs. And I also think that we SAHMs do an amazing job too - and the thing that unites us (or should) is the fact that we all love our children and put their needs first, even though that means radically different decisions for different families.

Thumbwitch Wed 27-Mar-13 13:02:24

I think as has been already said, that women/mothers in general are discriminated against.

I just wonder when it's going to stop.
Then you see shit like this (it's a research questionnaire from 2003) and realise that it's still going just as strong.

While women still get at, undermine and judge other women, discrimination against women will continue. Because if we can't stop it ourselves, the men sure as hell aren't going to.

olgaga Wed 27-Mar-13 13:02:58

I think this thread is asking the wrong question.

The question should be "Are mothers discriminated against?"

We all know that across the board, women earn on average 15% less than men. Only 8% of women earn more than £40,000 pa.

Women make up the majority of those in low paid work.

It is estimated that around a million women are missing from the workforce because of a lack of flexible work opportunities.

Mothers who work outside the home are discriminated against in the workplace through the perception that they don't put their jobs first and are more likely to seek flexible working arrangements.

One in seven mothers are made redundant after maternity leave, 40% suffer a cut in hours or demotion. Research shows that around 30,000 mothers lose their jobs each year through pregnancy discrimination.

Women who give up work to become full-time carers of their own children are castigated for "not paying tax" and "not contributing to society" despite working for nothing in a role which, if carried out for another family, would attract a salary of £350-450 a week live in, or £4-500 a week live out.

They face ongoing loss of salary, status and pension throughout their lives. Women's pensions are on average 62% of average male pensions.

They often take on unpaid caring responsibilities for other family members too.

The ONS said that 5.8 million people in England and Wales ? one in ten ? are providing unpaid care, a rise of 600,000 since 2001 and believed to be worth around 340 billion a year.Of those around 3.7 million people provide free care for between one and 19 hours a week, 775,000 giving between 20 and 49 hours a week, and 1.4 million caring for more than 50 hours.Frances O?Grady, the general secretary of the TUC, said most of ?Britain?s growing army of unpaid carers? are women.

Full-time carers who make a choice to care for elderly or disabled relatives deserve our praise and support, and attract some financial support but this is far from adequate. However, women who choose to care full-time for their own children seem to invite nothing but criticism.

Women who are childminders or nursery workers are expected to do it for a pittance of around £4 an hour in the case of childminders, or little more than the minimum wage at best.

It says a lot about society's attitude towards women and children, and none of it makes comfortable reading.

maisiejoe123 Wed 27-Mar-13 13:03:51

Women do struggle whether working or not to be seen as equal to men. Often partners (almost all male) can agree that it will be OK if you go back to work but dont realise that consequently all the things they took for granted, clean house, food in the fridge, children picked up from school, play dates etc will have to the SHARED.

I honestly dont think they realise especially if they have been used to making meetings, going abroad at the drop of a hat etc without any checking with the other partner.

We have to sit down every Sunday going through diaries and every time my DH goes abroad he sends me a calender invite in Outlook saying he will be away. At very short notice he has to ask whether I can manage the pick up's for say 2-3 days on my own. Of course he doesnt share with his company that he needs to check with me and I respond very quickly but its really the only way to do it. Otherwise as a SAHP going back to work you will find you are doing both your old job and your new one without any additional help and that is very hard.

It is very clear I think that if you take a career break, give up to look after small children that you will be disadvantaged. If there is someone who is doing a role you are applying for and then you with a 5-10 year gap well it wont be a surprise to learn that you will need to really prove you are the better applicant.

And how would you do that? Well, you need to consider retraining, attending courses etc to increase the skills that your poential new employer would look for? You would also need very clear reasons why you have made the decisions you have made, its fine to stay at home if you can show you are the better for it from an employers point of view.

morethanpotatoprints Wed 27-Mar-13 13:11:24


I totally agree with your post, however, whilst I agree that on occasion I have noticed society in general show disrespect towards sahm's, I don't let it bother me.
I think if your family grow up respecting yours and their choices you have done well, whether wohm or sahm. As long as your relationships are good, I can't see why you would need validation from anyone else.

morethanpotatoprints Wed 27-Mar-13 13:16:59


I totally agree with your post, however, whilst I agree that on occasion I have noticed society in general show disrespect towards sahm's, I don't let it bother me.
I think if your family grow up respecting yours and their choices you have done well, whether wohm or sahm. As long as your relationships are good, I can't see why you would need validation from anyone else.

Curtsey Wed 27-Mar-13 13:20:35

I really feel I need to stick up for parents who work full-time.
I'm in my late 20s and am the product of such a family. I'm fine. I really am fine. Please don't worry about me or about my emotional stability.I don't hate my mother parents for what they did to me and my siblings; we never for a second felt abandoned or that they didn't care about us. We were always their first priority. That was always clear. Them both working FT was normal life for us.

Yes, of course there were a few times we whinged at them that 'so-and-so's mother is always there after school to pick them up, why do we have to take the bus?' But it just meant that anytime either of my parents did manage to get an afternoon off work to do a pick-up, it was all the more special. (And this was in the days before mobile phones, so all the more unexpected, too.) Now that I'm grown up I appreciate even more all of the sacrifices they made for us as parents.

I agree that change needs to come from the inside. Fathers need to start demanding flexible working as their right. (I used to work for a European company where it was highly normal to hear that either Mrs. OR Mr. so-and-so had taken their year's paternal leave.) There will always be some jobs that cannot facilitate at least SOME working from home, but the vast majority can. Demand it. Demand it. Demand it. I did and it's worked out a fucking charm smile

You are absolutely right, morethanpotatoprints, and I am utterly comfortable with my choices now - but at that point in my life, I was suffering from depression and PND, and that did affect my perceptions and my confidence.

And everyone likes a bit of external validation from time to time too, I think.

Curtsey Wed 27-Mar-13 13:21:25

parental not paternal smile

musicalfamily Wed 27-Mar-13 13:24:16

I agree with everything posted above, also I agree that I don't need any validation for my choices - you'll always find someone who has something unkind to say.

I learned the hard way when we chose to have 4 children that people couldn't help themselves but make comments, often unkind ones. I just had to learn to take it on the chin. At work I never talk about family otherwise it will be automatically assumed that if I am going home early or am off sick I am caring for children, whilst a male colleague would just be that - off sick or going home early to catch an early train. No questions asked.

The only time I get upset is when people make my children feel bad for having working parents - it has happened - however now that they are growing up they understand our reasons, and even the 6 year old has a sharp tongue.

One mum helping out on pancake day apparently asked him "aaww are you sad that your mum couldn't be here today?" - to which he replied "no, I am sad because the chocolate spread has run out - and I'd rather see my mum at home, thanks for asking" - or something along those lines!!!

Kazooblue Wed 27-Mar-13 13:34:44

Financially sahp are being clobbered.The gov clearly don't want sahp.

maisiejoe123 Wed 27-Mar-13 13:41:56

I worked in a team for a while in the early days and we rarely met. A number of them didnt know I had a child.........I didnt feel I wanted to share it with anyone, they were a bit judgemental. They often had calls set up for early evening, not ideal but not impossible if they were booked in advance and I get my DH to do the baths etc that day.

I did work for someone who was constantly trying to catch me out when I said the hours of 1800-1900 werent good for me (why did I ever say that!) Eventually went he sent out invites for calls at 18.30 I declined and suggested 2100. He then replied back that he would have had a few drinks by then so could we leave to the morning....

morethanpotatoprints Wed 27-Mar-13 13:45:34


It must have been bad to have negative comments when you had pnd. i had it too with my middle one, but was lucky to have been sheltered from many people as lived in the stix then. smile.
I know this is a forum for discussion but find that most negative comments come from here and not in rl. I do think this always having something to say about how people decide to live is a recent thing, I can't remember it years ago. People just got on with life and accepted their lot, now so many people moan about their life or are bothered what their neighbour does grin

morethanpotatoprints Wed 27-Mar-13 13:50:08


In what way are sahps being clobbered? As far as I am aware our situation won't change irrespective of any Gov policies. I could be wrong though, or maybe its just some sahp's who will be affected.

musicalfamily Wed 27-Mar-13 13:51:04

mmmm I don't know, it depends how much you "stand out". Us with our 4 young children, foreign accents and working patterns living in a tiny rural village, seem to attract a lot of comments.

Less now that people are used to us but I remember when we moved here there wasn't one day that went by that someone didn't take a snipe and to be honest it did get me down a little at the time, although long term it has served to thicken the skin quite a lot.

rainrainandmorerain Wed 27-Mar-13 13:53:13

Brilliant post, olgaga.

Posters commenting on how others shouldn't need 'validation' and should just be happy with their own choices etc are missing the point.

If you are discriminated against - denied real opportunities, equality of pay/workplace, find fhe work you do is devalued because it is 'women's work', forced to compromise in a way that dads rarely are - that IS a genuine, structural problem with society.

Please, read Olgaga's informative post upthread. 'validation' is misleading pseudo-psych speak here. Mothers bear the brunt of structural sexism. Please, do not label them as being 'needy' when they have the guts to point this out.

maisiejoe123 Wed 27-Mar-13 13:53:23

Actuall Kazoo make a good point. Does the gov not want SAHP's? It might be that they dont.

olgaga - I couldn't agree more.
The 'WOHM/ SAHM - which is best debate?' is just a distraction as far as I'm concerned - mothers are discriminated against full stop.
Particularly agree with your point about the unseen/unpaid levels of caring women provide whether they are in paid employment as well or at home full-time. Often it is these women who are holding families and communities together.

morethanpotatoprints Wed 27-Mar-13 14:09:42


The OP is asking about being a sahp not working. So a sahp wouldn't feel discriminated against in the workplace, wouldn't need to compromise in a way that a dad wasn't, necessarily. For e.g your comments have no bearing on my life, I have no intention of working or idea/ interest about discrimination in the workplace. Or have I missed something?

matana Wed 27-Mar-13 14:19:19

Also agree with others that women in general are discriminated against. Think back to family values in the post-Thatcher era. Single parents (mostly mothers) singled out and discriminated against. The 'only two parents, of opposite genders and preferably mum will stay at home' ethos. And now that it suits the government's austerity measures, the record has suddenly changed and they 'want to make work pay' by cutting SAHMs out of benefits like they are somehow of less value to society than other women.

It is for all of these reasons that DH and I absolutely share childcare. My DH applied for a flexible working pattern as soon as i returned to work full time, which allows him to take Monday afternoons off. Two other days i work shorter days to spend more time with DS in the evening. It shouldn't matter whether it's me or DH that's providing DS with the care, love and attention, providing that we both do so at different times as well as at times when we're together as 'traditional' family. But the simple practicalities of it are that I simply could not be both a mum and work full time if we didn't share these responsibilities. And i think that DS benefits from it. Our way is not the only 'right' way, and i agree wholeheartedly that while women are locked in disagreement with each other we will continue to live in a society that is rife with inequality.

morethanpotatoprints Wed 27-Mar-13 14:26:32


I totally agree that inequality is partly down to women in disagreement with each other. Whilst we are arguing we add fuel to debate,
I would add though where a wohm needs equality in terms of domestic responsibility and raising dc, I think its the same for sahm. I would be so unhappy if dh didn't treat me as an equal and provide the same, and he works.
It must be so soul destroying to be in a relationship that is unequal whatever your working position.

higgle Wed 27-Mar-13 14:28:42

When I recruit I want to take people who can demonstrably do the job in question. A couple of year back I was happy to take people I thought could do it, or who might be able to do it with a bit of training. Now I have possibly 60 telephone calls and over 40 applicants if I advertise a part time admin job. The person I take on will almost inevitably be someone who is doing a very similar job very well at the moment. This is the risk that you take if you give up work and don't keep your hand in in some way while your children are small. One day a week, an evening job, some voluntary work may be enough, but please don't expect to be given the job when you have made a choice not to work at all for a lengthy period

unlucky83 Wed 27-Mar-13 14:30:58

I've been a FTWM and SAHM - became a SAHM when DD2 came along...
I think I am now more or less unemployable ...and I think we have to admit that one parent might have to take the main burden of childcare...unless you have family around to help out. And they shouldn't be penalised for that ...
Whatever is said about tax allowances and female independence I think we SHOULD be able to transfer our allowance to a DP/H/W -if it is OUR CHOICE. After all if I was looking for work (and I am half heartedly) I wouldn't be able to get JSA etc because they WOULD take into account DP's salary then....

With DD1 (an accident) I was 33 and doing a Phd in a lab which is the same as full time work...DD1 part-time in nursery from 3 months, full time for 5 months. DP had his own restaurant ...had to be there every day left at 9am and returned at midnight. If he didn't go to work we would have to close the restaurant (phone people up and cancel their bookings -don't think it would have been in business long).
At least once or twice a week I would pick DD1 up from Nursery at 6, feed her, do bedtime etc and then when DP came home at midnight go back to work for a couple of hours. On more than one occasion I went back and there were other Phd students still working (hadn't been home, had eaten dinner there). I would go in at weekends to move samples from one machine to another -(these are things that take literally days to run- and really I shouldn't have done it - dodgy from a health and safety POV - radioactive samples...with DD1 in pushchair) and other students would be there working ...I couldn't compete with that ...
One day I set up a big experiment - it had been running all day - cost at least £500 (and radioactive so disposal costs too) hour before it would be finished Nursery phoned me - DD1 had vomited could I go and pick her up asap? ... the guilt I felt asking if they could hold onto to her for 30 mins longer so I could salvage something - they wouldn't - my boss (very understanding) actually got it to a stage for me where it could be left (for 48+ hrs after vomiting) ...this was the thing that made me realise I really couldn't have it all - it wasn't fair on anyone (DD1, Nursery, my boss, me, even to the people who gave to the charity who were paying for the research).
I did get my Phd in the end but haven't got the same quality/quantity of publications as some of the others - they were more employable in a competitive field...and I really don't feel I can return that until my Dcs have left home (even now DP works less hours with less responsibility)...and by then (even now) I'm so out of date that my Phd will be worthless. Honestly (and I hate to say this) if I was an employer I would be less inclined to take on a 'mother' or even woman of childbearing age...
After I left I had DD2 ...and became a SAHM I feel there is very little respect for what we actually do ... even DD2(6) said it wasn't a proper job because I didn't get paid for it. It isn't easy...very monotonous - you are never off duty - always surrounded by your 'work' ...DP (and probably has a point) thinks I should bear the brunt of childcare responsibility cos I don't go to work . (Actually what amazed me most was the mess...if they are in childcare all day house doesn't get anywhere near as bad) and I found I wanted to spend time with DD1 more when I hadn't seen her all day - as SAHM I tend to not want to spend anymore time with them blush.
I do have more time - so I help out whenever I can at the school, am on the PTA , do the accounts for 3 local charities (one I get paid a small amount for a few hours work per week). If it wasn't for the parents (mainly SAHMs or on maternity leave) who run the committees eg the playgroup would have folded years ago (we do have WOM but they are often too busy to help much - or try but don't find time ...and that is no disrespect to them ).
SAHMs are important - as are FTWMs
I think some iconic feminist (maybe Germaine Greer) made a fantastic point once -about how feminism got it wrong - basically women go out to work so they can pay (mainly) other women a pittance to look after children and clean the house for them - and maybe it would be more equal for all women if one parent (not nec the mother) stayed at home and looked after the children and house...

IceBergJam Wed 27-Mar-13 14:35:35

I do think fathers get a raw deal. I don't believe it is always about the women getting a raw deal.

I can think of 3 examples in my team alone. All 3 fathers supporting the family as primary earner.

One was over from the US for two weeks. Spent afternoon tea breaks and evenings skyping with his children, talking about them, sharing photos. He missed them immensley , but wants to keep his wife at home with the children, so was sacrificing his time.

The other two work long hours and travel. When at home, do their share. They are exhausted but they have to do it so that the children have the mother at home, and one funds private schooling.

These fathers feel pressure, are exhausted and miss time with their children. But they don't complain .

Not sure what my point is, but I get fed up with the 'where are the fathers' rant. It isn't just mothers who feel unappreciated and undervalued.

MrsMarigold Wed 27-Mar-13 15:01:29

Since becoming a SAHM I feel like an invisible woman. Yes, my world is smaller I go to the same places week in week out, I see the same people there but I'm interested in the same things as before and in fact I'd be better at work because I'm more focused.

MrsMarigold Wed 27-Mar-13 15:03:11

but it's true about fathers my husband is a classic works so hard, people say I'm too soft on him but his job is more demanding than being a SAHM.

olgaga Wed 27-Mar-13 15:07:41

Thanks to those who appreciated my post above.

I feel this is a completely false debate, encouraged by the Government which wants us to be divided as a society into haves and have-nots, scroungers and skivers, deserving and undeserving, and now WOHM/SAHM.

We are encouraged to fall into this trap time and time again - who works harder, who contributes more, which choice is "best" - it's all beside the point, because the best choice is whatever works for you and your family.

All the while, apart from a handful of high-fliers, women are discriminated against and exploited, both financially and emotionally, at every stage of their lives.

Women who work in caring roles are undervalued because it is "women's work". Women who work outside the home are undervalued because as women with caring responsibilities - or the potential for them - they are considered less dependable or committed than their male counterparts.

Instead of fighting with each other about which of is discriminated against the most, we should be asking why discrimination against women in all its forms continues.

If you need any further persuasion about how undervalued women are in our society, The Fawcett Society website is a good place to start.

cerealqueen Wed 27-Mar-13 15:09:07

Great post unlucky83.

I am a SAHM. I was made redundant from a very good 17 year career while pregnant, went back briefly after dd2, money ran out for project, then had DD2.

I worked in area where you must have up to date experience so to go back to work now, I'll have to go back at a lower level and once double childcare costs and commuting costs taken into account, I'll be working just to pay somebody else to look after my children. I did not have them to have somebody else raise them. I am the best person for this job right now.

So, I stay at home. We economise. We are in debt. We don't go out, all clothes are second-hand, I sell stuff on Ebay. It is a sacrifice, but we (more me in terms of my career) are prepared to make it for a few short years while the Dcs are young. I figure there will be time enough for work when they are both at school.

DP works vey very hard, evenings, weekends etc.

Everybody else I know has some kid of help in the form of family who take on some kind of childcare, otherwise, many more would not be able to afford being back at work, and in some cases, some are just back at work for their sanity. Their choice. (Some days I shout 'I've had enough, I'm going back to work'. smile.

There used to be opportunity to transfer tax allowances, this would help us.

I think looking after children has ben devalued too much. There seems to be the 'on benefits scroungers tag' or the 'yummy mummy who lunches tag'. No reflection of life as it really is.

If all the SAHPs went back to work...well there aren't enough jobs to go round are there?

One thing is that if a family do have (at any particular moment in time) a WOHDad and a SAHMum, it would be nice if they could both be appreciated in those roles and their choice (made in whatever circumstances) be respected.
If society showed more respect it might help the partners to respect each other more too ?

But I agree that applies generally as well. We could probably all do with more understanding and respect whatever choices we've taken and whatever paths we have followed.

matana Wed 27-Mar-13 15:14:28

Sorry, yes morethan of course i agree - it's purely that i am more familiar with my own experience of being a WOHM. My mum used to make your point and she stayed at home and raised three of us. Dad is a great cook and capable of housework (though has always needed a bit of nagging!) and changed all our nappies, got up during the night (though was rubbish if we were sick because it made him gag!) and generally did loads for us. That was quite rare back then. Mum is a very strong character and certainly told him when she thought he wasn't pulling his weight. As adults, nothing pains my dad more than thinking that his daughters are being taken advantage of by his respective sons-in-law....

tired999 Wed 27-Mar-13 15:24:27

I am a SAHM with 2 children aged 20 and 2 months. I have a PhD and know that my career will suffer by taking time out but feel that it's important to be at home for my children at this early age and am lucky that my husband earns enough that I can do this. I have nothing against people choosing to go to work rather than stay at home. It's a personal or financial choice for everyone and no one should have to justify the decisions they make. However, I have to do it on a weekly basis, mainly to other (working) mothers who don't understand why I want to take time out of work.

In addition, I feel that people I come across in every day life, (particularly professionals e.g. doctors, solicitors etc.) treat me like I have the intelligence of my child if I say I don't work. I never used correct people when they called me Mrs rather than Dr but now go out of my to way do this in a hope that they treat me like an adult.

On the financial side we have been hit by the CB changes as my husband earns just over 50K. I don't mind losing benefits if the changes are fair but I believe that the earnings of a couple should be taken into account rather than the current/proposed systems.

It doesn't help matters when Govt Ministers/Officials more or less say that SAHMs have no aspirations and they only help people who want to work hard and get on. Being a SAHM is the hardest job I've ever done!

Also I don't think we should be surprised if there's a bit of SAHM/WOHM debate (in a which is best kind of way, though I get as fed up with it as anyone else, and am always saying that most of us do both at different times, as well as different proportions of each with P/T work etc.) so, yes, it's best if we can all try to pull in the same direction and recognise the discrimination and disadvantage we all face as women, but we cannot completely stifle or end that debate. Women as a whole do better at seeing one another's POV and keeping the peace than men do - think of all the warfare in the world for example - despite the reputation men like to give us for being bitchy or whatever.

rainrainandmorerain Wed 27-Mar-13 15:31:16

Iceberg - interesting post re:dads. All of your examples are men who are working hard and spending a huge amount of time away from their family - 'exhausted', in your words - "these fathers are exhausted, feel pressure and miss time with their children. But they don't complain."

Why they hell not? How is that good for them? Don't you think their children would want to spend some more time with them? is that all a working dad is - an animated cheque book??

Your post is one of the best arguments I've seen on MN for flexible working and a less sexist/traditional approach to working v sahps.

musicalfamily Wed 27-Mar-13 15:31:39

I am not being funny here but as a full time working mum I don't see how this government is helping me at all. We have been hit by a loss of child benefit and now we are set to lose childcare vouchers as our children will be over 5. In the meantime childcare costs are rising hugely and so is travel (to and from work), only consolation from us is that we can work from home quite a lot so that helps us.

I fail to see how the government is helping me as a full time working parent, but if anyone can tell me how then it will cheer me up enormously....

rainrainandmorerain Wed 27-Mar-13 15:43:58

potatoprints - I may not have understood your post, sorry, but if your question was that you can see how wohms might face discrimination but sahms don't (my point being that it is MOTHERS that face discrimination, full stop) -

It comes back to the idea that looking after babies/small children is not important or skilled work - that in many families, the mother's willingness to stop work and take on childcare is the very mechanism that allows men to carry on their careers. That the role they are in has a monetary equivalent - although I am not happy with the idea that the only way we can measure someone's value to society is by how much they earn.

Btw, well done Olgaga for linking to Fawcett society! they do excellent work on this subject.

Good too to be reminded about the depressing scenario of wohm earning money to pay other (less skilled? less educated) women to clean their homes and look after their children for them. Another instance where my response is WHERE ARE THE DADS.

anotheryearolder Wed 27-Mar-13 15:47:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Viviennemary Wed 27-Mar-13 15:56:22

On reading some of these posts the person that seems to get the raw deal is the parent who works extremely long hours so the other parent can be at home. I think rainrainandmorerain makes some very good points.

specialknickers Wed 27-Mar-13 15:56:26

Yy olgaa mothers are discriminated against full stop. Time for us all to stop ths deviciveness and fight it.

I am a SAHP, but like most SAHPs this is partly because juggling the demands of my very full-on career with caring for my children is just not a viable option, financially or emotionally. I am not a benefit scrounger, neither am I a yummy mummy. None of the SAHPs I know are either, these are bullshit stereotypes that are used to divide women from other women who could help.

I understand that for others, going back to work is a better option for them, and I totally support that. But I don't think they've got it easy.

We are all working hard, we're all juggling, and most of us are just too tired / busy to do much about it but I think we should.

Kazooblue Wed 27-Mar-13 16:02:38

More1 income families are taxed more for the same amount joint income. 60k 1 income and above lose CB whilst those on 2 and above keep it. The higher tax band has come down again and those on 1 income only get 1 tax allowance so will pay more.Those on 2 lower will get 2 tax allowances increased and do not pay 40%.

IceBergJam Wed 27-Mar-13 16:04:54

Rain, I am all for equal divide. DH and I have to both work to get that equal divide. I condence my hours into four days, so work evenings at home, so I get an extra day with my DD. We have both capped our careers knowing there are two wages rather than the family being dependent on one.

We are both passing up travel, training, working late to get ahead etc, and consequently promotion. But we accept that.

We could not have an equal division if one of us was a sahp, and for our family feel it's more important that both parents have quality time for the children rather than just one.

Again im off the OPs point here.

janey68 Wed 27-Mar-13 16:09:27

The only way that society will value caring and domestic roles more is precisely when they aren't gender defined- ie when fathers take an equal share of parental leave, and are just as likely to apply for flexible working, or take on more moderately paid work rather than insisting on a jet setting job which requires a SAH wife to facilitate it.

Which is why I said upthread that policy which encourages more equally balanced parental and earning roles (as opposed to one high earner and one SAHP) is a positive force because in the long term it will help to redress the balance. I don't want my dd to feel obliged to work hard, go
to uni, enter a fulfilling career and then feel obliged to give it up for the sake of a high flying husband. Neither do I want my son to feel obliged to be that high flying husband. I aspire to them having fulfilling lives where they can have a good balance. Policies at the moment are moving towards that. Shared parental leave is an excellent move, and I really hope we see a lot of parents taking that on. It widens choices. Even if after the dad has taken his 6 months, mum decides she wants to give up work and stay at home, at the very least it will have given both a clear insight into what the roles entail- being at home, and being a WOHP. And tbh I think one upshot is almost bound to be that more couples will embrace more balanced roles. I can imagine that a lot of men, after 6 months at home with their child might very well realise they don't want to step back into long hours of work and perhaps travelling away. And equally, women who currently just stop working rather than take ML may realise that actually they quite enjoy being back at work.

I really believe this is the only way we'll move on from these polarised constructs. Its very sad that so many SAHM feel undervalued but it's equally sad that there are probably many dads out there who would love to be valued as a parent too, rather than just a provider.

janey68 Wed 27-Mar-13 16:13:43

YYY to icebergs point.
Let's try looking at this from the childrens perspective. Having one parent home 24/7 isnt necessarily great if the price of that is that the other parent is working all hours, travelling away and permanently knackered.

crashdoll Wed 27-Mar-13 16:17:35

I have read the majority of this thread and I feel some people are misusing the word discrimination. I do see parents (mainly mothers) as often disadvantaged in the work place but not discriminated against.

Kazooblue Wed 27-Mar-13 16:20:33

Sorry Janey I think children should aspire to be what they want.

Many jobs are demanding but certainly not "high flying",all men aren't doing high flying jobs and plenty of women are.

Boys hold aspire to be whatever they want,ditto girls.

The fact is many women want to be at home with their dc as they actually kind of like being with them,feel it is best and don't want a family life with full on stress.Some men do too.

Families should be helped to facilitate whichever parent wants to stay at home.

My sister is the main bread winner in her house but doesn't want to be but as her job pays more she has no choice.

blueberryupsidedown Wed 27-Mar-13 16:20:38

I am joining the debate after 314 messages, I have read most of the posts, and I still don't know if I understand the question... Are SAHMs discriminated against? I think yes, but I also think that most mothers are discriminated against in the workplace and that most employers have a lot of work to do with regards to work life balance or whatever you want to call it. (I can think of 3 job interviews when I was asked if I had children, and one who said to me I hope you are not planning to have children in the next couple of years because it is not compatible with this job).

I feel that I was occasionally looked down at as a sahm, now it's even worst as a registered childminder! You should hear some of the comments I get (mostly from women) when I say that I am a childminder....

In terms of taxes and pension etc, yes, I do feel that sahm are worst off. I did have that discussion with DH recently, my pension is not nearly as good as his, but I have invested in other bits and pieces so I wont be too bad. But most SAHM sacrifice their pension, and that's a real worry.

Another thing that worries me is the fact that many mothers work part time and don't get the same level of benefits as full time employees do, and less job security.

But for us, DH is now a primary school teacher (he retrained when I was pregnant with DS2) and I am a childminder so we spend a lot of time with our children, but we don't have a very high standard of living, few holidays, one old battered car, and my dishwasher had been broken for four months and we can't afford a new one........ Anyway, we do make sacrifices, and I know many dads who have changed careers or have taken part time jobs too, so it's not only one way.

rainrain - agree with all your comments.

Just thinking about some of the Greer comments. I don't necessarily think it's an 'unfeminist' choice to employ another women to care for your children or clean your home but it is important that you provide good pay and conditions. What we should be aiming for is fathers taking on more of the caring responsibilities in the home to ease the load on WOHM and SAHMs and at the same time encouraging more men to take up paid caring and cleaning roles so this sphere is not dominated by women. Unfortunately it's a bit chicken and egg as raising the status and pay of caring and childcare would entice more men but while it remains female dominated it's seen as 'women's work' and thus low status and unappealing to them.

janey68 Wed 27-Mar-13 16:30:23

Kazoo- I think you're agreeing with me actually ( though I'm sure you won't want to!!) - I completely agree that children should aspire to be what they want, which is why I don't want my dd and ds to feel pressurised by societal constructs which pigeonhole females into 'low monetary value caring ' and males into 'high flier' roles. Equality is about broadening choices precisely because the pressure of traditional expectation is removed. If my dd wants to stay at home and has a partner happy to carry the financial side then fine- but I was rather she was coming at it from a position of true choice rather than societys expectations

This will also come as a shock to you but WOHP really like spending time with their children too. Well, I do and my dh does. I can only assume a SAHM who is surprised by that fact must be partnered to a bloke who can't bear to spend any time with his children, it's such a weird thing to even think otherwise

Kazooblue Wed 27-Mar-13 16:31:56

Emph I don't think your experience is that of modern life,most families I know have an equal share.

As unpalatable as it is many families would rather have a parent at home with the dc than dc in childcare.There is no help to do this for either parent.

A father would get the same support(ie zilch) to facilitate it.

janey68 Wed 27-Mar-13 16:37:51

It's not unpalatable at all- you seem desperate to put words into my mouth. It's not something that every family wants.

I enjoy my children's company immensely, and FWIW I could quite contentedly have been a SAHM (which I know isn't true for all women, as some find it quite isolating). It's just that on balance I preferred working part time when they were little. To me, being at home was great, having the balance of work was the icing on the cake. It's really not the case that there's this huge gulf and you're either a die hard SAHM or a diehard WOHM.

janey68 Wed 27-Mar-13 16:41:46

I also think, from reading this thread and others that if most families you know have equal shares of things then that's the exception not the rule. Many women have commented that their husband works long hours/ is away a lot/ cannot do a lot re: home and children and that he couldn't do his job without a SAH wife.

FasterStronger Wed 27-Mar-13 16:59:20

kazoo - As unpalatable as it is many families would rather have a parent at home with the dc than dc in childcare. There is no help to do this for either parent.

low income families do get their income topped up - so there is help for single earner families - just not those on relatively high incomes.

working9while5 Wed 27-Mar-13 17:07:30

I think the difficulty with this debate always is that it is always framed as a "lifestyle" choice. However, it's more complex that.

I want a career. I also believe that my children really would be better off in the care of a parent for as much time in the week as possible, regardless of what "research" says. I am not so much interested in academic outcome, but I feel that early childhood is a time for quiet, meandering, non-focused days with little enforcement of an adult agenda outside of what is obviously useful e.g. cleaning/personal hygiene/eating food/sleeping. I find the "learning goals" of early childcare settings difficult, because I don't think early childhood was meant for formal learning. As these are my personal beliefs about rearing MY children, I feel I would be the best person to be with my children during these very brief formative years.

I'm also very aware that the working world ACTS as though there is a second parent at home. Most workplaces are highly intolerant of disruptions such as snow days, illness and all the myriad of activities that a child wants a parent to attend (nativity etc). The world of work ACTS as though there is always back up. We live very far from family and we have no back up. In practical terms, this makes working out of the home for both dh and I quite challenging and it adds a lot of stress to our day. Our children are in childcare from 7.30 to 6pm on the days they are there. I hate this. I think it is far too long for young children to be in formal daycare. I particularly hate that it costs as much as it does (though I don't begrudge those caring for my children their meagre wages).

If I had free choice, I would stay at home until my children were in school or split this equally with dh and then have the same split across the week or for at least half the week so that my children could be picked up, say, three days a week from school. Financially, though we have professional jobs and live in a 2-bed ex-council semi with a jaded old Ford estate and very few luxuries, we still actually need that second income. Not for the day to day stuff, but to enable us to travel to meet family in particular (all across the sea) and to allow for us to work towards moving to a larger house in a few years time.

I just don't see how it's feasible for me/dh to stay at home because I KNOW it would mitigate against either of us getting a job ever again in our chosen field. This would leave us financially vulnerable.

I also find it quite tough how it feels even on maternity leave that you have dropped off the face of the world that anyone seems to give a crap about. I have a lovely time here at home with my two boys but it can be weeks between encounters with other adults, even though I have made a number of good friends. I'm just over the local groups and find them very unsatisfying. It would be worse for dh. Mum and toddler groups seem very much "women's spaces" with lots of talk about birth stories and the like. There is little space for men and in my experience they are not often made to feel welcome at groups they do attend.

As someone upthread said, the irony is that we are in a situation where there is not enough work to go around, where with a bit of flexibility children could be cared for by their family members AND those family members could work and contribute to wider society financially if house prices weren't so stupidly high.

Do I think SAHM are discriminated against? No, but I think there is absolutely NO value put on rearing children as though they weren't the future and how they are treated now may make a difference to how the world develops. It is so difficult to find a balance. Something always gives.

mam29 Wed 27-Mar-13 17:19:10

its nice to see some new people add to debate that are sahm.

I must admit perfect arrangment for me and most other families i part time work one parent other fulltime/

The only men I know doing part time are underemployed and want fulltime.

The new childcare ruls discriminate against one part time parent either gender.

The new childcare rules initially for 5 and under so not exactly helpful to working parents.

The majority of partimers are women so yes these proposals are disciminatory predominatly towards working women who work part time and sahm/student parents.

we should all unite to fight this unequal legistalation.

maybe we should have [protested over child benefit but we were sold we all in it together.

The families with one sahm and most benefit from what i read accepted it as thourght we all this together only to then get this new childcare tax rebate.

its fundamentally wrong 2high earners get to keep child benefit
than 2working parents high earners can get childcare upto 300k.

The only people I think ladies at lunch are the very rich. and they getting 5%tax cut soon.

I like many others on mumsnet have made sacrafices to stay at home we not rich, we get by and go without lots of thiings higher earning working parents can afford.

so the language and implicatiion

that they say we no value, aspiration or work hard enough

Goldenbear Wed 27-Mar-13 17:23:08

Crashdoll, people on this thread who are Employers have already described how they think and behave when recruiting SAHP- the descriptions have certainly sounded prejudicial- making it discrimination.

merrymouse Wed 27-Mar-13 17:23:24

I think a big problem with this debate is that arguments about the best form of childcare for young children (in home or out of home) obscure the fact that, in this day and age, there is no good reason for it to be done so overwhelmingly by women.

FasterStronger Wed 27-Mar-13 17:24:16

its fundamentally wrong 2high earners get to keep child benefit

SAHP still receive CB unless the WOH parent earns 60k.

than 2working parents high earners can get childcare upto 300k.

they don't 'get childcare'. they pay up to 120k pa in tax that funds the NHS, schools, everything we all use. they get 2k back from 120kpa.

maisiejoe123 Wed 27-Mar-13 17:26:00

I am laughing Kazoo - are you really saying that most families have an equal share in parenting including chores. How does that work when you are there 24 hours a day (including sleeping time!) and your partner isnt.

If I was a SAHM I would consider the house my responsibility.. I would clean, cook, keep the fridge full of food, ferry the children around, arrange playdates, mop up spills, take the dog for a walk etc.

I wouldnt expect my DH to come home at say 1900 and then start the ironing. I would want them to do something but the day to day stuff and childcare during he working week. Well - that's what I do.....

morethanpotatoprints Wed 27-Mar-13 17:26:39

RainRain. grin

I think it was me how I interpreted your post tbh. Yes I agree, I think all women are discriminated irrespective of work commitments.

I also think that certain types of family/income are discriminated against too, which quite often means the woman bares the brunt.

Kazoo - I think you would be right to say more and more men are taking on a fairer share of caring duties in the home but I think we are still along way from it being an equal division in most families. Not sure at all that they are taking an equal share in the domestic paid roles of childcare and cleaning - and the only experience I have is of modern life, confused

MinimalistMommi Wed 27-Mar-13 17:35:14

Yes, I feel like SAHM are judged for not working 'hard enough' because we don't raise children and earn a 'real' wage at the same time. I don't think there is much respect for SAHM because of this which is really sad.

maisiejoe123 Wed 27-Mar-13 17:38:11

Yes - share the chores when both working but when you are at home already.....

FWIW - I think when both are working is still often comes down to the woman. I would love to share the chores 50%/50% but my DH earns far more than I do. Therefore from an economic point of view his meeting could be far more important than mine (but dont tell him that!) and takes precedent.

He takes his laptop/phone etc on abroad to do some work. Not ideal but the price he pays for the salary he commands. I cannnot see (tin hat at the ready) the SAHP needing to do that....

For example - we recently went on holiday on our own (dont ask me about the arrangements for doing this, far far too complex!). He took his laptop and phone to do some work. If I was a SAHM - why would I need to do this?

Wishihadabs Wed 27-Mar-13 17:58:33

MaisieJoe I earn more than DH pro rata (I earn in 24 hours what he earns in 40). However I do not consider (am not allowed to) my work more important than his. We take strict turns with sick days (although one of us is usually home anyway). I wouldhate to tthink of his reaction if I took the attitude that my work was paramount.

maisiejoe123 Wed 27-Mar-13 18:07:55

Ok, if one of you had to lose your job or was considered for redudancy because of days spent tending a sick child or attending parents afternoons I would rather it be mine. Companies are not employing people to look after the families tbh. Not great news and not family friendly of course but one needs to be pragmatic.

Maternity leave used to be covered within my company by getting someone in to cover especially as the leave is 1 year potentially. Now the work is divided up amongst the ones that are left......

Employers dont want to hear about your family issues and how you need to do a school run every day. And I joke not - I had a member of my team refuse to attend a customer site because he had numerous school runs during the day and his wife didnt drive! We do have some home working where I work and he had hidden it previously from his last team.

morethanpotatoprints Wed 27-Mar-13 18:09:10

As a sahm though I expect my dh to take a significant share of domestic chores and I expect a 50/50 share in raising the dc. Although I admit that he isn't always at home, he has always had the same input as me when it comes to making decisions on how we raise our dc. I don't think I have ever felt that he wasn't pulling his weight or that I had the brunt of the domestic chores.
I think its down to communication and how you both chose to manage the home.
Our dc have been brought up on the principle "just because mum's at home, doesn't mean you don't do your share". Now the older 2 are 21 and 18 and both working. They iron clothes, cook meals, clean the loo, vacuum, laundry. Whatever needs doing when they are here. It works both ways as if they need a favour, they know they can ask as they don't take the piss.

maisiejoe123 Wed 27-Mar-13 18:09:38

We are taking a economic decision. If I lost my job or was chosen for redudancy it wouldnt be great, however if DH lost his we would be in deep deep trouble...

impty Wed 27-Mar-13 18:18:25

I know in my dh's industry that once you reach a certain level you either both work and pay for full time childcare (live in nannies) or there is a partner at home. It's been known for people to get passed up for promotion because they need to have time to spend with their children. Men and women. There's a glass ceiling there for both genders if the priority is childcare over and above career.
So childcare is a massive issue in our society. It shapes the decisions families take. Employers are not very sympathetic or helpful in this and that affects the sahp too.

maisiejoe123 Wed 27-Mar-13 18:24:32

A very wise female manager of mine many years ago said childcare should be sorted well in advance and Plan B's and Plan C's in place.

However in the event of a disaster - if you need to leave an overrunning meeting, warn in advance that you need to leave by say 1700. Dont explain why, you just need to move the meeting on and if it started at 1500 - well you should have plenty of time to get through the agenda. At 1700 just have your stuff packed up and go.

After all if a man announced he needed to go at 1700 to watch a Chelsea V Everton match in London well he would be cheered!

Wishihadabs Wed 27-Mar-13 18:24:32

We have always made sure we could survive on either of our full-time salaries. We have limited our fixed expenses with that in mind.

Wishihadabs Wed 27-Mar-13 18:27:47

But why should it always be the woman who has to leave at 1700 ? That is just not fair. Also if it is always the female partner because she earns less, than that is a pretty good way of ensuring she always will

maisiejoe123 Wed 27-Mar-13 18:29:55

For us it would mean giving up our dreams of educating the children privately (please dont start on me if you dont believe in PE!) and after a while you do want to take a 'risk' whether that be a bigger house, holiday home, more expensive car etc. I would hate to be one of those people with stacks of savings on the off chance that I lost my job. Of course we have savings but not huge amounts. What we do have is a lot of equity in the house. For me that is enough and my Plan B. We could easily downsize and move to a smaller house. The only reason this house is as expensive as it is the location which suits us having to commute into London.

I have worked for over 30 years and think that is enough time to put our dreams into reality

Wishihadabs Wed 27-Mar-13 18:30:40

Btw the discrepancies in our earning potential are partly due to DH staying at home for 18m in the last 3 years. I consider this to exemplify why I should do my best to support him now

Kazooblue Wed 27-Mar-13 18:30:40

Fastermany families with a sahp pay more in tax than many getting CB and help with childcare if we're going down that route.

We're supposed to be paying off debt.

Obviously there are some that are being made to pay more and some who aren't eg millionaires,wealthy families on joint income of up to 300k and wealthy pensioners.

It isn't fair and is letting many families/children down.

maisiejoe123 Wed 27-Mar-13 18:32:05

Wish, because if it was the man in a high paying role the company would get tired of it. Why are they interested in you having to leave to attend a parents evening. I just dont say....

Companies now want huge amounts of committments from their employees. I have worked for the same company for over 20 yrs. I have seen huge changes in what they are looking for.

Kazooblue Wed 27-Mar-13 18:32:43

Maisie that is rubbish and certainly doesn't happen in my Dp's line of work,quite the reverse.

Nice to see money that could pay off debt and has been taken off sahp is going towards private education.hmm

maisiejoe123 Wed 27-Mar-13 18:33:44

FWIW - I dont necessarily agree with this but why would a company be interested in how a family wants to support each other internally. They are just not bothered!

maisiejoe123 Wed 27-Mar-13 18:34:47

What are you talking about Kazoo.. What money.... Are you suggesting to tell me what to do with my salary??

FasterStronger Wed 27-Mar-13 18:35:06

Kazoo - many families with a sahp pay more in tax than many getting CB and help with childcare

yes because they have a higher earner and higher earners pay more tax and they don't need help with child care as they have a SAHP

but they do get pension credits. smile

maisiejoe123 Wed 27-Mar-13 18:36:14

So, your DH's company doesnt want huge amounts of committment. I beg to differ unless he runs a one man business.

impty Wed 27-Mar-13 18:37:36

not enough pension credits to pay a pension. you have to either keep having children, top them up or have your own plan for retirement.

KarlosKKrinkelbeim Wed 27-Mar-13 18:37:57

"Nice to see money that could pay off debt and has been taken off sahp is going towards private education"
This demonstrates that you fundamentally misunderstand what taxation of earnings is. It does not represent a process whereby the government gives back to working people money belonging to it. It represents a process whereby the government takes from working people money belonging to them.
The assertion that people paying for private education are taking money owed to you as a SAHM is (a) inaccurate and (b) breathtaking in its arrogance.

SherbertStraws Wed 27-Mar-13 18:38:12

Yawn yawn yawn, how many times can you lote rehash this tired debate

maisiejoe123 Wed 27-Mar-13 18:40:25

Thanks Karlos. When I read Kazoo's post I thought at one point that she wanted perhaps my salary to be pointed towards her. Maybe she does.... Although all working people (including me!) are paying towards her pension...

And no Kazoo clearly doesnt understand how tax works...

FasterStronger Wed 27-Mar-13 18:41:44

impty - not enough pension credits to pay a pension yes but neither is anyone else's annual NI contribution enough to pay a pension.

Kazooblue Wed 27-Mar-13 18:42:39

Karl's well I certainly don't think people who can afford private education should be getting help with childcare.

And yes a higher earner loses CB but those on the same or more dual don't and pay less tax for the same salary.

Kazooblue Wed 27-Mar-13 18:43:32

Maisie I paid of my pension for years and dp continues to do so-with my help.

impty Wed 27-Mar-13 18:43:56

yes... so I will be living off my own means not a gov pension in the future!

It is a relevant debate, Sherbert. And if it is not relevant to you, I am sure it is relevant to people you know - maybe even people you care about. And if people never discussed issues, then we would still have slavery, workhouses, apartheid and segregation, and women would be regarded as their husbands' property, would not be allowed to own property, would not have the vote, and rape within marriage would still be legal.

So, sorry if we are boring you, but if everyone yawns and looks away, nothing will ever change or improve.

KarlosKKrinkelbeim Wed 27-Mar-13 18:44:19

I work - fucking hard -in part so I can afford to educate my DC privately. Also, of course, so I can afford proper help for my DS with ASD, which our fabulous public services so hopelessly fail to provide.
Anyone who thinks I should not be doing this so as to be able to contribute to benefits for SAHP can sod off, frankly.

maisiejoe123 Wed 27-Mar-13 18:45:21

Faster - but someone, somewhere is paying for people's pensions. If less and less are paying in then the age will have to go up before you can receive it (oh look it has!).

We are all living longer. Perhaps if I die before I can claim 'my entiltement' whatever that is then my estate can claim the rest. If the average age for women to live is 82 say and I die at 65, well can my family have my contributions back. No - I didnt think so.....

Kazooblue Wed 27-Mar-13 18:46:56

Oh you can Karlos but you shouldn't be getting help with childcare too,you clearly don't need it.

maisiejoe123 Wed 27-Mar-13 18:48:34

Kazoo said she has worked for years. Really - well I am a higher rate tax payer and will at 65 (not quite there yet) have worked for 40 years. Do I get more because I have worked for longer. No, I know I wont state pension wise.

And Kazoo keeps insisting that her DH pays her share. It doesnt work like that....No one person pays another persons share...

Kazooblue Wed 27-Mar-13 18:51:13

Well Maisie if we all got proportionately what we pay in the whole system would collapse,rather a silly question.Anyway how do you know dp and I haven't paid in more than you?hmm

maisiejoe123 Wed 27-Mar-13 18:52:46

Kazoo - I cannot believe you are judging Karlos like this. She has just said she is working to support a child with ASD. FGS - who do you think you are telling people what you think they can and cannot get. She has been let down by public services. She has decided to work and pay to get the care and attention for her child. What is so wrong with that?

BTW - I dont have any childcare needs anymore so the changes are irrelevant to me but would fight to keep it for working parents going foward.

maisiejoe123 Wed 27-Mar-13 18:54:08

Because you dont work and unless your DH is £200k plus.......

FasterStronger Wed 27-Mar-13 18:55:09

Anyway how do you know dp and I haven't paid in more than you?

because you wouldn't go on and on and on and on and on about your loss of CB if you income was that high.

Kazooblue Wed 27-Mar-13 18:55:57

Errr. I think you'll find this is a public forum with plenty of opinions as you know it is a discussion.grin

Sorry anybody wealthy enough to pay for private education should not be getting help with childcare.

I suspect a lot of those on 300k getting this help will simply use it towards school fees which is ridiculous when 60k is deemed as too wealthy for CB.

maisiejoe123 Wed 27-Mar-13 18:58:00

We have two DS's at private schools, one at senior boarding school. We live in the South East near London. Without revealing our dual income you do the sums. We get no help from inheirtance (all parents still alive!) and had no help with childcare, one set of parents live 300 miles away and the other set are too frail.

Kazooblue Wed 27-Mar-13 18:58:10

Well there you go.

As I said I had a career and dp and I have both worked for several years,dp in several roles.

You know all sahp aren't a leech on society as you so clearly think they are.

Viviennemary Wed 27-Mar-13 18:59:10

I wouldn't object to the non-working parent's tax allowance being transferred to the working parent. But then single parents might think that discriminates against them. And people did want separate taxation and pensions. That's why the married couple's pension was phased out. I think the child benefit rule for higher tax payers is unfair.

LittleChickpea Wed 27-Mar-13 18:59:18

Sorry i haven't read all the comments.  I may well get flamed for this but here it goes...

Speaking from experience and as an employer. I don't care whether the person applying is a SAHM/SAHD/single/married/disabled etc.  What I need is someone that has the skills, experience or the ability to learn quickly (dependant on the role) and all that stuff people read on job roles/profiles.  In my field up to date knowledge of whats happening in our industry and flexibility is important and it does impact decisions on candidates.  This is not discrimination, we have to make decisions that secure the companies future and inevitably protect jobs and yes our bottom line.  If we are not flexible to our client needs, we get sacked.  If we get sacked by clients then this results in redundancies so we have to make decisions that are in the best interest of the business. This means we have to employ the most suitable candidate for the role regardless of gender, disability or a parent. That's RL!

With regards the gap in CV.  Again I don't care whether that's due to been a SAHP or someone who went traveling etc.  I care that I  believe the person in front of me can do the job.  And if our business had to choose between two people with equal skills/qualifications/whatever but one persons CV has a gap of a number of years (regardless of reason) and the other has continued employment, it's an easy decision.  We can get the person with no gap up to speed and getting on with it quicker than having to up skill the other.  Unfortunately it's a tough trading environment and companies are their to protect the profits, shareholder value and growth.  

IMO, SAHM are not discriminated against and no one is trying to force anyone back to work.  If people choose to have children thats a choice they make and the impact of choosing to stop working should be considered. And if it someones choice to stay home because they feel its in the best interest of their  child/children then go for it but they can't complain when they don't walk straight back into a career after 3/5/10 years..

Kazooblue Wed 27-Mar-13 19:01:19

Well Maisie you have pretty much made the point re the argument.There is no way that people like you should have help with childcare.The fact you do and sahp families on less are losing money quite obviously makes the point that sahp are discriminated against.

maisiejoe123 Wed 27-Mar-13 19:01:51

What about grandparents who pay the private school fees, should their contribution be taken into account.

Many many times I have wished we had grandparents who wanted to do this but good for them - they are too busy living it up and their social lives are certainly much more hectic than mine.

Its our choice to use our salaries anyway we want and have you thought Kazoo that all the parents educating privately are allowing YOUR kids to be in smaller classes??

"It doesn't work like that ... no one person pays another person's share"

Well, it seems natural enough to think that as well as having paid my share in previous and future employment, maybe my DH can contribute some of it whilst I'm looking after the DC's, or even the DC's can one day contribute something to the economy after I've got them to adulthood. Also my work with young children in pre-school and other settings (when I was working recently and over the last twenty years) has been shown to have an economic value in terms of the children's future economic and social well-being far in excess of the pay given to staff (and even including the other costs of the provision) .... research showed a X6 return on investment I believe.

maisiejoe123 Wed 27-Mar-13 19:03:52


Kazooblue Wed 27-Mar-13 19:05:43

<whispers>Many like you will be.

maisiejoe123 Wed 27-Mar-13 19:08:24

'People like me'........

Oh give it a rest. If you want to have some more money than do what others have done on this thread. Go out and work.....

FasterStronger Wed 27-Mar-13 19:08:49

Many really 'many'? how many?

only 8% on women earn more than 40k.

^^^^ this is an issue.

maisiejoe123 Wed 27-Mar-13 19:09:32

Many like you will be what.... Sorry - I dont understand what you are saying....

maisiejoe123 Wed 27-Mar-13 19:12:34

Kazoo has a chip on her shoulder. She wants to be a SAHP, she is envious of people who are getting more than her. She would like some of the dosh. She doesnt want to work and for her family that is hopefully the right decision.

But to come on a thread and starting judging people who work like Karlos because the state has let them down with childcare/schooling options is awful.

LaFataTurchina Wed 27-Mar-13 19:14:18

"Only 8% of women earn more than 40k."

I'm actually shocked. Blimey. That's a tiny amount.

maisiejoe123 Wed 27-Mar-13 19:14:25

Faster - very true, £40k is not a great amount around London, yet nearly 90% dont earn it. It is worrying....

FasterStronger Wed 27-Mar-13 19:15:22

maisie - you are quite right!

Kazooblue Wed 27-Mar-13 19:05:43
<whispers>Many like you will be.

but there are not many couples on high incomes.

only 8% on women earn more than 40k.

this is an issue.

FasterStronger Wed 27-Mar-13 19:17:16


(sorry but that deserves caps!)

Kazooblue Wed 27-Mar-13 19:17:51

Nice Maisie.hmm

I have a family,I have always worked until recent years and the years. I have had out were valuable and beneficial to my dc.

Others should be helped to have the same if they want it instead of wasting money on helping wealthy families who don't need help with their childcare.Yes not you Maisie but others on over 60 k the cut off for families on 1 income re the loss of CB.

maisiejoe123 Wed 27-Mar-13 19:27:42

I am sure Kazoo that you made the right decision for YOUR family. You clearly would like to have more money, wouldnt we all! But I am staggered that you feel the need to judge others and start deciding who gets benefits and who doesnt.

What if I started a thread that said 'why do SAMP's who arent paying in still getting a pension and other benefits'? Purely from an economic view point. I wouldnt because I understand how tax works.

Would be flamed by some but realistically I would like to always go on a 5 star holiday with business class flights. I need to get that promotion to allow me to do it. I dont want to as my hours would increase massively.

So, I therefore accept that based on my decisions there are some things I cannot afford doing my current role. I dont start on people who can afford these things and bleat it is unfair I cannot afford it too.

unlucky83 Wed 27-Mar-13 19:27:55

Little chickpea - what if they (like me) came to the conclusion that they couldn't give the level of commitment to the job they would like to... because they had to be off when Dcs were sick, had to leave in time to pick up DCs etc etc (basically felt like they were doing nothing well and letting everyone down). I personally think I did the right thing for, DC, employer....
So now with older DCs (less commitments) they feel they can give a job the commitment it deserves ...but they aren't allowed to...even if they have researched the post, looked at updating their skills and have proved themselves repeatedly in numerous previous roles (it takes a bit of adapting to become a SAHP - believe me) - they get written off without a chance because they have a gap in their cv and you think that means it will take longer to get them up to speed ....
Otherwise - lets not have children and then wait for the fall out of that when we want our pensions paid or the nursing home can't find the staff to look after us...

maisiejoe123 Wed 27-Mar-13 19:32:03

Little chickpea is right. Someone with a gap in their CV is going to struggle against someone who is up to date and no gap. However we all know this is the case. We can complain its wrong, unfair etc but we do know how it is.

Its rather like celebrities complaining about their lack of privacy when they become A List. Its not a secret that at that level there is always someone in the bushes waiting to take a picture of you with your rollers in and no make it. But still they complain and carry on in the industry getting their £10 m per picture....

Goldenbear Wed 27-Mar-13 19:37:40

Littlechickpea, you say you're not being discriminatory in your recruitment practices which must mean you hold no bias but you have described a very unobjective recruitment process whereby you would always choose someone with no gap on their cv over someone with a gap on their cv- that is a bias and therefore discriminatory!

unlucky83 Wed 27-Mar-13 19:39:18

Last post I applied for I was over qualified for...but then had been out of the field for a while - was completely upfront about everything ...I only applied for it because I KNEW I could do that job well - main role of job was in something that I had become a bit of an expert in - even said that DP would become SAHD. (Didn't say it - but they would have got a lot for their money). Also no problem me moving on once I got my foot in the door - it was (like most of these roles ) a fixed term contract for a year...
I got sterling references from two very respected senior figures ....
I dindn't even get an interview ...Now I'm wondering if they looked at DCs and career break and threw my cv in the bin...

Kazooblue Wed 27-Mar-13 19:41:52

Maisie I'm judging a system that penalises sahm and rewards wp.The system isn't fair and doesn't value the hugely important job that SAHMs do.

As tax payers my family can judge what they likehmm.

Viviennemary Wed 27-Mar-13 19:43:13

I think two or three years career break is probably acceptable but people with ten years or more I think would find it quite hard to get back in at the level they left. If I was recruiting I don't think I'd bother with anybody with ten years out of the workplace.

Viviennemary Wed 27-Mar-13 19:44:19

I didn't mean that to sound harsh but I was just thinking the way these recruitment people think and that is the way most of them think.

LittleChickpea Wed 27-Mar-13 19:49:23

unlucky83 its not that you are not allowd. Its that businesses are looking for a very quick return on their investment and that includes in candadates. I am sorry but what i said is true. I would advise you get unskilled before applying. Demonstrating research and upskilling, with historic experience and passion is a stronger position than coming in against someone with those skills already. You also have o be flexible, the business will always want to come first. I am sorry it's RL.

Goldenbear yes we don't. If the person with the gap is clearly the better option then that's the person that gets the job but if they are not upto date on knowledge them their not the best option. We do what is best for the business and not the individual. And i can assure you most business in the current climate are doing the same. So you want me to discriminate against the other person that we believe is better suited to the role just so we can demonstrate some sort of PC.

With regards the skills attained as a SAHP, I have no doubt these are useful but unfortunately I can't see how these would adapt to a role in a business environment. Please can some explain this to me?

Goldenbear Wed 27-Mar-13 19:51:23

Well, that is very shortsighted of you- to write off someone before they have even got to an interview, not bother with their CV. For a start you don't know what they did prior to being SAHP. If you are highly intelligent, can apply yourself, skilled at running and making money for businesses- you don't stop being those things. By thinking that a SAHP is a write off you're risking not getting the best person for a job, potentially a very costly mistake.

Goldenbear Wed 27-Mar-13 19:55:43

It's not anything to do with being PC, it is about best practice that if applied to the process will lead to the best outcome for the business.

LittleChickpea Wed 27-Mar-13 19:59:37

goldenbear I hope that wasn't directed at me.... Because if it was you need to read my notes again.... And at what point did I say a SAHP is a write off? Check yourself before responding!

FasterStronger Wed 27-Mar-13 20:02:12

when I have given men a chance who have a gap in their cv, they have been less reliable than those who don't. people who can manage their finances without working appear to be less reliable than those who need the job.

Goldenbear Wed 27-Mar-13 20:02:37

What is astounding is the ignorance abound of a lot of employers when it comes to one of their most expensive outgoings- people. Believe me, i have no interest in working with such ignorance and stupidity, I'd be bored and frustrated within seconds- luckily I have freelance options!

LittleChickpea Wed 27-Mar-13 20:05:41

goldenbear where did I say SAHP are a write off? Justify that comment or retract it. Did you just make that up in you head to justify your opinion?

morethanpotatoprints Wed 27-Mar-13 20:18:54

Sahm's are discriminated against but no more than any other woman. There are many different types of sahm too, so it depends on ehich type you are talking about. for e.g discrimination in applying for work would only apply to a temporary sahm, because by definition a full time sahm for the whole of dcs childhood (like me) wouldn't be looking for work anyway.
To answer the OP Yes I am a sahm, I am mostly happy with benefits my family are entitled to as the cuts don't seem to affect us. I am not happy with the system for so many other people. Yes, sometimes i feel judged, but only on Mnet, not rl. Does it bother me? Not really, I couldn't give a stuff as long as my family are happy.

KarlosKKrinkelbeim Wed 27-Mar-13 20:22:52

"Oh you can Karlos but you shouldn't be getting help with childcare too,you clearly don't need it. "
I don't get any help with childcare. I pay for it out of taxed income. Plus tax and NI on the nanny's salary too. Then I pay - despite the massive whack it takes from me both from my salary and the tax and NI I pay on my nanny's - for extra help and schooling for my son that the state is too lame and inadequate to provide.
Although having to do this means I have a lot more gumption than the sort of whiner who thinks people like me should be shelling out on top to support them at home, so it's not all bad, I guess

mam29 Wed 27-Mar-13 20:27:39

im bit shocked at 8%of women in uk earn 40k.

plus im guessing higher salaries mostly southeast/london
where childcare and cost living more expensive.

be interesting if we had % of sahm in southeast as guess could be high as would have to earn leasts 40k with more than 1 child to consider going back.

Would be harder for single mum who earns 40-50k in southeast compared to 2 income family both decent wages in southeast.

Im south west and to consider going back reckon need 30k position which with my 4year gap dont think I will get.

For xmas I applied for few temp xmas jobs 8hour temp sales in fashion retail where I had worked for before as supervisor and left on good terms.

I get automated email back for all 3positions within that company.
no reason just saying I dident match the skills and experience they looking for.

Husband thinks its because so many people are applying after so many ie first 100 -200 applications they think thats too much so guess its the firstfew applicants .

He advertised 8hour temp job in south wales min wag had applications in 3days.

Recently was costa 1400 aplications for just 8jobs.

Because husband employs people he said so may applicants have been good people over qualified lost retail expereince and coming to him after their old employer went under woolies, focus, hmv.

retails partiuarly tough sector as less retailers out there.
food retail keep wages low and use workfare and other cheap labour schemes.
fashions struggling as no one has any money to spend.
Also younger ones under 21 are cheaper.

When I worked I always gave every applicant fair chance and many of my workforce were working mums or teenagers living at home with their parents.

Most retail positions unless managerial or supervisory are part time.

My mam lost her job twice last few years as worked for rosebys then ponden mill and they both went under.

I think its all very well say go back to work.
But where are all these private sector jobs they keep banging on about.

if I was jsa I could go college fe and do course at concession rate so gcse for example £60 or 500quid.

It would be helpful if they could make education more mum freindly as i have been priced out going back to uni with 9k tuition fees !

At end of day gap and inflexible on hours puts sahm at disadvantage.

janey68 Wed 27-Mar-13 20:41:15

Can I just reiterate that when recruiting people to my team I choose the best person for the job. It really is that simple. Recruitment is an expensive business. Mistakes costly. I want someone with up to date knowledge and skills who will fit into the team. I couldnt give a shiny shit if they've spent the last 3 years at home or trekking in the himalayas -
I they are the best person they get the job. And if the job goes to someone who is currently in a similar post against someone who's been a SAHM then that isn't discrimination- its because the person I appoint has what I need to get the job done.

maisiejoe123 Wed 27-Mar-13 20:53:47

Golden - can I ask, are you in the work place because you have very lofy opinions about how we are all missing out on recruiting these SAHP's. Someone trashed my exoerience of recruiting and then said they probably didn't want to work for me. As they didn't turn up I don't know how they would be able to decide!!

If you have been out of the job market for x number of yrs you will be at a disadvantage and will have to work extra hard to prove yourself. Just as applying for a role where you don't have all the skills will also put you at a disadvantage.

People are stating what it is like to apply for a role these days. You can decide not to listen if you wish but it doesn't changee reality!

LittleChickpea Wed 27-Mar-13 21:00:19

maisiejeo that's so true... As much as people may not like it, it's reality...

janey68 Wed 27-Mar-13 21:14:41

Over the last few years I've seen a huge increase in the number of applicants applying for posts when I advertise. There has never been any problem recruiting: it's more often the case that I could happily appoint 2 or 3 people after the final interview. So I too an a bit sceptical about the idea that there are hordes of people out there who I'm missing out on.

maisiejoe123 Wed 27-Mar-13 21:15:31

To a certain extent its not just SAHM's who have problems at interviews. You could be overweight, you could have special needs and need a job to be developed for those needs, you might not have any qualifications, you might have personal hyegine problems and it goes on and on.... Its not just SAHP's who face issues.

maisiejoe123 Wed 27-Mar-13 21:20:49

Having said that I need some fairly major work done in the garden (about 4k). I have rung two local companies a few days ago. One has not bothered to call back and the other said he would come and see the garden some time yesterday. He didn't turn up either.

Anyone want to do it (only joking).....

Goldenbear Wed 27-Mar-13 21:29:51

I assume you mean lofty not 'lofy'? I am not in the workplace, I am one of 'them' the SAH people you speak so highly of.

Like I said before, if someone is intelligent, highly qualified, has years of experience in a particular field, is a quick learner, can apply knowledge to practice easily prior to being a SAHP they don't loose those credentials because they have a child that they SAH with for a period. The best person for the job as not necessarily the longest serving in their career. They could have been a time waster, a clock watcher for the last 4 years, getting out of one company before they're pushed out or before they're found out. However, recruiters are blind to this as some are shortsighted enough to think years of employment equals up to date knowledge.

Personally, I'm not in a position to have to prove anything as I have been offered freelance work which is better paid and more flexible.

Goldenbear Wed 27-Mar-13 21:32:19

Lose not 'loose'

bumperella Wed 27-Mar-13 21:33:05

I run a (very) small business from home - hours are such that I don't need "paid for" childcare for DD. I don't claim any benefits of any kind whatsoever. I'm in the UK. DH earns a decent salary, slightly less than I earned before we had DD; we have a small house, cheap tastes, and savings. I don't earn enough to pay tax, but I don't feel I am obliged to earn as much as possible so that I pay as much tax as possible.

It absolutely is my choice; I make sure I have "kept my hand in" enough to make me competitive in the job market in future, though I wouldn't be able to enter job at same level as pre-baby this is partly due to excessive hours, overseas travel, etc making it impractical/not what I would want to do.

It's blindingly obvious from many of the posts here that people resent this, and assume that SAHP all claim some kind of benefits and/or don't want to "get on in life". This is simply not true, and it never ceases to amaze me how many apparantly intelligent and well-informed people buy into a stereotype of "SAHM watching Jeremy Kyle at the taxpayers expense".

janey68 Wed 27-Mar-13 21:36:05

I don't know where you've been applying for jobs Goldenbear but I certainly wouldn't assume that someone who has been in a job for years is necessarily going to be the best person for the job. The recruitment process is a little more refined than that you know! It does surprise me that some people seem to find it hard to believe that employers want the best person for the job. It's a tough old world out there and recruitment is a costly and time consuming business. It's in my interests to get it right!

maisiejoe123 Wed 27-Mar-13 21:41:14

Golden Bear is freelance. She doesn't apply for roles. She just claims we are all getting it wrong and recruiting the wrong people most of the time.....

Goldenbear Wed 27-Mar-13 21:46:59

I haven't been applying for jobs Janey, my work is as a SAHP for now. I've been offered freelance work and turned it down.

I am well aware of the Recruitment and Selection process, I'll think you'll find it was ME who first commented on how employing the wrong person can be a 'costly' mistake. I am Graduate CIPD qualified and my specialist area of HR was recruitment!

Goldenbear Wed 27-Mar-13 21:48:23

I'm not freelance, I'm a SAHP, I don't want that compromised!

janey68 Wed 27-Mar-13 21:49:29

Ah right thanks for clarifying!

LittleChickpea Wed 27-Mar-13 22:00:11

goldenbar you still haven't answered by question. Since you accused me of writing off SAHP. Where did I say SAHP are a write off? Justify that comment or retract it. Did you just make that up in you head to justify your opinion?

bumperella Wed 27-Mar-13 22:00:45

Earlier up-thread there was a comment that being a parent doesn't give you skills... I'm amazed by that. It depends on the level you're going in at, and what the role is, as to whether you'd be expected to have developed those skills already/would be likely to find those skills useful.

But if I were looking for a junior-entrant and was presented with a CV of (eg) a single mother who had been a SAHM then won qualifications when her DC(s) were older - say at 15hrs-per-week-funded nursery or started school - then actually I would feel she would be more likely to make a reliable, sensible, mature, independent and hard-working employee than many a new graduate/newly qualified. That isn't being politically correct, it's appreciating that not everyone lives the same life. I'm not in HR or recruitment, incidentally, but that just seems like common sense to me.

morethanpotatoprints Wed 27-Mar-13 22:04:52

Goldenbear grin

Can somebody tell me why the question above isn't really being addressed and why on earth a thread about sahm's, benefits and discrimination has developed into HR specialisms.

by the way my action research part of the CMI executive Diploma was Manpower Planning, in case anybody wanted to know grin

LittleChickpea Wed 27-Mar-13 22:06:23

morethan if you read through you'll see that most people have answered that.

Goldenbear Wed 27-Mar-13 22:07:26

littlechickpea, I'm unsure what needs explaining, if it does then that is your problem really, not mine.

ihategeorgeosborne Wed 27-Mar-13 22:11:42
LittleChickpea Wed 27-Mar-13 22:12:19

Goldenbear ahhhh so you cant answer that or justify it and we all now know you made it up. Thats cool, just needed clarity on it. I knew I hadn't said and knew it was untrue. Just needed clarity!

Goldenbear Wed 27-Mar-13 22:16:09

Well I really think it would be patronising of me to explain the terms implicit and explicit but...

LittleChickpea Wed 27-Mar-13 22:18:11

hmm Come on now... Grasping at straws here..

maisiejoe123 Wed 27-Mar-13 22:26:11

Golden - you did accuse Chick of writing SAHP's off. She does have a point.

Permanentlyexhausted Wed 27-Mar-13 22:29:13

Goldenbear won't answer your question LittleChickpea, just as she didn't respond when I queried something she'd said back on about page 4. Apparently I display terrible prejudice by asking all the candidates the same questions at interview and expecting all the candidates to be able to substantiate any claims they make about skills they have.

I completely agree with Goldenbear's statement that the best person for the job may not be the longest serving, nor even the person with the most continuous service though. Someone with several years out of the workplace may well be the best person for the job but I can't know that (and thus choose to employ them) if they can't demonstrate their potential during the selection process. It would be nice to be psychic but I'm not.

maisiejoe123 Wed 27-Mar-13 22:31:33

You also have strange view of what you think is going on. You imply I think that SAHP's need extra points for being - well SAHP's!

The reality is what myself and others have stated. We are in the workplace - you are not. Maybe if you feel this strongly about what is going on you need to get back into the workplace and change things!

janey68 Wed 27-Mar-13 22:36:26

Being a parent certainly develops certain skills, just as running a home well can demonstrate specific skills such as organisation and time manangement. But these things aren't exclusive to SAHM. WOHM applying for a job will also be able to demonstrate those attributes

LittleChickpea Wed 27-Mar-13 22:36:41

Apparently I display terrible prejudice by asking all the candidates the same questions at interview and expecting all the candidates to be able to substantiate any claims they make about skills they have

confused why is this prejudicial? Maybe we will get an answer to this question! smile

Nanc123 Wed 27-Mar-13 22:41:44

Most women are discriminated against IN the workplace, I think that when you are a SAHM you are the boss of the show normally. Most men are asked by their bosses when they want a day off for emergency child care "cant your wife look after him/her", no matter if she works....or earns more money than the husband.

Nanc123 Wed 27-Mar-13 22:42:58

time out of the workplace is time out of the workplace - its a choice that you have to deal with

maisiejoe123 Wed 27-Mar-13 22:51:00

Its OK I was accused of being so unpleasant at interview no one wants to wqork for me! How they would know is a little confusing because they didn't turn up to be interviewed! Still - hey ho.

Goldenbear Wed 27-Mar-13 22:58:44

Permanently, I said certain views were prejudicial in nature, not the rest. If it was you that said SAHP came across as 'entitled', then my comments were correct?

Maisie, you are in YOUR workplace and that is the extent of your experience if you want to follow that line of argument. I'm a SAHP, we don't exist in some kind of vacuum. People around me are in employment, immediate family, friends, they talk about what is going on in the big, important world of work.

I don't have any desire to return to that kind of workplace yet as my work is SAHP at the moment.

JustinBsMum Wed 27-Mar-13 23:08:44

I wonder if the Gov could legislate for a new Short Notice Leave allowance for all workers of, say, 5 days per year which they can take without prior notice or explanation. Then men and women can take time off for child/elderly rellie care without it being held against them and without them having to explain why they need time off.

Permanentlyexhausted Wed 27-Mar-13 23:16:35

No, I have never said that SAHP come across as entitled. You're mixing me up with someone else.

In fact my original comment was on page 2 when I said that if employers couldn't see what skills were gained by being a SAHP it was because they were not being demonstrated during the selection process. All candidates need to be able to demonstrate the skills they claim to have with specific examples. That applies equally to someone looking to get back into the workplace after x years as a SAHP as well as to someone with 40+ years of continuous service.

IME the calibre of applications we receive in my industry is phenomenally better than it was even 5 years ago. Not the candidates but the professionalism of their applications and their conduct at interview. Choosing candidates, even after interviews have been held, is unbelievably difficult.

maisiejoe123 Wed 27-Mar-13 23:19:17

If you are due to do a big presentation how would this leave at a moments notice with no explanation work?

In my experience I have found that in real emergencies eg child been rushed into hospital of course you must go. I had a father ask if he could be excused from an important meeting the next day because his cat had died the previous day and his DD didn't feel up to going to school.

unlucky83 Wed 27-Mar-13 23:25:17

Sorry chickpea ...
Did you actually read what I wrote - I am overqualified - the last thing I need is another qualification - 'upskilling ' (is that word actually in the dictionary?) ...actually thought that was what counted against me - until I read some what some people in recruitment had written...
As to being flexible - I could be - why do you think I explained the reasons I had taken the career break and that I could make a FT commitment - that DP would become a SAHD etc - as I have said I researched the post and looked at the skills required ...and believe me that was a job I was more than qualified for - even after my career break - I could have done it really well - there will be slightly updated procedures (but I have proved without doubt in my PhD I could learn and implement even completely new to me techniques rapidly, I could adapt and even design new techniques to try and answer the questions being thrown at me by the results - it wasn't an an easy thing to study)
I have been a manager, I have been an employer, I have interviewed and recruited people...I know what I would expect from people who worked for me ...I think that should make me a good employee...
I more than realise what RL is - I think you didn't read my earlier post partner had his own business - a successful restaurant business - I did all the admin/accounts/organisation etc for him - he sold it purely to spend more time with his DCs (at a tidy profit - just before the economic downturn). He now has a low paid but undemanding job which gives him more time to spend with the family...and why I should be able to restart my career...
As to useful skills you learn as a SAHP ....let see ...negotiation, diplomacy, patience, multitasking, coping under pressure, dealing with monotony/repetition, ability to adapt and learn new skills, budgeting, organisation, self discipline, common sense - guess all parents learn those but in my experience if you are a FTWM you miss fun with your DCs but you also want to make time you spend with them special and they appreciate your time with them more ... you miss a lot of the hard parts (not including things like DD1s nursery more or less potty trained her for me...) try spending all day, every day getting the paints/playdoh out for 20 mins play followed by 30 mins tidying up whilst your 2.5 year old is wanting help with that puzzle NOW and the postman is at the door with a parcel or the plumber on the phone to arrange a time for a boiler repair or even one of the annoying sales calls you get bombarded with and the cat has been sick on the stairs (NO! that's not for touching)..and then its school pick up but younger DC needs a poo (why didn't you tell me that 5 min ago?) . Then your DCs are bickering over whether they watch cbeebies or cBBC whilst you try and cook their dinner (you have already done how did you get on school today conversation? - so not much else to talk about by now - hardly likely you have anything interesting to tell DC about your day ) ...then DC won't do her maths homework and doesn't want a bath get them to bed and tidy up the devastation and then you are going to do it all again tomorrow and the next day and the next....until the weekend....great - but actually it isn't much different...

maisiejoe123 Wed 27-Mar-13 23:25:58

Suspect it was me. I did use the word entitled because I thought we would get a fab group of candicates. I stated 3 didnt turn up, one rang to say she needed to take her DS to the GP and one asked if she could do the role at home to save on childcare costs!

Permanentlyexhausted Wed 27-Mar-13 23:29:44

JustinBsMum. Nice in theory but probably not practical in many jobs. In most jobs there is a knock-on effect on your colleagues if you are away at short notice so some explanation would be polite at the very least. Besides, if there was no requirement for an explanation, what would stop people just using it as another 5 days of annual leave?

Most employees are able to have compassionate leave or parental leave. If employers wish to be obstructive, another form of leave won't change that.

Permanentlyexhausted Wed 27-Mar-13 23:39:11


negotiation, diplomacy, patience, multitasking, coping under pressure, dealing with monotony/repetition, ability to adapt and learn new skills, budgeting, organisation, self discipline, common sense.

Yes, I agree, those are skills that most parents would think they've developed. As an employer though, I would want more than a list. I would want specific examples of when you have demonstrated those skills, preferably ones that have some sort of element of professionalism to them.

janey68 Wed 27-Mar-13 23:46:48

Looking at that list of skills, I'm struggling to see any that you don't develop as a WOHP too. It's part and parcel of being a parent to young children.

LittleChickpea Thu 28-Mar-13 00:00:10

Unlucky83 I must be honest I had already posted my note prior to reading your second comment.  I was responding to your initial comment.  I have never turned down an excellent CV (short, snappy and to the point) from someone qualified or over qualified with the right experience. If anything I am intrigued when we receive applications from someone I would consider over qualified.  I want to know why they are applying for a position they can do with their eyes closed.  Honestly, there can be concerns that the person sees the role as a stepping stone and if we advertise we want people that show enthusiasm for that role and want that role. Clearly ambition and progression is important in time.  Its all based on how the CV reads and more importantly performance on the  day.  

negotiation, diplomacy, patience, multitasking, coping under pressure, dealing with monotony/repetition, ability to adapt and learn new skills, budgeting, organisation, self discipline, common sense these skills aren't exclusive to SAHP. I would expect most people in business / normal life have these skills.  It's how these skills are sold in an interview that matters.  Don't mean to sound cold but telling me about kids arguing and managing a household won't do it.  I need to understand how those skills transfer into the role profile. 

I say again..... I don't care if someone is a SAHP or not.  The strongest CVs get interviews and the strongest candidates get the job.  

olgaga Thu 28-Mar-13 00:05:40

To read the end of this thread you would think that SAHMs have absolutely no experience of the workplace whatsoever.

Most worked before they became SAHMs. Some of them at a high level. It isn't just about the skills you "pick up" as a SAHM. It's about the skills you picked up before you had children too, when you were employed.

Yes you might have to update them, or retrain. No-one expects to waltz into a job because they've been a SAHM. It's the fact that you already had those skills, and many organisational skills are reinforced through the experience of being a SAHM which requires a good deal of motivation.

However, you're never going to be an attractive proposition when you have children for the reasons I outline above.

This applies equally to WOHMs applying for new jobs/promotions as well as SAHMs.

Sadly we seem to be preoccupied by a wholly irrelevant competition between SAHM/WOHMs.

Permanentlyexhausted Thu 28-Mar-13 00:09:39

I agree Janey.

Negotiation, diplomacy, patience, coping under pressure, self-discipline - all skills I demonstrate concurrently (thus also multitasking) at about 7.55am every morning as the children bicker amongst themselves whilst not getting their shoes, coats, bags, etc. and I watch the seconds count down until that moment when I know nothing short of a miracle is going to mean I can make up the lost time on the journey to work.

Permanentlyexhausted Thu 28-Mar-13 00:13:30

Totally agree with LittleChickpea. That's what I've been trying to explain as well.

unlucky83 Thu 28-Mar-13 00:21:19

Permanently exhausted - so how would you like that presented?
As 'I demonstrated my negotiation skills by persuading DD1 to allow (without further disagreement) DD2 to watch cBeebies for the next 30 mins and then she could watch cBBC for the next 30 mins' - really how would you put that?
Janey68 - my point exactly - you (as someone responsible for recruitment) - know that - so how can a SAHM wanting to return to work express that on a cv - professionally?
And actually - have you done both? I have...and they are both hard and the grass is always greener but ...when I was a FTWM I was as a SAHM I realise how hard it actually is ... I think it is you have to do it 90+% of the time...think a tantrumy 2 year old and how hard they can be to deal with stopping them getting to the full blown stage ...the negotiation, diplomacy, patience, common sense, ability to adapt required - now if they are at Nursery/childcare all day someone else is doing that for you too - if they are with you all day you are practising those skills for at least 75% of your day...soon the thing that worked two or three times is going to not be as effective are going to have change your approach...(or in my case you have DD1 saying thats 'rubbish' distraction technique - DD2 you know she is trying to distract you from wanting XYZ smile)
Also without a doubt - children are always much harder for their parent to deal with (testing the boundaries) than for others...
If nothing else the sheer monotony - and coping with that - and mess that is created and tidied every day - way more than if everyone has been out all day ...
I think probably the biggest thing really is the DCs have missed you and want to spend time with you...and the same for you too - it is a change, you have more to talk about and and they just seem to be easier to deal with for it ....

scottishmummy Thu 28-Mar-13 00:27:15

Comparing intervening in family squabbles to complicated skilled mediating is utter rot
Managing your grocery spend is in no way comparable to understanding finances
Repetitive,habitual family task bear no resemblance to employment

janey68 Thu 28-Mar-13 00:31:37

Everything you write sounds totally familiar, unlucky83, and I'm sure resonates with parents across the globe. I just don't buy into this idea that it's only as a SAHM that you are dealing with all the trials and tribulations (as well as the golden moments) of parenting. And yes, I've worked part time, as indeed many mums do during the pre-school years so frequently had whole days at home

This looks as though it's veering dangerously towards competitiveness again which is a shame... it's not about trying to something is harder.

In fact I'm finding it a little ironic... we've had lots of posts about how parenting is undervalued, yet when a list of parenting skills is presented and we agree with it, it suddenly seems as though people want to start arguing again.

Permanentlyexhausted Thu 28-Mar-13 00:42:23

Unlucky, I hope you're being facetious but, on the off chance you're not...

If you were needing to provide some sort of evidence of your negotiation skills as part of the selection process for a job it would be because the job spec required negotiation skills. Unless it was a job where you were expected to deal with tantrumming toddlers, and indeed even if it were, I would expect you to provide me with an example of when you negotiated with an adult as an adult in at least a semi-professional manner (at the bank, with the council, on behalf of an elderly neighbour, ...). Bearing in mind that every other candidate is also going to try to show evidence of their negotiation skills, you wouldn't get very far with such a mundane example.

unlucky83 Thu 28-Mar-13 00:52:00

I can't even bother to reply to that scottishmummy - think that might just be stirring and belittling SAHPs ...and I really hope you are not so blinkered to really feel like that...
Like I said I have done both FTWM and SAHM - I think they are both hard...
(I do sort of work part-time - but from home, 4 hours a week for a pittance - and do alot of admin for local charities - just to stop complete brain rot)
Actually I think working part-time would perfect...but I suspect that might be a bit of the grass being greener again grin
Now DCs are older (both at school) it is a lot easier - and I do want a job - but actually I do think that I will never get back into the career I gave everything up for and studied/worked towards 9yrs - a job I loved - just because I didn't read the best before date on a tube of spermicidal jelly that must have been hanging around for years and turned up when I packed up to relocate!
(But I do really love my DCs too smile)

Goldenbear Thu 28-Mar-13 00:57:04

Yes and how many jobs REALLY require those skills Scottish? The self- aggrandising revealing itself on this thread is toe curling cringeworthy! Up thread it was mentioned that only 8% of women get paid over £40,000, which suggests that a majority of women are not in key decision making roles, where these highly demanding skill sets would be required- come on you're kidding yourselves! For a vast majority of men and women work is repetitive and 'habitual', even at a professional level this is the case. Prior to SAH status my job involved writing and creating lots of job adverts for national press. This a) gave me an insight into the BS nature of recruitment demands in comparison to the reality of the jobs behind the words and b) made me realise that most jobs involve lots of transferable skills as they are described as specific but are actually fairly generic.

unlucky83 Thu 28-Mar-13 01:07:58

BTW permanently - I was being facetious - but actually now negotiating with a hormone flying 12 yo - that really does test your skills - and I believe it is only going to get harder...
Actually for both toddlers and adolescents I would suggest it is harder than with adults - seeing as (most) adults do seem to be capable of rational thought...wink

BabySamadhi Thu 28-Mar-13 01:09:26


I went from avid party girl who was career minded n set on becoming a famous writer and who wanted to venture the world n live vicariously as a single woman, only to find out my absolutely wonderful boyfriend got me pregnant.

I turned into ur A-typical mum who wants nothing more than to stay home and nurture my daughter. We aren't millionaires, we aren't wealthy, we are just comfortable n learning through this experience. But people assume I'm lazy n I have no zest for life. My mother bein the no.1 culprit. Which I find strange cause she was a mother who did nothing but slog n who never had time for us- by the time she got home, she was angry n tired as children are very clingy to their parents. I just remember her unpleasant to be around n I know it is cause she was tired.

Yes, stay home mums are judged. But so are working mums- I judged mine...

Either way, women are expected to be able to do 1,000,000 things and stay calm n collected. We are not super women, we are super-just-ordinary-women, who put too much pressure on ourselves n who want our husbands n kids to appreciate us for our incredulous feats when we fail to realise- just doin things at the right time is all we need to do, goin beyond our limits sets expectations on our end, of gratitude from the people we love n that's where we cause rifts...

JustinBsMum Thu 28-Mar-13 01:50:04

The 5 emergency days off work could work. My point is that if DC is rushed to hospital, regardless of whether you are about to make a powerpoint talk or not, you will take time off with the blessing of wrk. However, if DC is not settling at school and has wet his her pants and crying and teacher decides best if parent comes in, the blessing won't be so forthcoming, especially if it is the third time.But it would be nice to say to your male DP, you do the next 'emergency' and I'll do the one after, it doesn't automatically fall on the mother. Plus, yes others will skive off but that's fine because you are all on an equal footing, no discrimination against apparently 'non committed' DMs who normally do the 'caring'.

SAHM work is v tedious and in my day was pretty soul destroying imv. Many DMs were content to go back to a less demanding job, as DCs grew older, as confidence had gone and they might need to take time off for DCs which is harder with more responsibility.

As GParents are living longer perhaps an assumption that they will step in for some caring is one way to go (on the assumption there are not many GCs or that it doesn't go on too long into their old age), though this is not always possible. Perhaps setting a target for part time work for mothers of small children, so the chance to get out to work, even if it's 2 mornings a week, is there as a stepping stone for SAHMs eg for every 20 ft workers one must be for pt mothers

LittleChickpea Thu 28-Mar-13 06:12:44

The 5 emergency days off work could work. Not saying it would or wouldn't work but I do have a question. Wouldnt the employer be discriminating against employees without children by doing this?

In my industry there are plenty of very well paid roles. But to get the job you need to demonstrate the right skills and flexibility etc. The more you earn, the higher the expectation that you work to the needs of the business. We work to deadlines and oftain last minute client needs mean people are expected to work into the evening and/or get in early to get the job done. The opportunities are there but if people don't feel they can commit to that, well then they don't apply. Thats there choice. That's not discrimination, it's what's in the best interest of the business.

MrsSchadenfreude Thu 28-Mar-13 07:13:18

I do a lot of recruitment for the organisation I work for, and in my experience, a lot of SAHMs who want to return to work let themselves down and don't sell themselves at interview. From the demeanour when they walk into the room, the wet fish handshake, what they wear (I had one come to interview wearing a T shirt with a slogan advertising a supermarket the other week) and why they want the job - I have had two people say to me "I thought I could probably manage to do it." I had one who said "I'm not sure I do, it sounds a bit demanding to me." Frankly, what you say next is of little consequence, because the employer has already decided you're not going to get the job.

(All of these quoted had great CVs and really good jobs before becoming a SAHM, so where did the confidence go? And what can be done to get it back?)

FasterStronger Thu 28-Mar-13 07:34:03

i don't think a parent negotiating with a child is relevant to workplace where last time i checked no one was anyone parent or child. Who wants to be spoken to like a 5 year old by a colleague? Who speaks to a 5 year old like they are a colleague?

also someone at interview saying they manage the family's money - as a financial skill...what!?! how does this relate to even basic company account issues e.g. VAT, NI, GL.

its not that being a SAHP doesn't give you skills, it clearly does, they don't seem relevant and i would think someone has completely lost the plot about work if they started talking about their DC skills at interview. it would be as relevant as someone talking about negotiating with their DH/P as a skill relevant to work.

they had a job before DC, which would be far more relevant. to talk about their SAH role at an interview seems very unworldly and completely out of touch with the world of work.

someone to steer well clear of.

crashdoll Thu 28-Mar-13 08:00:57

scottishmummy was as blunt as ever but had somewhat of a point. If you were asked in an interview "can you give me an example of how you have demonstrated financial planning skills?" saying you manage your household budget would not secure you the job.

olgaga Thu 28-Mar-13 08:11:21

I think it's important to "validate" the skills you acquire as a SAHM through qualifications - but it's worth remembering that skills need updating all the time whether you are in work or not.

These days there are plenty of online courses as well as HE colleges which can offer skills training in IT, management, mediation, counselling, coaching, customer services, accounting, there are OU diplomas etc. Updating your skills shows an employer you are serious about re-entering the workplace, and many of them are quite affordable.

I would give the same advice to someone who has just left a lengthy stint with one employer (eg redundancy). Having a long work record in the same job can be just as stultifying as a period out of the workplace!

Doing a stint of volunteering is also useful for getting up-to-date workplace experience.

This is quite a useful resource, as is this.

An interesting article here.

Goldenbear Thu 28-Mar-13 08:15:07

I actually despair at some of this recruitment 'advice'. If I had the misfortune to come across some of these ignorant attitudes at an interview, I would make my excuses and leave. Luckily, I'm in the fortunate position of not having to accept whatever job that comes along. Enlightened, progressive employers can well see the competitive advantage of employing a diverse workforce and that includes people who have a SAH background. I have been offered freelance work with people who are very, very wealthy but they have money to invest in new ideas and as such they are open to employing that diversity.

And actually no one has asked for any advice!

olgaga Thu 28-Mar-13 08:32:33

Golden I don't know if your comment was directed at me or not...

The point I have been trying to make is that everyone has a range of skills. Most SAHMs have left employment to care for their children at home, and so are not strangers to the workplace.

I think the problem many women face returning to work after an absence is a lack of confidence because they feel their experience is dated. That can also apply to someone being made redundant from a job they have held for a long time with a single employer.

Ultimately some employers are better than others when it comes to making assumptions about women with young families. The same assumptions are never made about men with young families - but that's a whole other thread!

janey68 Thu 28-Mar-13 08:47:01

Goldenbear- yes, youve already mentioned the amazing highly paid work that you've been offered and turned down... I still don't see why you are. being so dismissive of those of us who are involved in recruitment. We have said over and over again that all we are interested in is appointinng the best person for the job: someone with the skills and confidence to do it well, and who will work well with the existing team. You seen determined to find something hugely controversial about that, and equally determined that we're all missing out on these hordes of SAHM. We're not. I am very happy with the appointments I've made over the last few years, and yes, that includes people from a diverse range of backgrounds.

But like others have said, if someone cited managing the family budget or intervening with an argument between toddlers, as examples of skills, I wouldn't be overly impressed as these don't have relevance to my workplace. And even where they might have relevance (eg if you were applying for a housekeeper or nursery job) then tbh they are still skills that any parent develops and as such are not specific to a SAHM. I don't discriminate against SAHM at all. If they can prove they are the best person for the job they'll get it

LessMissAbs Thu 28-Mar-13 08:55:39

I'm with ScottishMummy. You cannot equate basic living skills with skills in the workplace.

Employers are biased against any employment gaps, for whatever reason. My DH took 3 years out of being a degree qualified, highly skilled engineer, to do his sport to British team level. He was unemployed for many months before having to take a drop in salary to get back into the workplace, and that was before the recession hit.

Likewise, I run my own property business and thought I could dip in and out of my profession with contract work when it suited me. Not on your nelly! Employers weren't interested in the skills or experience I had acquired through running my own business, they only wanted to see a regular record of employment and skills directly from that record of employment. Similarly, a friend who left her job as a commercial lawyer to study for a degree and has ran out of funds halfway through, has been unable to get back into law and is now working as a receptionist.

Working mothers and full time working women in demanding careers are probably under-represented on mumsnet, and in the media. They just don't have the time to make their voices heard. SAHMS are over-represented on mumsnet, because they have the time and ability to post - in most of my jobs, I wasn't allowed to post on the internet 9-5, even during breaks! tbh, its those silent voices of the hard working majority I feel for, who just get on with it.

olgaga Thu 28-Mar-13 09:03:51

I think a lot of people misunderstand this element of the debate.

Pointing out the skills you can acquire as a full-time carer of young children and running a home is something which I think helps women who have been SAHM for a lengthy period in terms of their confidence. It comes, I think, from the fact that many SAHMs do feel undervalued.

However, that isn't to say that SAHMs should go to interviews and talk about how they get everyone out the door in the morning! These are, after all, skills that all parents develop, whether they are SAHM or WOHM.

It's more about people understanding the skills they do use, and giving them the confidence to build on those skills through training, and present whatever skills they have as relevant to a particular job.

Anyone who goes for a job has to present themselves in a way that persuades an employer they have the skills and experience relevant to the role, no matter what their employment history is!

That might be harder for someone who has spent 10 years out of the workplace, but it's not difficult to show commitment to learning and work experience through volunteering, enthusiasm for the role and a wish to develop new skills.

It isn't just SAHMs who struggle at interviews - particularly these days!

MercedesKing Thu 28-Mar-13 09:11:14

No. Stay at home mum can be as great as those who are working in the workplace, they can have their own success by devoting to the family as well as their own business. My mum is the one, in addition to take care of us in a perfect way, she is still operating small jewelry store which go smooth in the unexpected situation. smile Thus, no.

fromparistoberlin Thu 28-Mar-13 09:27:27

fucking hell is this STILL running?


how is making childcare cheaper a jibe at SAHMs????

maisiejoe123 Thu 28-Mar-13 09:46:04

Please - if you are a SAHP looking to get back into the market place please dont talk about litle Sarah screamed and screamed during a supermarket visit and you sorted it out to demo your negotiation skills! Surely you cannot think that will impress the interviewers.

You will be at a disadvantage just like tons of other sections of society. You didnt go to the right school, you arent pretty enough, you follow a religion that requires you to wear a burka and you are expected to be customer facing, you dont have the skills, someone else has already been 'promised' the role and they are going through the motions (that happens at lot at my company!).

And as other posters have said - if you state that you run the family finances. Well, what makes you so different from the rest of us. I dont have an accountant. I do it myself just like 99% of the population.

I do wonder if this is really what SAHP's think will impress interviewers (it wont!) what about a back to work course JUST for SAHP's, role plays, help with CV writing etc and some confidence building?