To think that it's ok to want to bring up your children and to be a mother, just as it's ok to go out to work instead?

(432 Posts)

MNHQ have commented on this thread.

bronya Thu 05-Dec-13 17:22:14

I was brought up to 'have a career' and to think about work not babies. I admit I'd be bored doing nothing, and love the tutoring that I do - but I have no wish at ALL to be the main wage earner and leave the childcare to someone else. When my DS was born, it felt like I was complete. I'm happier, have more self esteem and confidence than I've ever had. I've met many other mums who feel similarly. Surely, our choice is just as valid as those who are WOHM? The point of feminism was that we should have that choice - whichever one we choose is our decision, surely?

cupcake78 Thu 05-Dec-13 17:25:46

Completely agree feminism is about choice. What you decide to do is upto you and your family!

motherinferior Thu 05-Dec-13 17:26:49

I bring up my children and I'm a mother. I also work. Your point being?

WooWooOwl Thu 05-Dec-13 17:27:42

Women who have children and go out to work are still mothers.

And you are absolutely right that it should be your choice. As long as you don't claim benefits to pay for it.

HedgehogsRevenge Thu 05-Dec-13 17:29:16

Well YABU to say that working mothers 'go out to work instead'. Working mothers go out to work as well as being a mother, not instead of!

jammiedonut Thu 05-Dec-13 17:29:32

Yanbu at all. Each to their own. Tbh the only place I've encountered judginess about either choice is on MN. In rl I don't waste my time on people who would judge how I live my life!

LoveWine Thu 05-Dec-13 17:29:33

So women who go to work don't bring up their own children?

DontLetTheMugglesGetYouDown Thu 05-Dec-13 17:29:37

Totally agree! I've had loads of sly comments about being at home with DS off 'friends'. Really winds me up as I've said nothing about them choosing to work!

MrsTerrysChocolateOrange Thu 05-Dec-13 17:29:53

I've done part time, full time, contract, working at home, full time at home. I was a feminist and a mother all that time. Who says otherwise?

Pagwatch Thu 05-Dec-13 17:31:16

Your op is unfortunately worded.

That aside,I think choice should be one of the benefits of feminism but sly there do seem to be groups who think their choices are superior.
They do tend to be priggish, opinionated wankers though so I try to pay them no mind smile

Lj8893 Thu 05-Dec-13 17:31:29

I don't think you thought your title through very well.

I understand what you are trying to say, I feel the same as you but if I or you or anybody did decide to work outside the home then that doesn't mean they are less of a mother or bringing up their dc any less than someone who chooses to stay at home.

LoveWine Thu 05-Dec-13 17:31:32

I didn't realise the only two options were to either be a mother or go to work.

janey68 Thu 05-Dec-13 17:32:33

Of course it's about choice - the choice of the couple for how they want to manage things in their own family. But it's very odd that you say working is something you do 'instead' of being a mother!

Many of us can relate totally to what you say- that becoming a mother can give us a feeling of deep joy, wholeness , empowerment- but we also work too. And no doubt many men feel similarly on becoming dads too . These things aren't mutually exclusive!

harrietspy Thu 05-Dec-13 17:36:13

There's no such thing as a part time mother. And all mothers are working mothers. Just concentrate on what works for you and your family at the moment.

BruthasTortoise Thu 05-Dec-13 17:39:32

I work full time and I'm a mother 24/7. I (and my DH who also works) bring up our children. Your post is offensive.

shrunkenhead Thu 05-Dec-13 17:39:44

I think the OP was saying she'd rather raise her children herself rather than pay someone else to do it, and yes"mother" status goes to anyone who's given birth.

MrsBungleScare Thu 05-Dec-13 17:40:04

Your title is unreasonable. I work and manage to bring up my children and be a mother. It's not work OR be a mother - I manage both perfectly well thanks.

formerbabe Thu 05-Dec-13 17:43:00

Its up to you. I personally have never really wanted a career...I always wanted to be a stay at home mum. I don't know why women get so worked up about other women's choices....I couldn't give a rats arse whether other mums work or stay home.

Orangeanddemons Thu 05-Dec-13 17:43:35

You need to find someone to support you first......

What will you fall back on if you don't become a mother?

shrunkenhead Thu 05-Dec-13 17:43:58

On the days I worked I didn't class myself as a FT mum as was paying a nursery to fill the gap I wasn't there to "mother" my dd.

HappyMummyOfOne Thu 05-Dec-13 17:44:16

Mmm i doubt people stop being a mum just because they work hmm

Its dads i feel sorry for, they have little or no choice as are automatically expected to be the earner simply because they were born male. Many dont even get a say in whether their wife works or not as some believe its their right to not work.

Down to the individual as long as they finnance it. It does put the sahm in a very dangerous position though should things go pear shape. Also quite sad that any believe its the automatic choice rather than being able to work and parent and sending that message to future generations.

janey68 Thu 05-Dec-13 17:44:33

Ah...maybe this is one of those stealth OPs designed to sound innocent, but actually leading towards telling us that working parents don't raise their own children. Oh dearie me.

IWillDoItTomorrow Thu 05-Dec-13 17:46:15

YABU from the title.

YANBU about the point.

I work. I am still a mother and always will be.

DirtyDancingCleanLiving Thu 05-Dec-13 17:46:54

That title is designed to cause an arguement imo.

bronya Thu 05-Dec-13 17:47:41

Well, I tried to change the title, as I didn't realize how it looked 'till I read it, but there doesn't seem to be an option for that? Just wound up by recent comments in real life and not thinking straight! What I meant was - you can SAHM or WOHM, surely it's your choice? I was brought up to believe WOHM was the only 'proper' option. Turns out, it isn't. No need to have any feathers ruffled, folks!

ItsIgginningToLookALotLikeXmas Thu 05-Dec-13 17:47:47

My childminder does not "raise" my toddler, nor the primary school my older child. Dh and I do that thank you.
It's great when it's all about choice isn't it - not the case for many many women around the world, either those who cannot afford other than to woth, or those who are not given the option to work.
What about men, do they get the same choices in your book OP?

MistressDeeCee Thu 05-Dec-13 17:49:08

I agree with jammiedonut.

& yes, there's way too much judging re. Stay At Home/Working Mothers on Mumsnet, so its no wonder posts like this come along from time to time. I've seen a*'as long as you're not on benefits'* comment upthread. So what if someone's on benefits? You don't know their story, how much tax they've paid in their life, how much taxes they'll pay in the future. Have we really reached the point where we look down our noses on a woman claiming benefits? & SAHM aren't automatically on benefits anyway, the 2 don't automatically go hand in hand. So what's the relevance & why even mention it?
Working class snobbery really is the worst kind of snobbery.

Its a mother's choice whether she goes out to work, or stays home. We each have different life necessities, wishes, needs. As women we should not be judging each other either so its a non-debate, anyway. Each to their own.

Lj8893 Thu 05-Dec-13 17:49:21

And also, its not always about choice OP! Many women would love to be sahms but can't afford it so have to go out and work. Again, doesn't make them any less of a mother!!

mistermakersgloopyglue Thu 05-Dec-13 17:49:22

It's fine! It was all I ever wanted to do from quite an early age. However the reality of being a SAHM (and only on maternity leave) rather rapidly changed my mind! grin

DirtyDancingCleanLiving Thu 05-Dec-13 17:50:10

What's your point op?

Yes, it's your choice. There. That's your sole op question answered.

Are you really expecting any different? confused

monicalewinski Thu 05-Dec-13 17:52:15

Your title's shit btw!

If you want to be a SAHM, fine.
If you want to be a working mum, fine.

There are a tiny minority of wankers who think that all SAHMs are lazy, there are a tiny minority of wankers that think all working mothers are palming off their children and failing them.

The majority of people make their life choices based on their own circumstances, feelings and beliefs.

They are both valid choices.

FloweryTaleofNewYork Thu 05-Dec-13 17:52:45

It's not an either/or situation.

If you are financially in a position to choose to stay at home, of course your choice is valid.

I don't know anyone who would presume to comment on my choices in RL tbh. Whoever it is doesn't sound very supportive.

janey68 Thu 05-Dec-13 17:54:22

Ok well fair play to you OP for realising in retrospect that your title isn't accurate.

I must say I don't agree with your assertion that its all about the woman's choice either. It's a decision for a couple to make together. It may work brilliantly for some couples for mum to give up her career and for dad to be sole earner- but there are many others who each want more of an equal balance of work and home life, and indeed others who opt for a SAHD and sole earner mum. There is no 'right' way- but it's definitely something to be worked out between the parents so that both are happy.

shrunkenhead Thu 05-Dec-13 17:54:40

But if you're not there, who is raising your children, It's beginning???! Not nice to hear I know but you have to accept this is the case.

Tailtwister Thu 05-Dec-13 17:55:46

Good for you. I work and I'm a mother, I don't stop being a mother simply because I work.

When you talk about having a choice just remember that a lot of women don't have a choice. They have to work out of necessity. You are lucky have a choice which many don't have.

Tailtwister Thu 05-Dec-13 17:57:29

Do you stop raising your children once they start school shrunkenhead? What do SAHM's do differently from WOHM's during school hours?

FloweryTaleofNewYork Thu 05-Dec-13 17:59:04

"But if you're not there, who is raising your children, It's beginning???! Not nice to hear I know but you have to accept this is the case."

No it really isn't. It's not necessary to be present 24 hours a day to raise children. DS1's school isn't raising him, and DS2's nursery isn't raising him, DH and I are.

Lj8893 Thu 05-Dec-13 17:59:08

Shrunkenhead, its people like you that women like myself who have to work (I'm currently on ML but will have to work when that finishes) feel guilty for no reason.

YouAreMyFavouriteWasteOfTime Thu 05-Dec-13 17:59:12

how long before we see AIBU....To think that it's ok to want to bring up your children and to be a father, just as it's ok to go out to work instead?

BrianTheMole Thu 05-Dec-13 18:00:57

I don't think staying at home is any less valid as a choice as long as you're not claiming benefits to do that. Btw, I am still a mother, even though I work to support my family.

Heartbrokenmum73 Thu 05-Dec-13 18:01:46

But if you're not there, who is raising your children

When I worked and my DD went to nursery two days a week, they were taking care of her, as in meeting her basic, fundamental needs (feeding, settling to sleep, entertaining, changing, etc). They were not raising her.

I raised my children - the nursery provided some care while I worked.

Stop stirring and talking rubbish Shrunkenhead - apt name, because it sounds like your brain is rather tiny!

Snog Thu 05-Dec-13 18:04:00

I think financial independence is very important and feel uncomfortable about women being financially dependent on others but at the end of the day live and let live.

janey68 Thu 05-Dec-13 18:04:25

Some of us believe raising children is about instilling values, and influencing them in a way which is intrinsic to being their parents. It's about far more than the day to day activities and tasks. That's why we are still raising our children even if we're not with them 24/7.
My own mother was a SAHM and my father worked, but id never consider that I was raised by my mother and not by both parents! I don't consider that I was raised by my school teachers either!

YouAreMyFavouriteWasteOfTime Thu 05-Dec-13 18:10:26

shrunken by your logic, a teacher is raising 30 children. aren't they doing well.

otterface Thu 05-Dec-13 18:11:52

shrunkenhead, are you going to homeschool?

If not, do you feel sad that you'll no longer be raising your children when they go off to school and spend whole big chunks of their days without you, being raised by their teachers? sad sad And when they're a little older, don't let them take up sports or music after school! Because then you might not see them for seven or eight hours at a time, and then you'll surely have to accept that they're being raised by a random collection of teachers and coaches.

Because we all have to accept that "raising" a child certainly does NOT mean being the person(s) who is responsible for feeding them, clothing them, instilling values in them, planning for their future, deciding what food they should eat, deciding what's appropriate entertainment, what's appropriate discipline, advocating for their rights and needs, making health/school/life decisions for them, and making every major decision of your own life (including, if it's your decision at all, whether or not each parent should go out to work or stay at home) with the child's best interest at heart.

No, we'll just accept that what raising a child really means, is being the person who happens to spend the most consecutive hours with them on any given day. In which case, after you wave your last little darling off to school, I hope you can find a nice hobby to fill in the time when you used to be their mom hmm

MrsTerrysChocolateOrange Thu 05-Dec-13 18:13:33

Preschool isn't raising my 3 yo. It is educating her, looking after her, not raising her. I consider my choice to put her in the best preschool I could find, that complimented the other things in her life, raising her. You know, making parental choices.

otterface Thu 05-Dec-13 18:14:00

x post with several who put it much more succinctly than I managed to grin

NewtRipley Thu 05-Dec-13 18:14:37


I've reported the thread to MNHQ and said you wanted to change the title, so hopefully they'll arrange that with you.

motherinferior Thu 05-Dec-13 18:25:40

It takes a village to raise a child anyway grinand I like it that way

dancingwithmyselfandthecat Thu 05-Dec-13 18:25:46

I don't judge anyone for staying at home with children or for working. But I think that the feminism is about choice argument is very simplistic. The choices we make in any area of our lives are rarely entirely free, and particularly with regards to childcare and division of labour are strongly influenced by how society is structured and the still existing norms about men and women.

Also, the feminism is about choice argument ignores fathers. What about their choice to stay at home or go put to work? What about their choice to not have sole responsibility for bringing in the money or raising the children?

So if you (meaning the general you and not the specific op) made your choice without preference to your partners preferences that doesn't seem very fair does it? And if your partner agreed with the decision you came to, but that was informed either by your respective views of the roles of men and women or by any workplace advantage he had gained by being a man then that isn't particularly feminist, is it?

By advantage I dont mean anything direct, but perhaps subconcious preferrment or by chosing a more masculine and high paid career when the woman chose something more feminine and less well paid.

motherinferior Thu 05-Dec-13 18:31:29

And what she saidgrin

BluePeterAdventCrown Thu 05-Dec-13 18:38:13

I have never met ANYONE in rl who has ever voiced an opinion on this subject. I recall being a bit jealous when my dsis was SAHM when my nephews were small. And she was a bit jealous of me working. But to actually go as far as judging or criticising anyone else's choices? Nah.

What really pisses me off is that people bang on about making a choice to be a WOHM or SAHM, but many women don't actually have a choice. For so many women finances dictate whether the can afford to work/stay at home. I'm lucky in that we as a family do have a choice, though we would have to downsize if I didn't work. But let's not pretend that all women have a choice.

Bettercallsaul1 Thu 05-Dec-13 18:49:09

I think, unfortunately, that a state of perfection is rarely achieved in human life - compromises have to be made and balances struck. I think that, while it is undoubtedly better for women to have financial independence - so that they always have a real choice about staying in an unhappy or unsatisfactory partnership - this may not simultaneously be the best thing for children. The people who are the most motivated towards their children's happiness and success are not childminders or nurseries - professional though they may be - but parents, yet so many children are now handed over to strangers to be cared for for most of their waking hours. There is now considerable research to show that nurseries are definitely not the right environment for very young children, who do much better in small groups with one long-term carer who is very responsive to the child's needs. Who could better placed to do this than a parent? But this entails the sacrifice of the mother's (or father's) own individual life - and their financial independence - and there's the rub. A compromise is part-time work until children are school, if this is possible.

ouryve Thu 05-Dec-13 18:55:18

I think you'll find that women who go to work are mothers too, OP hmm

flatmum Thu 05-Dec-13 19:00:13

Ffs has this not been done to DEATH

FloozeyLoozey Thu 05-Dec-13 19:01:30

I don't know any SAHMs socially!

janey68 Thu 05-Dec-13 19:02:08

I agree that life is about compromise, and a state of perfection is impossible. Id go further actually and suggest just anyone who seriously strives for perfection, and sees it as attainable, is probably going to be one of life's less fulfilled individuals. They're setting themselves up to feel disapponted and unhappy with their lot. Whereas accepting that all of life is about balancing various people's needs, and accepting the various parameters to our lives, is likely to be a recipe for contentment.
However I totally disagree that loads of children are handed over to strangers for most of their life. I never saw anything like that in the whole time my children attended cm and nursery. What I did see was parents (not mothers) making informed choices about how their family would run. In most cases this meant one or both parents working part time, or both taking more manageable jobs rather than one having to work all hours and the other abandon their work life. Most children I knew weren't at the cm or nursery full time; the majority were part time. But my kids (now teenagers) do have some friends who were at full time nursery and you know what? - they are very Normal well adjusted young people

So I think it's best to judge other people by our own standards: ie- if we know we are doing the best for our own family, then maybe just maybe other people are doing the best thing for theirs.

And I'd add that my children were born in the era when they went into childcare much younger. Many mums are off work for a year now so they are likely to be spending more time with their children then anyway

handcream Thu 05-Dec-13 19:02:36

You can do what you like as long as you arent looking for others (who do not even know you) to support your choices financially

And you dont moan about how you cannot afford this, that and the other. Good for you if you can afford to NOT work. Some of us choose to work to increase our buying power, larger house, perhaps private schools etc.

As long as you dont start complaining about what you cannot afford.... Just like my SIL really who says how lucky I am to have such a good pension. Well, its because I will have blooming well worked for 40 years. Its nothing to do with luck!

HoleyGhost Thu 05-Dec-13 19:58:54

It is your life, do what you want with it. It does not make you better or worse than anyone else.

However, being a SAHP is a lifestyle choice I hope my dc do not opt for. It makes a family very vulnerable to redundancy, marital strife and ill health.

I hope you can get your thread title changed.

neunundneunzigluftballons Thu 05-Dec-13 20:04:18

Has the title been changed? nothing wrong with it IMO. I work full time I think both sides have their merits. I really have never ever experienced judgement for working and I would never judge a SAHM for being a SAHM.

gordyslovesheep Thu 05-Dec-13 20:08:16

Feminism has never said otherwise OP

If only I'd put precious moments above not wanting to be poor, and learnt how to make a chicken last 8 days, I wouldn't have left ds to be raised by wolves.

And now it's too late sad

MoreThanChristmasCrackers Thu 05-Dec-13 20:14:29

Hello OP.

The only objection I have to your OP is you seem to imply if you were sahm and not tutoring this would be doing nothing.

As a sahm who does no work for an employer I am not doing nothing.

For the record my family are not very vulnerable to redundancy, marital strife or ill health more than a family with both parents working. Nor did we allow finances to dictate what choices we made regarding who/sahp.

We are all different not only in choices but how we actually see our choices. Wohp or sahp chances are you see the roles different to the next person.
Lets just be happy for choice.

Bettercallsaul1 Thu 05-Dec-13 20:17:03

Never mind, Johnny - all may not be lost! Romulus founded Rome.

Bettercallsaul1 Thu 05-Dec-13 20:18:17

(Pity about Remus, though.....)

Chunderella Thu 05-Dec-13 20:21:21

Hey shrunkenhead on 1 of the days I WOH, DH looks after DD. Does that mean I don't raise her on that day, or is it ok when they're with the other parent? And what about the 3 days he works when I'm looking after her- is he not raising her on those days, or is it different for men? And what about the 1 day when we both work and she's with my DF? Does that mean he turns into her parent on those days? Because that sounds a bit weird. And when she goes to school full time, will her family stop raising her entirely at that point, and her teacher take over the job? That might be nice, I'd been assuming she'd be my responsibility for much longer than that. I need answers stat!

neunundneunzigluftballons Thu 05-Dec-13 20:33:17

But if you're not there, who is raising your children, It's beginning???! Not nice to hear I know but you have to accept this is the case.

I guess I am one of the lucky ones my kids were born grown up I have no involvement in their upbringing at all . hmm Oh maybe except for the one who is bf at 2 and maybe the 2 other girls I set an example too that maybe they too can have choices when they grow up including staying at home if they choose

SofaKing Thu 05-Dec-13 20:35:54

This subject has once again become a bunfight sad.

My mum was one of the first women of her generation to go to uni, and campaigned for equal rights. She had to leave uni for three years as when she married my dad, her dad refused to sign her grant form so she had no money to attend, and no power to access her own money.

She said the worst thing about equality as it exists just now, is that women feel obliged to keep working, rather than having the right to. It also enabled employers to halve salaries, ensuring that any families who don't have at least one adult on more money than they require have difficult choices to make.

But knocking each other's choices isn't going to make our own families choices any more justified, so let's support cheap childcare and easy back to work policies, because if we don't make being a sahm and a wohm easier, our dc may not become parents at all. I would hate for that to happen.

Mmm i doubt people stop being a mum just because they work

So many pedantic people on this thread. Working mothers may still technically be mothers but they are not doing any mothering while they are at work. I think that's what OP means.

pianodoodle Thu 05-Dec-13 20:46:00

YANBU as long as you and your family are happy any combination of options is valid.

Crowler Thu 05-Dec-13 20:49:51

Do as you wish. Long-term SAHM-hood is not good for women, but that's a macro perspective.

HoleyGhost Thu 05-Dec-13 20:51:39

I am being a mother while I work - I am being responsible for my dc's welfare, acting in their best interests.

As I would be if being a SAHP had been the best choice for us.

I prefer to look at it in terms of 'Stay at home parenthood'. It can be done satisfactorily by man or woman.

Crowler Thu 05-Dec-13 20:54:20

I agree. It's normally done by women, though.

monicalewinski Thu 05-Dec-13 20:56:31

Wombles All those comments were in reply to the original title (which the OP acknowledged sounded a bit shitty when she read it back, so had it changed.

The original title was:

To think that it's ok to want to bring up your children and to be a mother, or go out to work instead?

Now the title's changed, it does look quite pedantic when you read all the original posts but it wasn't at the time.

MoreThanChristmasCrackers Thu 05-Dec-13 20:57:14

I've not heard anybody say that if you work you are not a mum or not raising your dc.
I do hear people say that you aren't looking after your children whilst you are working, unless of course you have them with you.

I think problems arise and the inevitable bun fight when people try to generalise about a role the way they see it. Others are bound to see it another way.

I have only ever heard one woman in rl criticise another woman's choices. I gave her a black eye to go back into work with grin
I am not violent but she had wound me up for about 6 weeks and had no idea who I was, didn't know me at all.

monicalewinski Thu 05-Dec-13 20:59:44

Sorry, messed it up a bit coz can't remember it exactly blush, it was basically saying that it was one or the other (mother or work, not both IYSWIM).

thebody Thu 05-Dec-13 21:04:10

oh come on,, done to death and who cares?

do what suits you and yours.

seriously no one cares. except the daily mail and the wright stuff?

by the way if you are a parent you are always a parent! dh works abroad and is still the daddy.

Hissy Thu 05-Dec-13 21:08:01

I am a mother. 24hours a day. Whether he is with me or not.

I'm the only bugger there is to bring up my DS.

I work. Cos if I didn't, who'd pay the bills?

So, I ask, Wtf is the point of this idiotic thread?

OP, save yourself, delete the thread that will turn out to be a bunfight, change your name so you don't have to live with the legacy.

HandMini Thu 05-Dec-13 21:10:38

Hmm, lots of interesting points. To the PP that said "hasn't this been done to death?"....clearly not.

I work FT. I have 2 children.

I'm relaxed about this whole "who's raising them" argument. Of course my nanny is helping me to bring my children up - she meets their daily needs of being kept fed, safe, warm AND she teaches them songs, games, values, thoughts. Isn't that all part of raiaing? My DP (who also works full time)' parents and my DPs parents and my sister and brother all have input into their upbringing in their own way.

Of course I feel like I have some kind of "over all control" over thei raising, but really, I like the "it takes a village..." mentality.

What I can't reconcile with being a SAHM is the loss if financial independence. That's a personal thing though and I'd be interested to find out how SAHMs feel about it.

Crowler Thu 05-Dec-13 21:13:41

I don't care if someone works or doesn't work. I do, however, find it interesting that SAHP's are almost universally mothers. I also find it interesting that if people are really honest, they would not consider it acceptable for men to be SAHP's more than one or two years past the age of full-time school and certainly not into the teenage years.

But like I said before, that's my macro perspective. Most of my friends are SAHM's. I work from home part-time and possibly identify more as a SAHM than a working mother.

The thread title right now is, ' To think that it's ok to want to bring up your children and to be a mother,
just as it's ok to go out to work instead?'

Which is basically saying that the choice is , work or be a mother, as if the two are mutually exclusive.

Is this the updated thread title? Because if it is, it's still bollocks.

Lj8893 Thu 05-Dec-13 21:18:52

The title hasent been changed moni

Basically the OP worded it wrong which she had acknowledged.
Many (including myself) read the title as if you go out to work it is instead of being a mother and bringing up your child (rather than as well as)

babybarrister Thu 05-Dec-13 21:23:13

Really really bad title. Thanks but I do both - motherhood and work- and very well indeed grin

Chunderella Thu 05-Dec-13 21:26:49

What is mothering wombles? Mothers who are at work are only not mothering if you entirely exclude the need to provide for a child and ensure the resources are there to feed, house and clothe them. So that would be a pretty silly definition. You presumably don't mean to imply that 'mothering' simply refers to being physically present with a child and providing care. That would mean you think my DF is my DDs mother for one day a week.

Fleta Thu 05-Dec-13 21:27:23

I'm a SAHM and my DD is at school full time. I think she needs me far, far more as a SAHM now than ever.

Lweji Thu 05-Dec-13 21:32:23

It takes a village to raise a child anyway and I like it that way

This too. And I work.

I'd hope that most adults that DS interacts with on a daily basis, and even weekly basis are also instilling him with values and care for his wellbeing. Only, they are not financially or legally responsible for him.

But I'm always a mother. Many of my decisions, even at work, are influenced by the fact that I have a child to take care of.

katherinelilyflower Thu 05-Dec-13 21:34:34

It isn't a need, it is a want. Your DD WANTS you around as a SAHM more than ever. If you could not do this, you would adapt.

Without trying to scaremonger, I think my DD will need cold hard cash in the years to come: for university, if she's ever going to get on the property ladder after university, and for subsequent children she may have. My working is part of that, as conceiving her (IVF) wiped out all our savings.

She is worth it, though smile

thebody Thu 05-Dec-13 21:40:53

nope still don't care! whatever suits you.

wherethewildthingis Thu 05-Dec-13 21:53:06

I have just returned to full time work after six months maternity leave. My husband is now taking five months off, but before that he was at work full time. Every day I have women people tell me they couldn't do it, giving me sad sideways looka, asking me how I am feeling and coping, and one particular favourite who told me I must be mad. DH never had any of this and I doubt he will get any of it on his return to work.
Expectations on men and women as parents are very different.

Fishandjam Thu 05-Dec-13 21:53:51

I too would fear loss of financial independence, earning capacity and future financial security if I became a SAHM. Something that isn't often discussed on these threads.

But that's just me - if it works for you, do it. If it doesn't, don't. I'm not much bothered about anyone else's life choices.

MoreThanChristmasCrackers Thu 05-Dec-13 22:03:11


My dc also needed/ need me as a sahm, sometimes even at a young age they tell you what they prefer.
Sometimes nobody else could do the things you do for them, even if they are at school.
I can see where you are coming from.

tinkertaylor1 Thu 05-Dec-13 22:12:52

I'm incredibly lucky enough to be able to be a SAHM while DH works to support us. We can just about afford it. We are not entitled to benefits.

I love it. I love every single minute of being with dd2 as I had to work with dd1. I even wear a pinny while I bake/cook. Im embracing it!

Musicaltheatremum Thu 05-Dec-13 22:27:07

I too am very lucky in that I had a career which I could do part time. The public had paid my fees and paid me a grant to go to university to do medicine and I want to keep doing that. I am lucky that a. My husband had a good job so I could work part time and b. Enjoy my job. I still work part time and my children are away from home. They still need me from time to time.

Permanentlyexhausted Thu 05-Dec-13 22:27:17

I'm lucky enough to have a full-time job which I love and which also provides financial security for my children and husband, both now and for the rest of my days.

I don't think it's too difficult to realise that the op is simply asking why she has to defend 'looking after' her child all the time instead of paying someone else to 'look after' them while she works.

I understand why people are getting worked up over the use of the word 'raise'. All parents raise their child.

This is about childcare. The op wants to provide the childcare herself all the time and she shouldn't have to defend this choice, no more than a working mother should have to defend paying for childcare to enable her to work.

Permanentlyexhausted Thu 05-Dec-13 22:35:29

If she doesn't want to have to defend it, why start a discussion about it?

ISawStrattersKissingSantaClaus Thu 05-Dec-13 22:37:03

Absolutely. And if either of my DDs choose to not have a career, and be SAHMs, I will be just as happy for them.

It's a personal choice. It affects no-one else, and is nobody else's business.

Permanentlyexhausted Thu 05-Dec-13 22:38:32

What I mean by that is that she is turning it into an issue by raising it. If you think it shouldn't be an issue, why encourage people to voice their opinions?

messalina Thu 05-Dec-13 22:43:01

it is a choice for the couple not the woman. why shld women have this choice and not men? and lots of people cannot afford any choice. they may have to work or may have to stay at home for financial reasons.

HandMini Thu 05-Dec-13 22:44:00

Its a personal choice.

Well is it when it's a choice to be a SAHM?

Because then its a family choice because one stays home and one earns money (in most scenarios)

HandMini Thu 05-Dec-13 22:44:31

Cross post with Messalina

motherinferior Thu 05-Dec-13 22:46:23

I'm lucky enough not to have to feel I am defined purely by my reproductive capacity. I was quite complete enough before giving birth, thank you.

motherinferior Thu 05-Dec-13 22:48:22

And I am intrigued by all these mysterious Things you do during school hours that are so much more important than paid work.

ravenAK Thu 05-Dec-13 22:50:42

crowler 'I also find it interesting that if people are really honest, they would not consider it acceptable for men to be SAHP's more than one or two years past the age of full-time school and certainly not into the teenage years. '

Nope, I don't think that's necessarily true.

When the strain of dh working ft (mostly away all week) & me working ft (mostly long into the evening) becomes too much (mostly towards the end of term...) - we both agree how lovely it would be if he could pack in work & be a SAHP.

Our dc are school-age, so he could potter about in between school runs doing the shopping & cleaning, leaving lots of time for him to write & record music, which is what he loves.

Whereas I rather love my job; I just wish I didn't have to come home & do all the domestic stuff all week too!

I don't think it'd be a weird or unacceptable set up at all. It's just that we'd struggle financially - but give us an unexpected bequest that would pay off the mortgage say, & dh is so in a pinny & bringing me a g'n't every evening at 5pm.

I don't know permanently the op will have to tell you that herself smile

Something must have antagonised her to write a post about it I suppose.

Lj8893 Thu 05-Dec-13 23:06:29

Pretty much every family I know that has one stay at home parent is the dad. It works really well for those family's.

I would love to be a sahm (but will have to work at least part time for financial reasons. Dp would hate being a sahd, its just not for him.

Every family is different!

MoreThanChristmasCrackers Thu 05-Dec-13 23:13:38


There are no mysterious things we do at home, just normal stuff raising our dc. By definition couldn't do this for the hours I was working, so chose not to work, no mystery.

ItsIgginningToLookALotLikeXmas Fri 06-Dec-13 00:06:23

Sooo, sahm are still raising the dcs while they are at school, but wohm are not raising theirs when at work? If it works one way it works for both.

Tbh if I asked ds1 what he would prefer he would want me at home. He would also want his father at home. Should we both give up our jobs and go on benefits to please him?

MoreThanChristmasCrackers Fri 06-Dec-13 00:22:17

Of course both sahp wohp are raising their children when they aren't there.
It's just that the amount of time we all do this varies.
some people want/need/choose to do this for more hours than others.
I did what was best for my family whilst others did the best for theirs.
Nothing else should matter.

YouAreMyFavouriteWasteOfTime Fri 06-Dec-13 09:07:59

^Of course both sahp wohp are raising their children when they aren't there.
It's just that the amount of time we all do this varies.^

i dont quite understand this - can you give an example?

shrunkenhead Fri 06-Dec-13 09:36:01

Chunder, as long as one of you is looking after your children it's fine. SAHDs are just as good as SAHMs.
Neun, so you're bfing take your trophy/award, and accept that while your children are away from you other values and ideas are being instilled upon them they are in the care of others.

shrunkenhead Fri 06-Dec-13 09:43:28

Motherinferior, there is no mystery to what I do while my dd is at school, I either go to work or if not working clean the house, cook tea, do the ironing etc but I always make sure either me or dh are there to drop her off and collect her from school.

janey68 Fri 06-Dec-13 10:32:39

If course other people are going to influence our children as they grow up! It would be a very unhealthy bubble a child would grow up in without interactions with other people apart from one parent!

The important points here are a) the parents remain by far the major influence whether they work or not b) when our children are young we as parents choose the people and environments they are influenced by. If we don't want them to go to nursery, or spend time with a certain relative, or go to a certain friend, we control that. It's another aspect of parenting.

I think some people have a strange view of childcare, as if its something us working parents have no control over; we simply pick a name out of yellow pages, drop our kids off and pick them up again at age 18!!! Maybe if you've never used childcare or have had a poor experience of it then that explains it, but it does seem odd.

Of course, all children become more independent as they grow and as parents we have less control and they make their own decisions about who they spend time with etc. And it's the parenting (not 'mothering' or Staying home ) which is the major influence on shaping our children and guiding them towards independence

Chunderella Fri 06-Dec-13 10:38:33

You haven't told me whether my dad turns into DDs parent for the one day a week he has her shrunken. I'm waiting. I also want to know whether DH and I will be relegated to non-parent status when she goes to school?

thebody Fri 06-Dec-13 11:09:13

good grief this thread is as daft as the cat poo one but nowhere near as funny!

ffs seriously in 2013 really who cares.

personally work doesn't satisfy me or make me a better person and if we won the lottery both me and dh would quit in a heartbeat.

we both work because we have to feed the family and suppose our kids through uni.

as they get older it's like shelling out child card feed all over again, the good years are between 6 and 13, that's the cheap gap.

oh and lottery winners or working full time we are full time parents.

ormirian Fri 06-Dec-13 11:12:20

'instead'?? Who the hell do you think brings up my children and is a mother to them if not me? THe phrase you are looking for is 'as well'.

whatsthatcomingoverthehill Fri 06-Dec-13 11:19:51

YABU to seemingly completely ignore your partners wishes in all of this. What would happen if he didn't want to be the main wage earner as well?

AdmiralData Fri 06-Dec-13 11:46:51

It is each individuals choice to either exclusively be a a SAHM or combine parenting with a career, of course. What pisses me off is the pressure to somehow achieve both simultaneously. Whilst of course maintaining an absolutely perfect life, perfect house, perfect car, perfect perfect perfect ... glares at DB Rant over.

SunshineMMum Fri 06-Dec-13 11:49:03

YANBU I don't think anyone should be judged for their choices. I was repeatedly asked by a mother with a part time job 'What an earth I find to do all day.' I don't really understand the argument that I am somehow letting the side down, which seemed to be her point of view. She made countless other comments about SAMHS, but frankly couldn't be bothered to bite back.

jellybeans Fri 06-Dec-13 12:25:33

YANBU. I am the same. never set out to be a SAHM but tried WOH f/t and hated it. Been a SAHM for 14 years and love it. I do study p/t and if DH had a job with more set hours I would maybe do 1 day a week work but overall I am so happy to be able to spend so much time at home and with the DC. Of course you have to take on board the risks though, you can't have everything in life, but for me time with DC over rode all those risks and downsides.

I agree you have to be strong minded to know you are doing the right thing for your family (not saying SAH is right for every family here as it isn't) and forget all the crap you may get off some working people (I get it off 2 WOHM relatives) and remember you only get one life, life is too short and there is no 'norm' or 'right way' as it changes all the time. So go with your gut and enjoy SAH smile

jellybeans Fri 06-Dec-13 12:27:27

' I was repeatedly asked by a mother with a part time job 'What an earth I find to do all day.'

SunshineMMum you should ask her why on earth she works part time if it is so easy to be at home, doesn't that mean she is lazier than a f/t working mum?! What on earth does she do in all the time she isn't working full time haha.

shrunkenhead Fri 06-Dec-13 12:36:06

Chunderella, he doesn't turn into her parent, he is her grandad!

BitOutOfPractice Fri 06-Dec-13 12:41:18

OP I hope you se the irony of being wound up by thoughtless / crass comments in RL getting on your nerves, then you've just done exactly the same in your title! fwink

Yes, of course. We should all be able to chose what we want to do and what is best for our familes and kids.

I am in the happy position to do just that but I'm sure that there are many wohp who wish they could give up work to be at home but can't afford to. And I'm sure that there are many sahp who want to work but can't find the right job

Mostly I find it's people who feel a bt unsure about themselves and their choice who seem to want to attack the other "side" to justify their choice and it is galling.

Believe me, a a wohm I've had plenty of snide remarks from SAHP about my choice.

Grennie Fri 06-Dec-13 12:49:39

Of course you can stay at home and look after your children. But feminism is also about understanding that we don't make choices in a vacuum. So there are societal reasons that it tends to be women who stay at home, rather than men, such as societies attitudes, and the fact that women are usually paid less than men.

Lj8893 Fri 06-Dec-13 12:51:46

So shrunkenhead by what your saying, do you mean that it makes someone less of a mother/father because they choose (or find it necessary) to go out to work?

Retropear Fri 06-Dec-13 13:35:22

Unfortunate title but I get the sentiments.

That said I do think after having their child inside them for 9 months many women want to be with their children perhaps more than men.Many can't and I think that is sad and a choice taken away.

To the poster who said she didn't want to fund choices other parents make well that rather heartless thought can go both ways.

If we're not going to help sahp then fund your own childcare.Plan,save,have the family you can afford(things many sahp do in order to be a sahp) and stop bleating about the temporary cost of childcare.

Either way what ever we choose they're our children and they will cost,we all know that before we have them.Perhaps a bit of empathy both ways wouldn't go amiss.

RowanMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 06-Dec-13 13:37:56


Would you like us to change the title for you? Do please let us know by hitting the 'report' button on this post or emailing us at


SunshineMMum Fri 06-Dec-13 13:57:51

I know Jellybeans there were many different retorts on the tip of my tongue, particularly as she was sitting in my living room, at a group I was running at the time grin

Chunderella Fri 06-Dec-13 16:48:45

So does my DD just not have a parent for the day she's with my DF then shrunken? A one day a week orphan? and you've not enlightened me on the school issue yet...

handcream Fri 06-Dec-13 18:18:48

I think its because SAHM's often complain about not being 'supported' by the government, not given tax breaks on their OH's income etc etc.

I have always worked full time and chucked money at childcare, consequently I can afford choices, nice house, holidays, private school. However the children are our priority. We always try and ensure that one of us attends parents evenings or other events. Occasionally we cannot make it. That is the price we pay. I have a colleague who wants to work part time. She has been refused. Our roles dont lend themselves to part time working. She is miffed. TBH - that's life. Our roles arent suitable for p/t, there are plenty of roles that can be done part time but they dont pay enough. The fact is that you cannot have everything.

Of course everyone would like a non stressfull job, £50k a year with time off for any family emergencies and all school hols off.

Let us know where these roles are....

MistressDeeCee Sat 07-Dec-13 07:38:17

I have ot vaguely wonder what the actual point of threads such as this are. This subject has been flogged to death. All that happens is people relate their own experiences....back and forth, back and forth..and there will be no conclusion.

Honestly, the myriad ways in which women find to judge each other bemuse me at times. Never mind sexism, we are our own worst & harsh enemy at times. Working outside home or stay at home mum - both exist in this society. Its nothing new at all, both stances are fine its each to their own, people know what suits them best why can it not just be left at that? I suppose it could be discussed ad infinitum if there's a precedence for this but I find it odd, to say the least.

MamaBear17 Sat 07-Dec-13 08:46:03

I work and I bring up my daughter. I have no choice. I wish had more of a balance, I wouldn't want to give up work completely, but would love to work part time. I am the main earner though. Four years ago dh had a bit of a break down due to his high pressured, well paid job. So left and retrainedin a lower paid job. He is happier which is lovely, but I have the pressure of being the main earner. It's crap, but a sacrifice I made for our marriage and his health. I am a little envious of mums who stay at home but don't judge them. I feel like I do everything I did when I was at home on mat leave, just work as well. I feel constantly knackered and guilty.

Vampyreof Sat 07-Dec-13 08:52:10

My DP and I work opposite shifts as our wages aren't enough to pay for childcare tbh. I would stay at home if I could though - my parents both worked full time when I was little so my 'guardian' was a very important person re my upbringing!

janey68 Sat 07-Dec-13 09:06:36

Agree mistressdeecee

I suppose you have to ask why the OP started the thread? And disappeared fairly soon after? I notice she hasn't been back to change her inflammatory title either!

thenamestheyareachanging Sat 07-Dec-13 11:41:29

Oh, gosh - the defensiveness! If we're comfortable with our choices then we wouldn't have to get so wound up over a title, would we?

Can see that the "going out to work instead of bringing up children" is unfortunate wording though.

I'm a SAHP - but have worked in the past. I do use the term "full time mum" - because I'm doing that work full time. When I worked, I was doing something else part of the time.

My children are Home Educated, so not at school part of the day. One is below school age anyway.

Going to work didn't make me less of a parent. But I wasn't doing the parenting full-time.

MoreThanChristmasCrackers Sat 07-Dec-13 11:48:27


I have a role like that, not the 50K, but our outgoings don't require 50k.
I am a sahm.

janey68 Sat 07-Dec-13 12:33:11

I don't think it's about getting wound up over a title. I think it's recognising that if we genuinely accept that going out to work or staying at home are both equally valid and don't make you a 'better' or 'worse' parent per se then you wouldn't even dream of starting such a thread never mind using such inflammatory wording. And while many people are perfectly comfortable with their choices, if you have respect for others you recognise that they don't always have a choice, and could find this sort of thing upsetting. If you don't want to work but have to financially, then it could be upsetting to you to read that some people think that makes you less of a parent or that your children are going to end up damaged in some way. Even though you know logically that's rubbish, it could be hurtful to read it

Likewise if you are a SAHP because you can't afford childcare or because you're struggling to get back into the workplace after time out, it would be hurtful to read threads which are started simply to undermine SAHP. Which is why it's unecessary to start such threads and you have to wonder about the motives

Doubletroublemummy2 Sat 07-Dec-13 12:44:50

It is each person choice you are right, being a mom involves sacrifice and it is for each of us to decide what we want to/can/can't sacrifice. Different peoples circumstances give them a different set of choices. I don't like the comments about as long as you don't claim benefits to do it, because in the same breath you may as well say, if your husband is on a good wage you should stay at home. It's judgemental, unnessecary and inacurate as the vast majority of our welfare bill goes on pensioners. Which ever you choose, it is a tough job and we should all be supportive of each other.

thenamestheyareachanging Sat 07-Dec-13 12:53:25

Agree Janey

Philoslothy Sat 07-Dec-13 12:56:40

I have a job that is moderately stressful , but pays 50k, all the holidays off and time off if the children are sick - although DH tends to take the time .

However I am coming to the realisation that actually my children need more time than perhaps I had realised. I am thinking about giving up work .

That is not a criticism of working mothers , but an acknowledgement that I am less of a superwoman than most other MNers and have something of a lazy streak so am tired of having it all.

Philoslothy Sat 07-Dec-13 12:56:59

Or doing it all in an attempt to have it all.

janey68 Sat 07-Dec-13 13:03:39

Oh I hate the phrase 'having it all'. It's meaningless. No one can have it all. What it is possible to achieve for many people, is a balanced life. That's a far more realistic aim than having it all

Philoslothy Sat 07-Dec-13 13:06:43

I suppose by having it all I meant a happy marriage , no money worries, fulfilling career and for me a large happy family.

We are very lucky to have all of that - however lately the happy family seems to be coming second a little too often .

I am also knackered, not helped my being pregnant with number five in the wrong side of 40 with awful sickness.

Philoslothy Sat 07-Dec-13 13:08:54

I must be very selfish because I don't want to sacrifice - and sacrifice isn't just for mothers .

If something has to go it will be the work because quite frankly I would rather be at home with my feet up.

I am very very lucky to have that choice - and it is not a choice I have always had.

Heartbrokenmum73 Sat 07-Dec-13 15:20:11

I'm a SAHM - have been for 9 long years now. And what pisses me off on these threads is the sheer smugness from the SAHM's who 'choose' that and can afford it and, most importantly, enjoy it.

I've hated every bloody minute of it. But with three young dc, we worked out that we would have been seriously out of pocket on childcare costs if I got another job after I was made redundant, as there was no one to help out with childcare.

Now, I live by my family and am desperately trying to get back into work. I've never in all my time as a parent (three years working, 9 years not) judged anyone for going out to work, full-time or part-time. It does not make them any less of a Mother. They are still a 'full-time' Mum, whether some people believe that or not.

My DSis works full-time, Mon-Fri, and my DN goes to nursery Mon-Fri. She is still his full-time Mum.

And yes, I would also question the school thing. Who is doing the 'Mothering' while dc are at school? Do you become a redundant person for those hours?

Pagwatch Sat 07-Dec-13 15:39:43


I m at home. I am lucky to chose what I want to do. I am lucky to be able to afford it. I enjoy my life enormously.
I am not sure I am smug though.
I only ever say those things in discussions on here. I am certainly no different in my parenting thn I was when I was working full time.

Philoslothy Sat 07-Dec-13 15:52:54

I would be a better parent if I was at home full time because I would not be tired, I would not be saying , "yes in a minute" all the time and I could give them more time .

Pagwatch Sat 07-Dec-13 16:14:17

Well maybe Philoslothy but when I was working I was more efficient and I was modelling for my dc the idea that women have careers and choices rather than now where I explain it and discuss it in a sort of abstract way.

It's swings and roundabouts isn't it?

Philoslothy Sat 07-Dec-13 16:19:56

Yes it is different for each woman and to be honest my wish to stay at home is driven by a desire to just do less rather than be the world's best parent.

I have a job that is more family friendly than most but am aware that I am only just managing to get a barely adequate when it comes to my parenting skills.

handcream Sat 07-Dec-13 16:50:08

You know what keeps coming up in these threads - the fact that childcare is SO expensive. I am in the £50k salary banding. I have always worked full time and so has my DH. I was talking to a colleague who has just had a baby. She currently lives in the North and is looking to come down to the Redhill area. She has been quoted £80 per DAY for her child (she only has one).

That is £1840 per month!! Times by two if you have two children!

No wonder it isnt worth it. My children are older and ironically we decided that if we could afford childcare we could afford private schooling which is the route we have gone down.

What is wrong IMHO is the state paying you more the more children you have hence these large families which the state is effectively supporting.

Lets deal with child care costs first and stop throwing money at the feckless families who see that the more children you have the more you can get out of the state.

ItsIgginningToLookALotLikeXmas Sat 07-Dec-13 18:31:54

Heartbrokenmum I hope you find something to suit you soon smile
Being at home isn't really (these days) a lifelong choice for many women, I think it is important to remember that even if you stay at home with dcs for 20 years, you're likely to have 25 years of working life available (20-65 - or more!) and how you spend this may be restricted if you have been out of the job market for a long time.

Heartbrokenmum73 Sat 07-Dec-13 18:54:18

Sorry Pagwatch - I wasn't talking about you.

It's all the 'oh, other people are raising your kids for you' sanctimonious crap that I can't stand, and it always comes up.

And this:

Lets deal with child care costs first and stop throwing money at the feckless families who see that the more children you have the more you can get out of the state.

is downright fucking offensive! There are a handful of families who operate like this. And haven't they just capped benefits? Stop reading the Daily Mail ffs.

MoreThanChristmasCrackers Sat 07-Dec-13 19:02:51

I think "having it all" is however you want to see it.
I think if you are happy with your life then you have it all whatever you decide to do.
To me it is about being satisfied with your lot, not needing or wanting more.

Completely lost. Think I agree. I have kids therefore I am a mother. I will work when we need it for what we need. Today I'm at home but tomorrow? Well tomorrow I'll worry about tomorrow.

Our house our life our choices our feminism. Hth

Us parents, we are kind of amaze balls dontcha think?


Retropear Sat 07-Dec-13 19:21:25

Sorry Handcream I don't think the state should pay for childcare for unlimited children.

Plan,save,wait,have the family you can afford,use the new parental leave,look into flexi hours,be creative.......It is temporary and parents are now getting more than enough help with it.This wah,wah,wah childcare is expensive is quite frankly going me the pip.

Decent childcare will cost,it's the most important you'll pay for.The state shouldn't be responsible for your kids anymore than the few families of 10 kids on benefits you mention.

MoreThanChristmasCrackers Sat 07-Dec-13 19:24:39

I agree with Retropear, it isn't for the state to pay for childcare, especially as tax credits are being phased out.
It should be the same for both sahm/wohm, we are all the same and neither deserve more than the other.

Retropear Sat 07-Dec-13 19:33:29

Exactly kids cost,we all know that before we have them.Most sahp I know have saved,planned,waited or are creative with hours.None of us have millionaire husbands and all will be wp eventually.

The sense of entitlement from some wp on MN(not in RL I hasten to add) is laughable especially when you consider many wp pay little tax,have their salaries topped up and expect unlimited childcare for unlimited kids on top.

Entitled much.hmm

Chunderella Sat 07-Dec-13 20:09:36

Someone who thinks they have a right to child benefit despite having a household income in the top 10% should think very carefully before calling anyone else entitled. Glass houses, stones etc.

Anyway, while I've no objection to universal child benefit, I think one of the best ways to help parents (and indeed non-parents) is by taking action on our ludicrous housing situation. Wherever you are and whether you rent or own, you've a good chance of paying a much higher percentage of your income on shelter than you would've done a few decades back and than is really reasonable. I have cheap HA housing myself and even that is frankly overpriced, and it's a thousand times worse for some. So we need a reduction in our Stalinist planning permission laws and we need more council housing. We need to punitively tax land banks held by developers hoping to wait until the market picks up, and we also need to direct jobs towards cheaper areas both via redirecting as many government jobs as we can and by looking at financial incentives for businesses located in such areas. There are parents who are unable to choose whether to SAH or work because of financial issues, and cheaper housing costs would give more leeway here. This is also something that our government is more likely to be able to exercise an y control over than either food or energy prices.

handcream Sat 07-Dec-13 20:23:55

Can I clarify. I don't believe the state should pay for childcare or bigger houses, or more benefits the more children you have.

MoreThanChristmasCrackers Sat 07-Dec-13 20:26:53

Either all parents should be paid to raise their dc or none should.
Then if both parents want to work and pay for childcare they can. If others want to have a sahp they can.

thenamestheyareachanging Sat 07-Dec-13 21:12:58

heartbrokenmum, I'm sorry you're in that situation, I hope you find work soon. But I can't agree with the impression that all SAHP's have rich husbands who can afford to keep them - we struggle, and the whole family have made real sacrifices to have a full-time parent at home. That's our choice (childcare for 3 would probably cost more than I'd earn, but that's not the point).

Home Educating here, so school not an issue. But if I was working, I wouldn't be less of a mum - but I wouldn't be doing the work of a parent full-time, so I wouldn't call myself a full-time mum. No judgement there, because I have worked in the past. And then, I wasn't parenting all day.

ItsIgginningToLookALotLikeXmas Sat 07-Dec-13 21:44:48

Re parenting. Am I parenting right now while they are asleep? Am I parenting while I stick cbeebies on so I can change the beds, or have I switched from parent to housekeeper at that point?
Parenting surely refers to the work of being a parent, as opposed to childcare, babysitting etc.

Philoslothy Sat 07-Dec-13 22:29:08

Mine are either in bed or out, to be fair I am not parenting , I am getting squiffy on cava.

HappyMummyOfOne Sat 07-Dec-13 23:17:14

"I agree with Retropear, it isn't for the state to pay for childcare"

Ahhh but you'll happily take tax credits for doing nothing but begrudge tax payers help with childcare hmm

All child related benefits should be scrapped then everybody is on an equal footing and responsible fully for any choices they make.

Lifeisforlivingkatie Sat 07-Dec-13 23:39:32

Is this to say dads who work are not fathers?

thename if your husband is earning enough money for five people to live reasonably, he's on a bloody good salary. That or you have no housing costs. Either way, you're wealthy.

If you're really struggling financially then I suggest you stop indulging yourself and get a bloody job if at all possible.

Retropear Sun 08-Dec-13 07:37:20

Thename hasn't mentioned struggling and if she has so what.hmm

Many families with a sahp are not on a huge income or getting tax credits(no tax credits here thanks)utterly sick of this assumption.If it was so great financially more would be doing it.Many will be on low and middle incomes.Having a sahp is a financial outlay.

Tax credits,help with housing,financial help,zero housing bills or very low mortgages are financial benefits that many families(both those with a sahp or 2x wp) can and do enjoy whilst keeping quiet about it on here.One size doesn't fit all.

The fact is many on one income find it hard.Having kids costs and you choose your financial outlay- a sahp or childcare.No choice is more worthy or deserving of help,sorry.

superstarheartbreaker Sun 08-Dec-13 07:49:00

It takes a village to raise a child. I'd go nuts if I didnt work but each to their own.

Retro, I get pissed off with the claim that by making a few sacrifices, we could all afford to have a SAHP. The same argument gets trotted out on private school threads - the insinuation being that if we were less materialistic and shopped at Lidl, we too could choose to put our children first.

It simply isn't true. You need a substantial salary to provide a reasonable standard of living for several people. All the frugality and and romantic earth mummy skills in the world can't make up for the fact that housing, energy and food costs money. This is quite apart from the fact that, for most women, long term SAHMing is bad news. I don't think it does children much good either, but that can be mitigated more easily.

Chunderella Sun 08-Dec-13 12:13:37

Yes, for all the SAHPs talking about the sacrifices they've made to do so, the fact is that you can only cut so far and there are some families who simply cannot afford it even with everything cut to the bare minimum. Conversely, the same is also true for WOH: there are parents who desperately want to work but simply can't take the income hit that it might entail after childcare and commuting are paid. Those of us who actually have a choice about whether to work or not, however frugally we might have to live because of it, are privileged.

As for neither choice being more worthy Retropear that doesn't fit with the financial argument you're currently pushing. Because the fact is that some choices lead to more revenue in government coffers than others. I say this as someone who has chosen to work very part time and therefore to pay minimal tax and NI.

Heartbrokenmum73 Sun 08-Dec-13 14:19:09

Why are my words getting twisted?

I'm a SAHM myself (as I've said). I'm not having a go at SAHP's, or picking up on people who earn plenty.

My beef is with the (small minority) of posters on threads like these who get sanctimonious about 'who is raising your child while you go to work'. They are the ones I have issue with. Just because they have chosen/can afford that lifestyle, that doesn't mean they get to have a go at people who choose otherwise, or don't have the choice.

I wasn't, at any point, having a go at SAHP's in general who choose/can afford to stay at home - just the ones who lay on the guilt about other people not raising their own kids.

scottishmummy Sun 08-Dec-13 14:30:06

I bring up my own children Also work ft.there's no conflict.
It's a false dichotomy to suggest only housewives bring up their children
Housewives dont have exclusivity on bringing up kids.

jellybeans Sun 08-Dec-13 15:01:10

'I don't think it does children much good either' (SAH)

Why would lots of/more time with a parent be a bad thing? It's judginess like that that causes the SAHP/WOHP debate. That would be like me saying I don't think WOHM do their kids any good..(I would never say that just using it as an example).

Fair enough, jelly. I do have a tendency to get a bit arsey on these threads, which is neither big nor clever, and I sometimes make unfair assumptions about SAHMs (and I mean Ms here, not Ps).

Essentially, I don't think it does children much good to have a parent overly focussed on them and on the home at the expense of other things. It doesn't do children much good to have parents who are overly focussed on work, either.

The money thing is also a biggie. Yes, childcare is expensive but by the time children are at school costs plummet. The children themselves however cost more and more. It isn't just about Xboxes or iPads, or holidays, it's about having spare cash to allow them to try riding or motorsports or to be able to afford a car so you can ferry them to swimming competitions, or to have a bit of expert tuition if they're stumbling a bit with maths.

You know that thing people say about being on one's death bed and never wishing you'd spent more time in the office? There's probably truth in that. But equally there are adults who look back on their childhoods and wish that perhaps they'd had a few more opportunities, a few less hand me downs. Might have forgiven their mum being away a bit here and there in exchange for getting to go away on holiday.

jellybeans Sun 08-Dec-13 17:18:34

I guess each family has to decide on their own balance.

I don't think just SAHP are helicopter/over focused parents though, that is more a personality thing. I know a WOHM who let her DS go to cubs but he wasn't allowed by the camp fire, on camp or on school trips. My MIL was a WOHM and massively domineering to DH. I think those types would be like that regardless of work situation.

I am a long term SAHM (14 yrs so far, 5 DC) but have many interests and am nearing completion of an OU degree. I also do some volunteering. So I have never been here 100% of the time or focused on DC only.

Money wise I agree that it would be sad if a child missed out on all paid activities etc but I guess what is important to one family is not necessarily to another. In addition some SAHP may be well off and able to afford those things whereas a family both working may not be able to afford it. Again comes down to each individual family.

Retropear Sun 08-Dec-13 17:42:48

Well if we're going to go by financial rev in gov coffers given that you have to earn quite a lot before you actually contribute I think many families with 2 x wp have little to gloat about when you consider 2 x tax thresholds,tax credits,lower tax rates,help with childcare,as you say part time salaries etc.So not sure of the point re bringing that up.

Re looking back at regretting mateialism,what tosh.

I don't want kids like that anyway.

I'm raising mine to appreciate what thy have,the outdoors which is free,their family,time to learn,appreciate and enjoy just being alongside getting qualifications in order to get jobs they enjoy and which pay the bills.Pony lessons,tutoring nah no thanks.

This weekend we didn't do pricey activities but we went holly hunting,made popcorn,did cheap crafty stuff,read,watched a DVD etc.Most of our friends are the same.My dc appreciate what they have and I love that,wouldn't have it any other way.Leaning to appreciate very little makes people happy.

Dp had a very poor childhood,he never stops banging on re how great it was.His lack of materialism is what I always liked about him and what I want for my kids.That said compared to him mine do far better materialistically.They may not have the latest this and that,cinema trips every weekend,pony lessons etc but they do well.

Making kids think they need stuff and money spent on them can only lead to stress and depression further down the line when they realise life isn't a steady stream of trips,expensive hobbies,shopping etc.What if they don't get salaries that accommodate a lifestyle like that further down the line?

It's fine if you want that for your kids but many don't and shouldn't be made to feel crap.You choose your priorities,others choose their's.

Rufustherednosedreindeer Sun 08-Dec-13 18:01:01

I think some of those comments are a bit off johnny

There are loads of people both working for very little money who can't afford to give their children those things, it's not all about material things

Yes there are, Rufus, but they'd be worse off still if one parent decided that their precious company and 9-3 domesticity was worth more than being less poor than they had to be.

Retro, your weekend sounds lovely. Inexpensive pastimes and costly stuff aren't mutually exclusive, however.

Heartbrokenmum73 Sun 08-Dec-13 20:04:21


I'm coming round to your house next weekend grin

ItsIgginningToLookALotLikeXmas Sun 08-Dec-13 20:32:56

I don't think my ds is materialistic because he wants to go to a football club at the weekend. I wasn't materialistic as a small girl when my mum told me I could (finally) have some riding lessons - I was over the bloody moon and very appreciative!

RubySparks Sun 08-Dec-13 20:36:16

That does sound good Retro but not as doable with teenagers!

annieorangutan Sun 08-Dec-13 20:50:13

Retropear not many families can afford what your describing on one income. If we had one income we would have 1k a month to live in. There is no way we would have any money for craft stuff etc on that type of wage. That is average wage here to.

thenamestheyareachanging Sun 08-Dec-13 21:03:34

We have about 1k a month coming in, annieorangutan, it barely covers rent and bills. We struggle for bus fares. But we do manage to get some pound shop craft stuff, plus all the cardboard boxes from the recycling, and a few pine cones. It can be done, it's our choice, and I think if I did go to work it would all go on childcare anyway.

annieorangutan Sun 08-Dec-13 21:08:24

It wouldnt names as tax credits pay. We dont get help in any other area as have to pay for all repairs and mortgage ourselves.

thenamestheyareachanging Sun 08-Dec-13 21:17:03

Johnnybarthes did you miss the bit where I said that if I "got a bloody job" it would all go on childcare?? Hubby earns less than average actually. Until last year he only earned minimum wage. Not that it's any of your business. But we wouldn't be financially better off if I went to work, I have looked into it. Besides, I already have a job, which is precisely the point of this thread. I'm a full time parent and home educator. Why is it that someone else caring for my children or educating them would be classed as a job, yet you don't think SAHP status is worth the same respect?

But I resent the statement that I'm indulging myself. It is literally years since I bought anything for myself. We have never had a holiday. I have one cardigan and it has a ghole in the bloody sleeve. My dh can't afford new shoes for work. We do have housing costs, get no benefits other than child benefit, and are not wealthy - although by no means as poor as some.

I'm not indulging myself - how bloody dare you? - I'll decide what's best for my family, and you decide what's best for yours, thanks very much. I work every bit as hard as I did when I was in paid employment.

Like I said, I used to work, and my children used to go to nursery. I'm no better or worse a mum than I was then, but it's different.

Long term SAHM-ing is bad news? What gives you the right to make that statement on behalf of all women? Doesn't do children any good? got any research-based evidence for that, or is it just your own opinion? Again, how dare you presume to know what's best for our family? I'm not telling you what's best for yours.

Standard of living - depends what you think a decent standard is. Yes, we do struggle to meet the basics, but we choose to struggle because it is worth it and is the right thing for our family at the moment.

lifeisforlivingkatie, of course fathers who go out to work are fathers. Mothers who go out to work are mothers - but neither are full-time parents.

annieorangutan Sun 08-Dec-13 21:20:31

How can on 1k and only get child benefit?

thenamestheyareachanging Sun 08-Dec-13 21:24:56

Um, easily. 1,150 after tax, to be exact.

annieorangutan Sun 08-Dec-13 21:25:56

You will still get tax credits on that. Quite decent ones as I used to claim them.

thenamestheyareachanging Sun 08-Dec-13 21:26:17

We're not eligible for tax credits annieorangutan. So yes, if I worked, it would go on childcare.

annieorangutan Sun 08-Dec-13 21:26:52

Your on 1150

thenamestheyareachanging Sun 08-Dec-13 21:27:36

No, we don't. Reasons why are boring, but can assure you we don't - and it's not because we've got savings, it's to do with dh's employment.

annieorangutan Sun 08-Dec-13 21:27:42

posted too soon! Your on 1150 and dont get tax credits with 3 kids? I havr less kids and double the income and we do even on maternity leave

nkf Sun 08-Dec-13 21:29:00

I'm not convinced that feminism is about choice. What if my choice is to run a brothel? Or promote quasi scientific information about how women's brains are smaller? I think feminism is an ideology> It posits a theory that most societies are constructed in a way that benefits men financially, emotionally, legally, sexually and just about every other way you can think and in which women are disadvantaged. Choice? That's for shampoo adverts.

lifehasafunnywayofhelpinguout Sun 08-Dec-13 21:29:10

It's a personal choice. No knows the circumstances behind people's choices. I am a single mum and aside from maternity I have always worked. Adore beyond anyone's' imagination my D.D as I do. I'd have gone insane being a stay at home mum. I also chose to stay at work to set her a good example that in this life if you want something then you have to work damn hard to get it. Nothing is handed to you on a plate.

However I will say one thing I do not like the way the government look on lone parents who do not work as lazy and a bad example but they do not have that view of married partnered parents who do not work. xxx

bronya Sun 08-Dec-13 21:33:28

Wow, this has become a long thread! All sparked from my 'friend' and her opinion that EVERYONE should work, and that staying at home was worthless! Apparently (according to her!) I must have given up my job for some other reason, as no-one would ever just want to spend time with their child! She also mentioned how she thought that children benefited far more from nursery than from spending the day with a parent. That was why I was a little cross and didn't quite write the title correctly!

Perhaps also, there's personal context too. I was sent to boarding school at 8 years old (my parents lived and worked abroad). I received a letter a week and a phone call once a fortnight or thereabouts. My parents might think they raised me, but I raised myself. When things went wrong; when I needed advice, I had my friends to turn to and my own ingenuity. That was it. I love my parents, but I don't think I ever really knew them.

When it came to my child, I was putting him in childcare for 10 hours out of every day, seeing him only for an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening plus one weekend day (marking/planning consumed the other so DH took him out for the day). I felt like I was a mother who occasionally played with her child. He learnt to crawl with the childminder, and to say his first words. He ate nearly every meal at her house. It just wasn't the right thing for our family.

Retropear Sun 08-Dec-13 21:34:38

Oh they do life we're all scum.

Permanentlyexhausted Sun 08-Dec-13 21:44:10

On the contrary thenames - all parents are full-time parents, whether they work or not. There is more to parenting than being physically present. It's about providing what your children need and making decisions that will (hopefully) ensure they grow up to be useful members of society. Whether you provide that by staying at home with them or by spending some of your time out at work is irrelevant.

Your definition of full-time parenting means that nobody, regardless of whether they are a WOHP or a SAHP, can ever be a full-time parent since no-one spends 24 hours a day, every day, with their child/ren. That's just ludicrous!

soverylucky Sun 08-Dec-13 21:50:59

1k and no tax credits is very, very, very unusual. Round here the lowest rent for a two bed house is about £550 a month. Council tax is about £110. Gas, electricity, food, transport costs, school trips, food, uniform, birthdays, Christmas, dentists etc. It would be impossible round here to live with three kids on 1k unless you didn't have housing costs.

mamadoc Sun 08-Dec-13 21:58:28

I think the feminist perspectives are the most interesting thing about this thread.

Especially the idea that in a truly equal society it is not a woman's choice it is the families choice. The father might equally want to be the SAHP. Or frankly both or neither might want to.

I have more of a male kind of job and DH a more usually female one. I therefore get paid more and I also have better job security and a better pension. From a financial POV it's a no brainier he should be SAHD but He really doesn't want to! And he is under no pressure from society to do so. Therefore we have an uneasy compromise where both of us work 4 days with me wanting to do less and him more and constant fights about who should be getting the shopping or taking time off for school events.

I often say to him that if our sexes were reversed he would be the SAHP by now. He would be saying 'well it just didn't make sense my salary was all eaten up by childcare'. But no he gets the choice to work as he wishes because he is a man!

So yes it is all about choice but choice is constrained it's not in a vacuum. You can only choose to be SAHM if your partner chooses to be main breadwinner.

SunshineMMum Sun 08-Dec-13 21:59:26

I neither judge a parent's decision to work, nor people who choose to parent their children full time. I don't expect people to pass judgement on our situation, although I have seen it many times on here over the years. The original OP refers to the expectation of her family for her to have a career and I think that is what is wrong here. I don't think that it is progress if working is deemed the accepted norm for all women, regardless of their personal situation and needs. Surely battles have been fought to give women choice, not to box them into a different category, in order for them to be seen as successful.

I think that to suggest full time parenting is indulgent, is frankly absurd. It certainly wasn't my lifetime dream to be the carer of a child with autism, but the state pre school provision royally messed him up, because they could not meet his needs. It wasn't so much helicopter parenting, as having to teach him hand over hand.

I do wonder how many more problems there would have been, if he had been placed in a nursery from infancy. I know that there wasn't adequate provision for him in our locality, as we paid for services. Our health visitor referred to him as a square shaped child in a round shaped system.

I know that are situation is very specific but I believe that parents of neurotypical children, have every right to choose the same kind of individual care for their child, if it benefits that child and it is within their means.

soverylucky Sun 08-Dec-13 22:04:54

wish people would stop referring to full time parents as we are all full time parents.

SunshineMMum Sun 08-Dec-13 22:06:58

What would you like us to say 'Those of us who are at home full time?'

Permanentlyexhausted Sun 08-Dec-13 22:08:26

Indeed, Sovery, I completely agree.

Permanentlyexhausted Sun 08-Dec-13 22:09:30

Sunshine - I believe SAHP is the accepted term here.

soverylucky Sun 08-Dec-13 22:10:05

SAHP is fine. My children are out at school while I work. I work in a school therefore I am home when they are home and I am out when they are out. I am home all through the holidays. Still a full-time parent. I don't cease to be their mum when they are at school.

nkf Sun 08-Dec-13 22:15:25

How about everyone with a child is a "parent?" And everyone with a job is "employed?" And everyone without a job is "unemployed?" or "between jobs?"

SunshineMMum Sun 08-Dec-13 22:16:05

OK apologies I don't like that term particularly but accept the SAHP label as suggested. The result of putting my particular child into a childcare environment would have been disastrous, so any inference that I am somehow letting the side down (as the OP has experienced) or that my decision is indulgent, doesn't sit very well with me.

Rufustherednosedreindeer Sun 08-Dec-13 22:27:30

Can I be retired nkf

I work 4 hours a week so I'm never sure that counts

SunshineMMum Sun 08-Dec-13 22:32:10

grin Can I be stay at home, sometimes parent, some unpaid voluntary work, carer and part time mumsnetter?

Rufustherednosedreindeer Sun 08-Dec-13 22:33:32

My husband would say I'm a full time mumsnetter grin

nkf Sun 08-Dec-13 22:35:13

I'm not sure about sometime parent but most other roles can be part time. Or are roles you can retire form. It's the muddling of parenting and working or not working that makes no sense.

nkf Sun 08-Dec-13 22:35:36

Retire from not form.

SunshineMMum Sun 08-Dec-13 22:48:45

blush coma was in the wrong place, I meant stay at home sometimes, not sometimes parent. Many people that don't work, don't quite fit the SAHP label either. If we have to categorise ourselves by roles or by paid employment it gets messy. So going back to the main point of my post, I respect the choices of parents who choose to stay at home AND those who work because it is precisely that and their choice their business.

SunshineMMum Sun 08-Dec-13 22:52:14

Comma smile retiring now, never post after ginger wine!

Chunderella Mon 09-Dec-13 09:20:34

You make my point retropear- it seems you agree that not all choices provide as much revenue into government coffers as others. The example you provide is another one, in addition to the one parent working and one not, of a choice that doesn't. That means that if you want to argue that all choices are as valid as others- which I agree with, actually- you need to drop the financial argument. Fact is that a lot of the people who you resent getting some childcare help and FSMs are paying for your NI contributions and for all our DCs education- because you and I certainly aren't!

Retropear Mon 09-Dec-13 09:26:06

I'm not but dp is - just.

I simply feel all need support financial or otherwise.Both choices do the same thing,ie fund childcare for children and cause financial pain.

Neither are more worthy of support but the spin,rhetoric and actual support put out by gov and others paints a very different picture.

Retropear Mon 09-Dec-13 09:31:24

Also like others I worked and paid plenty before,will do again after and bar CB have never claimed for anything ever.

So the gov and anybody else can quite frankly stuff their rich, feckless,lazy,latte swilling picture re sahm they like to paint where the sun don't shine.

Chunderella Mon 09-Dec-13 10:00:48

CB for 3 DC over a decade is a lot. I claim CB too, nothing else as I'm not entitled to it, but no doubt that will add up to plenty over 18 years. This is why I don't think harping on about finances is the way to go, when we make this particular argument. There are some people who put a lot more into the pot than others and some of us who could do so but choose not to, instead taking a lot more out than we put in for several years. Both of us fall into the latter category which is why we ought to be careful about throwing stones!

As for not all families being worthy of financial support, there are some whose DC will not be fed, clothed and housed without state assistance- in many cases they were affordable when conceived but circumstances intervened. If you don't think they should receive anything at all, own the consequences of that decision.

nightbird80 Mon 09-Dec-13 11:04:55

Calling a sahp parent unemployed is as offensive as a sahp parent calling themself a full time parent. Whst is wrong with wohp and samp. I am not a sahp btw but work part time out of home .

Retropear Mon 09-Dec-13 11:32:18

What on earth are you on about Chunderella?

All parents should get the same, all!

No choice should get preference over an other whether it be CB or anything else and if you're going to actively help parents to be working parents then just maybe they should help families to have a sahp too.

Retropear Mon 09-Dec-13 11:39:51

Oh and the pot isn't black or white- it varies,a lot!

YouAreMyFavouriteWasteOfTime Mon 09-Dec-13 12:02:19

the govt paying for childcare is to get more people working & paying tax/NI, particularly as the economy recovers. it is not making a moral judgement on the merits of WOH/SAH.

our taxation system only looks at what you are currently earning - not what you have contributed in the past. and looking at govt IT projects, taxation needs to be simple so the govt can implement it.

the big problem is paying for all our retirements. and however much SAH/WOH suits an individual family, paying tax and NI counts at national level.

Retropear Mon 09-Dec-13 12:18:50

But the gov are happy to fund tax credit,CB and childcare help for many who contribute nothing,pay no tax and by working cost more whilst doing nothing for sahp in that bracket or the next and frittering money on those wealthier further up- because both work.

It seems like an expensive way to slap the wrists of those who would like a period with a sahp.

Basically they're saying we will help everybody rich or poor who both work regardless of whether it helps the deficit because we don't like sahp,don't want to encourage families having one and don't care if many families and young children want one,need one or have kids who don't suit cheap childcare.

It stinks and is on a par with the social engineering that is the married tax allowance.

YouAreMyFavouriteWasteOfTime Mon 09-Dec-13 12:30:23

tax credit,CB and childcare help for many who contribute nothing,pay no tax

can you give an example of someone in this group, pls?

Retropear Mon 09-Dec-13 12:32:35


YouAreMyFavouriteWasteOfTime Mon 09-Dec-13 12:34:06

so you have two people working FT in low paid jobs? or PT in higher jobs?

Retropear Mon 09-Dec-13 12:39:05


Retropear Mon 09-Dec-13 12:43:23

If you had somebody on 20 even and 1 on 10 part time surely the state will be paying more for the part time (in childcare help)to work than getting back in the very little tax both will be paying.Surely helping them to have a temp sahp(never going to happen but in theory) wouldn't cost more?

YouAreMyFavouriteWasteOfTime Mon 09-Dec-13 13:15:17

1) the 2x10K FT household. both people work FT for 10k per year. they cannot contribute more to the state than they do.

2) the 2x10K PT household. I expect very few household fit this criteria. not enough for the govt to care about. plus they probably don't use paid for childcare.

3) its useful to the rest of us to keep both parents working. 2 people working makes the household more robust in terms of relationship breakdown, redundancy. etc.

I don't actually care about the government's coffers. Well I do, but that's not why I argue that for most people being out of the workplace long term is a bad idea.

It is very hard to get back into good, paid employment after an extended period away. There are ways of keeping one's hand in and develop transferable skills- and possibly a period of SAHP is a great opportunity to do this if you're fortunate enough to have the financial means to do so. It takes careful thought though, imo.

Bear in mind too that children become more and more expensive the older they get. They also need you and only you to be available at irregular times and in ways they simply don't when they're younger. Both these are far more easily addressed if your career is well established than if you're trying to reenter the workplace from the bottom.

YouAre's point 3 is a very good one. Relying on one income alone is very risky. As well as relationship breakdown and redundancy I'd add illness (or worse - although I doubt many of us - me included- give that much thought).

Retropear Mon 09-Dec-13 13:25:28

But if you work as a team it is perfectly possible to accommodate that and quite frankly the gov should be doing more to help whoever is the sah to get back into the workplace eg childcare for top up training and work experience,longer parental leave,flexi hours,and laws re discrimination.

The sharing of parental leave is a great start.

The fact is many kids and families need and want a sahp,they are valuable and more should be done to help more families have.They should be valued instead of scorned.

Retropear Mon 09-Dec-13 13:32:38

Being a sahp is temporary too.

jellybeans Mon 09-Dec-13 13:33:45

Retropear I agree re the government and it is basically because they have a very narrow view of gender equality.

jellybeans Mon 09-Dec-13 13:35:40

'Relying on one income alone is very risky.'

How is it any riskier than taking out a mortgage/lifestyle that requires both incomes? few people are entirely independent that they could maintain the same lifestyle if they split. Those needing a dual income would be just as screwed if they split as somebody who have managed on one wage between them all.

jellybeans Mon 09-Dec-13 13:37:50

'Bear in mind too that children become more and more expensive the older they get. They also need you and only you to be available at irregular times and in ways they simply don't when they're younger'

This is definitely true about the expense (I have 2 teens and 2 not far off). However I feel this age need a parent at home very often even more. It would be hard to keep them from going off the rails if parents aren't around after school etc.

Retropear Mon 09-Dec-13 13:44:21

And yes re mortgage ours is based on one income not two.

YouAreMyFavouriteWasteOfTime Mon 09-Dec-13 13:46:39

How is it any riskier than taking out a mortgage/lifestyle that requires both incomes?

either type of household can spend money badly. not save for a rainy day. on average a two income HH will have a great income than a single income one so be more able to save.

two people working does not by definition mean more materialistic any more than one person working means lazy.

jellybeans Mon 09-Dec-13 13:48:05

I assumed risk to mean if the worker was made redundant or if there was a split.

YouAreMyFavouriteWasteOfTime Mon 09-Dec-13 13:50:07

so one person working = less opportunity to save and greater dependency on that single job.

two people = greater chance of saving and HH less affected by los of one job

ItsIgginningToLookALotLikeXmas Mon 09-Dec-13 13:51:00

I can't believe that not having a parent around straight after school means children will go off the rails. For some, yes, but I imagine one or two with the benefit of full-time mother at home still manage to do this.
Why is there not more talk about having two parents at home (ie both working part-time) surely this is a much better arrangement than one SAHM, so child gets benefit of both role models?

ItsIgginningToLookALotLikeXmas Mon 09-Dec-13 13:51:02

I can't believe that not having a parent around straight after school means children will go off the rails. For some, yes, but I imagine one or two with the benefit of full-time mother at home still manage to do this.
Why is there not more talk about having two parents at home (ie both working part-time) surely this is a much better arrangement than one SAHM, so child gets benefit of both role models?

ItsIgginningToLookALotLikeXmas Mon 09-Dec-13 13:52:26

Good grief don't know what has gone wrong with my phone.
Sorry blush
(Bet it does it again)

jellybeans Mon 09-Dec-13 13:52:57

I think it really depends on income overall. DH earns more now on his own than we used to earn together. In addition we save on work and car costs etc as only have one car. So there can be savings as a SAHP. Many people can't afford to save these days whether dual income or not.

Retropear Mon 09-Dec-13 13:56:09

If you have taken a mortgage out based on two salaries I don't see how you are better off with 2x working families.In actual fact it is riskier as you will always need two salaries.If you base it on one salary you have more scope for coping with a disaster.

Many 2x wp don't have pots of surplus cash lying around in order to save.If they do I don't get the need for childcare help.

jellybeans Mon 09-Dec-13 13:57:15

'Why is there not more talk about having two parents at home (ie both working part-time) surely this is a much better arrangement than one SAHM, so child gets benefit of both role models?'

In many cases jobs cannot be done part time nor can be worked around (army, police, etc). In some families a SAHP is the best option.

Also SAHP can be great role models; volunteering, prioritizing lots of time with kids etc . In addition many SAHP do work either before or later on after DC as well as other family members/teachers offering role models as WOHMs.

jellybeans Mon 09-Dec-13 13:58:20

'If you base it on one salary you have more scope for coping with a disaster'


YouAreMyFavouriteWasteOfTime Mon 09-Dec-13 14:16:23

'If you base it on one salary you have more scope for coping with a disaster'

I agree but its better to have two incomes and a low mortgage than one income and a low mortgage.

Retropear Mon 09-Dec-13 14:18:53

Depends on the ratios.

Personally I suspect an awful lot more families with 2x wp are living beyond their means re mortgages- hence the whining for help with childcare.

YouAreMyFavouriteWasteOfTime Mon 09-Dec-13 14:20:48

Personally I suspect an awful lot more families with 2x wp are living beyond their means re mortgages- hence the whining for help with childcare.

one of these families in financial terms and show having a SAHP would help them.

YouAreMyFavouriteWasteOfTime Mon 09-Dec-13 14:21:25

could you give an example of one of these families in financial terms and show having a SAHP would help them.

Retropear Mon 09-Dec-13 14:25:31

Pick a figure.How long is a piece of string?It varies hugely.

I know lots of people in houses it takes two to fund they could easily downsize from or live in a cheaper area.

YouAreMyFavouriteWasteOfTime Mon 09-Dec-13 14:27:36

lets go with the uk average. so two people both earning 26k, living in the SE.

in what ways are they living beyond their means?
and how would having a SAHP benefit them?

Retropear Mon 09-Dec-13 14:32:48

Who is suggesting having a Sahp would help?Just pointing out that your assumption all families with 2x wp are financially secure and save isn't necessarily so.

Families differ,some save before to fund a sahp,some cut their cloth after.Some with 2wp never save and like to live in nice houses and have holidays.Horses for courses.Not sure why either should be treated differently or supported more.

Dp's family all live in the SE,we don't,much as dp would like us to.

YouAreMyFavouriteWasteOfTime Mon 09-Dec-13 14:36:47

and how would having a SAHP benefit them? = you are proposing they should downsize and have a SAHP for great financial stability.

how do the numbers work?

Retropear Mon 09-Dec-13 14:47:31

No simply pointing out that having 2x salaries doesn't necessarily make you more secure and that having a mortgage easily covered by one salary is safest as chances are it's very unlikely both parents would find themselves in the situation that they were both too unwell to work.

If the mortgage payer lost his/her job worst case scenario both could get lower paid work to cover said mortgage.

Having 2 jobs and a big mortgage to match you're always going to need 2 to fund it.Obviously a small mortgage easily covered by one and both working would be even safer but it doesn't seem to happen like that does it- families and situations differ hence the pointlessness of blanket assumptions that all 2 x wp families are swimming in cash and have kids far better off due to pony riding lessons and the rest of it.

If all families with 2 x wp are like that there really is no need for help with childcare.

HappyMummyOfOne Mon 09-Dec-13 15:00:02

One earner means that in the event of job loss the entire household income is gone in one go. No fall back of a second salary. Should the relationhip break down the SAHP has no means of financially providing for the children and could take months to find work as emplloyers want recent experience.

Two salaries means a safety net should one lose their job and gives both parties the means of financial support should they split.

The mortgage is a red herring as banks will lend x times salary to one earner and if two earners its not much more. The bank never took into account my salary just dh's.

The state paying people to be SAHPs achieves nothing, assisting with childcare costs means people keep their jobs and will go onto to not need help when children are older, they may get pay rises or promotions etc. They will remain tax payers, the chidcare provider will be a tax payer and the child will likely be one in the future having grown up seeing that work is something you do to finance choices in life.

Its funny how the children of woking mums will go off the rails, i suspect stories in the press will say different. Its the actual parenting that makes a child behave how they do, having a SAHP doesnt equal angelic child hmm

As for just SAHPs volunteering, i dont find that the case at all. Our PTA are all working parents and the governors all work.

YouAreMyFavouriteWasteOfTime Mon 09-Dec-13 15:00:44

Personally I suspect an awful lot more families with 2x wp are living beyond their means re mortgages- hence the whining for help with childcare.

can you give one example of this type of family's income and explain how downsizing and SAHP would help them manage financial risk better?

one example? with numbers, not your vague assertions!

Retropear Mon 09-Dec-13 15:21:22

Erm many families with 2 x wp aren't tax payers,or pay buggar all tax as aren't childcare providers.I was a childminder for 4 years and never paid a penny in tax,I made sure I never did hours which brought me over the threshold,I know hoards who do the same.

Happy many people are covered if they lose their job.My dp is covered for a year ditto my sister.In a year he could easily get the same,work away from home,contract or we old easily get 2 low paid jobs to cover the same.A lot of families with a sahp have the bases covered as they need to.Many with 2 salaries fly by the seat of their pants.One size does not fit all.

Mortgage companies do take into account second salaries,having just updated our mortgage it was eye watering what we could borrow if I worked.

Oh and having a sahp doesn't mean kids don't see work paying for choices.We busted a gut to get 3 degrees,a house and savings before we had kids so we had the choice and my dc could enjoy having a sahp which they love.

My 3 are incredibly hard workers and know if they want a sahp they too will have to bust a gut to have one.

YouAreMyFavouriteWasteOfTime Mon 09-Dec-13 15:45:20

many families with 2 x wp aren't tax payers,or pay buggar all tax

so families with low incomes with two working parents. how would SAH help them financially? should the state not help them?

and you busted a gut in the past. busting a gut is what most people do most the time. its not a reason to think you are marvellous!

oh now wait you worked your hours to maximise your benefit and minimise the tax you paid.

I don't know why you have such a problem with other people being helped.

Retropear Mon 09-Dec-13 16:06:29

You seem to be putting words into my mouth.

2 non tax payers with TC wouldn't benefit from having a sahp but them both working doesn't benefit the state financially- simply pointing that out.

Never said I was marvellous.

Never claimed benefits thanks bar CB for 9 years.Dp pays plenty of tax thanks as have I and will do in the future.

Nope didn't fiddle my tax to suit me.I minded for teachers and part timers who didn't want to pay for the hols and I didn't want to work them.In order to keep my setting top quality I kept my numbers down.You can also claim for heating etc so I was always just under.

The vast maj of minimum wage workers in nurseries won't be paying tax either I'm sure,ditto others on low wages.

YouAreMyFavouriteWasteOfTime Mon 09-Dec-13 16:11:03

"your benefit" does not means "you claimed benefits"

I read what you write.

if your DP pays loads of tax, you must have a high income so what is the problem?

Retropear Mon 09-Dec-13 16:20:59

My problem is the demonising of sahp by the gov/media,the lack of help for those that would like to be one for a period of time and the unfairness.

janey68 Mon 09-Dec-13 16:27:19

I don't see this demonising of SAHP around me. It's a perfectly valid choice for families who want to have one parent at home, but it's not 'better', it's simply a different choice, and no one deserves to be rewarded for it by the state. If you want to be a SAHP, you do it because you believe in it, it offers the lifestyle you want, so I don't really understand the complaining and seeming resentment about it (which to be fair is not most SAHP)

YouAreMyFavouriteWasteOfTime Mon 09-Dec-13 16:30:29

neither do I. I think you want validation by the govt. I don't get any validation by the govt for my life choices.

I pay them tax. that's about it. if you want anything from the govt you will always be disappointed. and this applies to pretty much all of us.

missinglalaland Mon 09-Dec-13 16:50:02


I am old. Old enough to remember a cold war childhood. I remember when one of the many horrors of communism was little children being taken away from the bosom of family, and put into institutions all day so their mothers could work in factories or whatever. Oh the horror! shock wink

Seems capitalism has more handily accomplished what the "Godless Communists" failed to. He, he.

Personally, I don't care what other people do. Within reason, I consider it their family, their business. I am content with my choices. What does irk me is the fact that so many families don't feel they have a choice. And that can cut both ways...can't afford to work, can't afford not to work, depending where they live what their job are etc.

I am sure if little kids were given the choice 99% would plump for "mummy!" rather than childcare. (And I said "mummy" not "parent" on purpose.) Of course, they would also like to stay up till 10pm every night, never take a bath and eat candy for dinner. So perhaps their opinions aren't all that relevant! grin

Retropear Mon 09-Dec-13 17:07:07

Ok so if sahp don't need rewarding I don't think wp should be either.

The gov saying a family with 2 x working parents are the families that want to get are inferring those without 2 aren't and are threfore demonising.There has been demonising aplenty on MN and in the media."Motherism" is now a term.

We don't have the money for sweeties for those that don't need it so they should pick a household salary deemed wealthy and not needy of help and stick with it. Then treat universal benefits such as CB,childcare help and school dinners exactly the same.A transferable tax allowance should be available for those in that bracket too.

You can then take your pick and no choice is seen as more worthy than any other.

That is the fair way but then the Condems don't care about fairness so like
many I shall just sit tight until the next election.

Retropear Mon 09-Dec-13 17:10:17

Oh and I think wanting and needing your mummy is a little different to wanting and needing hours of TV,it's kind of sad the two are now are seen as equal.

jellybeans Mon 09-Dec-13 17:18:49

'Two salaries means a safety net should one lose their job.'

Not if they depend on both to pay the bills..

You could argue that a family with a SAHP has, in effect, a reserve worker.
The only people who wouldn't be screwed if someone lost their job or they split up is someone who could comfortably afford to run a household totally on their own, which is not many people.

soverylucky Mon 09-Dec-13 17:24:04

Why are working parents "whining for help" with childcare but SAHP are not "whining" when they ask for things like a transferable tax allowance?

There is no need for this sort of language. The two extremes on either side of this debate are quite unpleasant to read.

janey68 Mon 09-Dec-13 17:24:16

What the govt wants is good parenting. That, along with other factors such as educational level of parents, is what's most likely to lead to positive outcomes for children. And positive outcomes for children means less money spent on mopping up problems of anti social behaviour, mental health problems, youth unemployment etc.
If there were a clear link between SAHP and better outcomes, believe me I'm damn sure the govt would be chasing women back into the home pronto. Call me a cynic, but I really think they would. As there is no link, they don't reward people financially for making what is essentially a personal choice to be a SAHP. Like I say, nothing wrong with that choice, but to expect some kind of reward for it is nonsensical

HoleyGhost Mon 09-Dec-13 17:37:56

I bought into the 'reserve worker' safety net notion when I was a SAHP . When my dh was faced with redundancy I discovered that my excellent references, qualifications and experience all out of date and I could not get work.

A health scare made me realise that while we could manage on dh's income alone, we could not afford childcare when I was ill.

HowlingTrap Mon 09-Dec-13 17:48:50

Its a shame people are being so defensive, if you work full time you are literally handing over your child over to someone to look after during the day, no-ones claiming you're no longer a parent buts it obvious someone else is doing the lion share of the actual caring/looking after.

A SAHM is doing all the nitty gritty, without the respect of 'a proper job' its very different.

janey68 Mon 09-Dec-13 18:11:51

But presumably if you are a SAHP you are doing it because you want to, and with the financial and emotional support, and respect, of your partner. Why this constant seeking of approbation from other sources?

Surely people gain self esteem from various sources. I gain it from being a wife, parent , friends and yes from my career too. I certainly don't expect a pat on the back from the govt and I don't understand why some SAHP seem to be so resentful. If you enjoy being a SAHP then embrace it.

Retropear Mon 09-Dec-13 18:18:05

Um so wp constantly asking for a pat on the back and childcare help is ok but not the alternative.

Quite frankly I couldn't give a stuff re pat on the backs or a boot up the backside so long as both are treated the same.

I feel this age need a parent at home very often even more That was (almost) exactly my point, jelly. If you have been out of the workplace for a long time when your children are younger, it can be much more difficult to find good employment that allows you to work flexibly.

By keeping my hand in (well, FT which was a bit more than I'd have liked but needs must) when my child was at primary, either dp or I are able to be at home by 4.30 pretty much every day. I'm sure we're not the only family in that position. It's not a scenario that would have panned out the same for everyone, but I do think it's worth thinking longer term rather than assuming that primary age children need you at home all day everyday, then trying to get back into the workplace just as the affordable after school and holiday options disappear, your children become dearer and dearer, and actually it is you and nobody else that they need (not that you actually see much of them necessarily - it's the being available if needed that matters).

soverylucky Mon 09-Dec-13 18:25:42

Exactly retro treated the same. So wp asking for childcare help is not whining same as sahp asking for tax breaks is not. That is precisely my point.

janey68 Mon 09-Dec-13 18:34:58

Who is whining for help with childcare? Never had any myself, we paid it all out of our own income, even when 2 x nursery fees = the equivalent of my income. Many people aren't prepared to do that - you often see it said on MN that 'there's no point in me working because all my earnings would go on childcare'. Well, that's fine, it's a choice, but don't complain and feel resentful when those who've stayed in the workplace have improved long term career prospects and higher pensions.

I do think there's a case for making childcare tax deductible on the grounds that its a cost directly related to earning, and it did seem mad that we paid for nursery out of taxed income and then the nursery was taxed again on it! But hey ho, that's how it was and I'm certainly not complaining. Returning to work after children was one of the best decisions I ever made. Presumably if you decide not to, you equally feel its a good decision so why complain?

Retropear Mon 09-Dec-13 18:35:43

Wp have got what they want,sahp who ask for the same are invariably put down.

SoupDragon Mon 09-Dec-13 18:36:54

I do think there's a case for making childcare tax deductible on the grounds that its a cost directly related to earning

No, it's a cost directly related to choosing to have children.

Retropear Mon 09-Dec-13 18:37:16

Who is complaining?

I have said what many sahp want.

Retropear Mon 09-Dec-13 18:40:32

I and nobody else on this thread have voiced resentment thanks for high flying careers or pensions Dp and I have fab pensions thanks and if I wanted a high flying career I 'd have it.I would however rather eat my own hair.

janey68 Mon 09-Dec-13 18:43:14

Soup dragon - yes I am aware of that. It's not tax deductible because you don't need to have children to do a job. I said I think there is a good case for making it tax deductible on the grounds that the majority of adult women and men have children and it would be a tax break (not a benefit) and is a cost as closely related to earning without being necessary to earn IYSWIM. I'm not expecting everyone to agree; just saying that I think it is something the govt could quite reasonably implement. However- they haven't, and as you rightly say, it was my choice to have children; we limited our family to one we can afford t

janey68 Mon 09-Dec-13 18:44:17

Afford to raise without relying on any govt help. And I'm not complaining!

LynetteScavo Mon 09-Dec-13 18:51:02

Every week when I take my DD to her swimming lesson 2 other mothers always come and sit near me.

Every week they have the same bloody conversation. Both used to be high fliers in the city. One has recently gone back to work part time, doing something completely different to what she did pre-DC. The other is a SAHM. Every week the mother who has recently started working again, asks the other mother if she is going to go back to her old job in the city. Every week the mother gives polite explanations about why she hasn't gone back to work - she would be out of the house for all her childrens waking hours how finding someone to drop her DC at two or three differenet schools would be difficult, etc, etc.

Neither woman can just openly accept that being a SAHM (or F) is a valid option!

I bet I have to listen to the same conversation next weekend.

I don't think WOHPs have it that easy, do they? confused

They're hardly drowning in good, affordable childcare (other than school hours I guess), are they? We were lucky in that ds's school had an after school club that cost us something like £16 a week (that plus flexible working) - but we were very fortunate in that in comparison to a lot of others.

I suspect people hugely over estimate how much money working parents bring home in tax credits, too.

Retropear Mon 09-Dec-13 18:56:24

It's only temp Johny though and lets not forget long term wp are far better off than us sahp left on the scrap heap.hmm

Lynette I've heard that convo a few times too.grin

soverylucky Mon 09-Dec-13 18:56:26

I am not sure what wp have actually got? We can't use childcare vouchers for our childcare as the provider doesn't accept them and our employers will not be part of the scheme. We don't qualify for tax credits and we don't earn that much. This is just the way it is. I am not campaigning for changes - I chose to have children and knew I would have to pay for childcare. I am just puzzled by the idea that wp get some sort of benefit for working. Not all do. Many don't.

NewtRipley Mon 09-Dec-13 19:00:17

niteresting post mamadoc

NewtRipley Mon 09-Dec-13 19:00:30

.. interesting, even!

All the way through I've referred to SAHPing long term and being detrimental, Retro.

And I'm not saying you're on the scrapheap - I am saying that, realistically, it is far more difficult to get back into the workplace doing something that pays OK and has good T&Cs if you stay out of work for a long period of time. It pays to have a strategy.

Retropear Mon 09-Dec-13 19:31:39

Maybe we have strategies.hmm

Mimishimi Mon 09-Dec-13 19:34:38

So what's stopping you OP? There's obviously no law against it. Like anything, there are pros and cons. I do think the cons are fairly substantial though. As for the social approbation, a very curious thing I've noticed is that is the very same friends or acquaintances who are the snootiest about someone's decision to stay home who are the first to ask you to help them out when their child care doesn't work out for whatever reason. Eg child is sick, can't possibly take a day off, it's only a head cold (hmmmm).

Retropear Mon 09-Dec-13 20:13:05

And given that most wp x 2 I know have 1 part timer on quite a low wage(which I could certainly match if needed) what exactly are the strategies such wp have that many a sahp couldn't match if needs be in a crisis.

I'm talking RL not MN or Condemville where all 2x wp go off to the city suited and booted,raking in silly money whilst working a 10 hour day in amazing jobs they love every minute of whilst the Norland nanny teaches Mandarin to the dc.

monicalewinski Mon 09-Dec-13 20:24:36


"Who is whining for help with childcare? Never had any myself, we paid it all out of our own income, even when 2 x nursery fees = the equivalent of my income. Many people aren't prepared to do that - you often see it said on MN that 'there's no point in me working because all my earnings would go on childcare'."

^^ This, exactly.

When I had my children, myself and my husband were just above the limit for tax credits (I'm not sure they were even there when I had my eldest). To stay in my job I had to work full time (no part time or flexi option) and mat leave was only 4 months the first time, 6 months the second, there was no such thing as childcare vouchers then, either.

Almost all of my wage went on childcare, I carried on working regardless because I was looking ahead to the long term bigger picture - I basically worked for free until my youngest was 3.

Because of this decision, myself and my husband carried on up the career ladder and are now in the position of not only "seeing our wages", but we are in a senior enough position that we can be quite flexible with work (ie I say I'm going to the sports day/school play etc, rather than asking if I could possibly).

So many people say they "there's no point in working because I wouldn't make any money", the point is that the money comes along later when the childcare days are gone.

I also just cannot comprehend why people believe SAHPs should be recompensed to stay at home? Why? Why should the country pay you to look after your own children? (That is a genuine question, not sarcastic - I really have never understood that argument).

jellybeans Mon 09-Dec-13 20:40:42

Long term SAHP could be seen as a risk, same as working p/t or many other situations in life. Many weigh up the risks and decide it is worth taking to spend that time with DC.

For me I went through hell to have my kids (stillbirths, miscarriages, massive complications while pregnant and birth etc etc) I don't think I physically could have left them (the ones after my losses especially) even if I really wanted to (not saying this applies to all as everyone is different even in the same situation). Yes I take on a risk that it will be hard to find a job should I want or need one but to me it is worth that risk. I have minimized the risk by furthering my education through the OU and other financial insurances.

It would be great if everyone could do what they wanted and be happy and not judged for their choice.

Retropear Mon 09-Dec-13 20:48:08

Monica why should the country pay for others to look after your children?

Oh and re sports day my dp in his senior position just says he's taking the morning off,as does my sister,her part time husband and the other 100s of wp at sports day who may or may not have had a break.Even I managed it on my non taxable wage.

It's not hard.You read the school newsletter and then book the time off.hmm

soverylucky Mon 09-Dec-13 21:19:45

Monica isn't asking for that though. She has quite clearly stated that she has always paid for her childcare.

Retropear Mon 09-Dec-13 21:21:06

As have I.

monicalewinski Mon 09-Dec-13 21:46:31

No-one has paid my childcare Retro, just me and my husband. I have never claimed tax credits and I have never whined for help.

With the sports day thing, it was an example of why it is now easier for me as a parent, still with school age children - by remaining in work I have afforded myself the opportunity to not still be on the bottom rung at work, nothing more, just an eg.

I was agreeing with Janey re those people who say "no point in me working for free", and pointing out why I did in fact decide to work more or less for free.

I did ask the question though - why do SAHP feel they need recompense for looking after their own children, can you answer that? If not, fair enough, but it is a genuine question, not a dig - it is something I really don't understand.

Permanentlyexhausted Mon 09-Dec-13 21:47:59

Totally agree with monicalewinski and Janey.

We never had any help with childcare costs either and for 18 months whilst both of my children were at nursery, working did cost me more than I earned, taking commuting costs into consideration. But I did the right thing for my family and we are now reaping the benefits, several times over.

Retropear, that is a silly comment about sports day - there are millions of working parents who cannot just book the time off. Many people have constraints on when they can take time off and/or for how long. Besides which for many/most working parents booking a half-day for school sports day simply means you have half a day less to use for such frivolities as school holidays, TD days, etc. Or in my case 2 full days since we have full sports days and 2 different schools. I was able to go but have sympathy (and a camera) for those who weren't.

Philoslothy Mon 09-Dec-13 21:51:42

As a woman I happily pay my taxes to enable other women to have the choices that I have been very fortunate to have when it comes to going out to work.

As a woman I am happy to pay my taxes so that children grow up thinking that it is perfectly normal to be a woman and have some financial independence and career options.

As a human being I recognize that work is a path out of deprivation and therefore if my taxes can pay towards that.

As someone who is rather self centre I recognize that society is safer if people are not living in poverty and therefore it makes sense to contribute my taxes to that.

I do wish however that companies paid living wages and that my taxes were not used to prop up businesses that can't pay their staff bill or are too greedy to do so.

Retropear Mon 09-Dec-13 21:53:38

I think sahp simply want fairness.

mamadoc Mon 09-Dec-13 21:57:38

Thanks Newt

This thread has helped me think more clearly about our situation and why we aren't happy.

I am quite jealous of my friends who stay at home in some ways just because it is clearer. They are responsible for everything to do with house and kids, their DH brings in the wage.

For me and DH it very easily defaults to me feeling responsible for everything to do with house and kids AND being the main breadwinner.

Ideally it would be a 50:50 split of both parts but that is harder to fairly achieve especially when the world assumes that the woman is responsible for everything domestic. (He gets plaudits for doing the school run- when I do it this is just seen as normal).

My life would be a whole lot easier if I had a partner who wanted to be a SAHD but I think it's right that I respect his desire to work as I hope he would mine if the situations were reversed.

If he were a woman I still think he'd be at home by now though.

Philoslothy Mon 09-Dec-13 22:01:32

I would love to be a SAHM, for me it would be an indulgence to give up a 15 hour worming day and spend my time pottering about with the children and animals.

But just because it would be an indulgence for me, it may not be for others.

I may give in and stay at home when baby number five is born, particularly because we want another soon after.

monicalewinski Mon 09-Dec-13 22:02:31

Fairness? In what?

A SAHP makes a choice to stay at home, just as I made a choice to go back to work. Neither choice is less valid than the other - a small (vocal) minority on each side slate the other:

"All WOHP hand over their children for others to bring up - why did they have them in the first place"

"All SAHP are lazy latte drinkers"

The majority of us are all in agreement that you do what is best for your family, in the circumstances you have been dealt, in the best way that you can.

FWIW, I agree with Philoslothy, above; there should be no need for tax credits etc, because a living wage should be paid, but I just don't get how paying a SAHP is necessary or 'fair'. That parent chose to remove themselves from the workforce, why should a SAHP get paid to stay at home when I was out working for free??

In what way are SAHMs treated unfairly in comparison to WOHMs, Retro?

janey68 Mon 09-Dec-13 22:04:35

Mamadoc- I think the reality is that a lot of couples want more balance, and it's wrong that society defaults to the woman to do the lions share of domestic duties, and men get applauded for doing something totally normal like the school run.

I agree that achieving 50:50 is not easy, but it's a great goal to aspire to.

I don't want to have the sole responsibility for being breadwinner. Neither do I want to totally abandon my career and pass that responsibility to my DH. It may seem simpler for one person to earn and the other to take on all child and home responsibilities- as you say, it makes things more easily demarcated. But at the end of the day, we all have only one life, and I would rather me and dh each have a balance of work and home rather than feeling that we each have to choose. I appreciate not all couples feel the same, but it's not in the least surprising that many do

soverylucky Mon 09-Dec-13 22:04:47

Exactly - what fairness? I get no help as a working parent. What do I have that you don't have? What is it that you want? I am not having a dig - I genuinely want to know.

Philoslothy Mon 09-Dec-13 22:07:21

I get no help as a working parent , none that I don't pay for anyway. To be fair it would be a criminal waste of taxpayers money if I did get help .

I can recognize that I don't need help but others do.

Retropear Mon 09-Dec-13 22:08:48

Why should wp get help with childcare then?

They are their children,sahp sort out their dc's childcare with no help so not sure why the state should fund childcare for wp.

As I said kids cost and need looking after,we all know that before we have them.Many sahp save and plan in order to fund their childcare so surely wp could do he same.

soverylucky Mon 09-Dec-13 22:10:08

But many wp don't get help with childcare - so what fairness do you want?

Permanentlyexhausted Mon 09-Dec-13 22:12:50

How would you measure fair?

For the most part my children are either at school or they are being looked after by either myself or DH (although we both work full-time we are only both out of the house during school hours). Occasionally they'll go to a holiday club during the school holidays, for which we pay. What is it that a SAHP isn't getting from the government that I am?

Philoslothy Mon 09-Dec-13 22:14:06

Because I don't want to see anyone trapped at home if they would rather work, that creates unhappy children and parents and huge costs in the future both social and financial.

I think an ability to work and pay towards your family is a basic human right.

Because as a woman I want to enable other women to have fulfilling careers - if they want them - I want my daughters to be raised in a world where it is not assumed that their ovaries are their greatest asset.

Because we need women out in the workplace as cleaners, nurses, teachers , shop assistants and care workers. Many of those jobs do not pay enough to cover childcare , are you going to ban all cleaners from having children ?

monicalewinski Mon 09-Dec-13 22:14:07

All working parents don't get help with childcare - only those on very low wages. If wages weren't so low and childcare costs so high then they wouldn't need any help at all.

And why would a SAHP need to pay for childcare? They are their children's childcare, surely?

jellybeans Mon 09-Dec-13 22:14:17

This is why i have always thought that they should keep universal CB and just increase it. Because then it can be used to either help with childcare costs OR staying home costs and it is fair to all, gives more options and more people can choose to do what they want.

How much do you think working parents get in tax credits, Retro? Another one here who got fuck all. Not that I'm complaining.

If your household income is that low that you're entitled to significant help, chances are you'd also get help as a SAHP confused

Retropear Mon 09-Dec-13 22:14:56

Wtc and there will be new measures coming in for those families on £300k or under.

Permanentlyexhausted Mon 09-Dec-13 22:16:36

Retro - You're talking to 4 parents here, all of whom have said they didn't/don't get any help with childcare costs.

FWIW, as a working parent, I did save and plan to fund my childcare. How else do you think I managed to spend 18 months paying out more than I was earning?

monicalewinski Mon 09-Dec-13 22:17:34

£300K and under??????????? That's a fuck load of people!

monicalewinski Mon 09-Dec-13 22:19:35

I didn't get tax credits either Retro - I got nothing. I get child benefit, that is all - something which a SAHP also gets, what do I get that you don't and why is it not fair to you?

soverylucky Mon 09-Dec-13 22:21:26

What are we going to get Retro - I missed that one. We are no-where near 300k (who on earth is?) I am getting a bit excited now...

Retropear Mon 09-Dec-13 22:21:47

£150 each and under.

As the higher tax rate is what £32k and those on it are seen as wealthy then really why should those from £32 and above get help.

Every penny counts,so we're told.

Retropear Mon 09-Dec-13 22:22:52

And no all sahp don't get CB anymore.

soverylucky Mon 09-Dec-13 22:23:33

Sorry I don't understand - are we going to get £150? Or is it a tax break or something?

soverylucky Mon 09-Dec-13 22:24:57

not all wp get cb.

Permanentlyexhausted Mon 09-Dec-13 22:26:24

The higher rate of tax is paid on salaries above £42K-ish. Not £32K. £10K of tax free earnings + £32K of basic rate earnings = £42K.

Retropear Mon 09-Dec-13 22:26:40

We've taken the hit financially and are funding the care of our children ourselves so those with 2 wp on our similar household income should surely do the same.

As I said,choose a cut off,decide what is wealthy and stick with it for everything.

Oh and they could also quit with the "want to get on"bollocks while they're at it.

mamadoc Mon 09-Dec-13 22:27:51

I think I understand a bit better now why I have always been so uncomfortable with the glib answer that it should just be a woman's choice whether to Be SAHP or WOHP and therefore there is no debate. As expressed in the OP.

You can only have that choice if your partner is happy to make the opposite choice. For a woman to SAH a man has to be the main wage earner.

It will only be a truly equal society and a victory for feminism when the choice is really free. When it is as likely to be the mother or the father who stays at home.

There should be 3 choices. Woman stays home, man stays home or both do 50:50 and all of these should be equally possible.

In reality it is still much harder for it to be the man who stays at home and even 50:50 is hard to really achieve. If things were really equal there wouldn't be so many women saying that they couldn't work because it didn't make financial sense. They would have the choice my DH has to work in despite of it making no 'financial sense' because they want to.

There also wouldn't be so many women like me trying to do it all in the face of 'aren't you lucky that he helps you so much' comments. (Yes, MIL that's you)

Retropear Mon 09-Dec-13 22:28:04

So were you out of the country back in March?hmm

soverylucky Mon 09-Dec-13 22:30:38

Retro - I don't have a clue what your household income is. Do you mean that if your husbands income was divided between the two of you then you would get extra help? Or have I got that totally wrong?

janey68 Mon 09-Dec-13 22:31:05

I really fail to see your gripe retro.

On the one hand you keep telling us you are a SAHM who has lost CB - therefore your partner must earn 60k min to have lost. That's a damn high income. You could add to it anyway if you wanted- you keep telling us that you could hop back into a high flying career if you wanted. You also said you and your partner have 'fab pensions'. Now, considering pensions have been hit massively, and thinking of my own pension situation, DH and I each pay nigh on £400 a month- each- into ours and I'd describe them as good ... Well, to have fab ones I'm assuming you and your partner must each be paying at least a similar amount into yours every month. For someone who isn't working that's pretty good going, you can hardly claim to have need CB if you're managing that!

Yet still you complain about 'unfairness'. It's really quite odd.

Permanentlyexhausted Mon 09-Dec-13 22:31:21

It's childcare vouchers, sovery. The government is thinking about paying 20% of childcare costs, up to £1,200 per child. Of course, you'd only get £1,200 if you've paid out £6,000. Whilst I'm sure SAHPs would like £1,200, I doubt they'd want to part with £6,000 in exchange for it.

superstarheartbreaker Mon 09-Dec-13 22:32:19

How does it not make financial sense to work? Even with child are thrown in you'd still be making money and staying up to date with the cv.

soverylucky Mon 09-Dec-13 22:33:02

Ah the childcare vouchers - but aren't they only up to age 5 or something so can't be used for before and after school clubs?

Philoslothy Mon 09-Dec-13 22:34:08

if what you say is true Janey it is not just odd it is greed.

Permanentlyexhausted Mon 09-Dec-13 22:35:21

Exactly that, sovery!

monicalewinski Mon 09-Dec-13 22:35:40

"Want to get on bollocks"

Not bollocks, I did want to get on - I wanted to carry on being the best I could be in my career and achieve my potential in my profession - that's not bollocks at all IMO.

I'll repeat again, I funded my own childcare, I paid my own way, I took nothing from the state - only CB, which until recently was paid to everyone.

Why is that not fair? What have I had that a SAHP has been denied??

Philoslothy Mon 09-Dec-13 22:38:20

I was someone who wanted to get on, I went from a life of neglect and deprivation to one of the best universities in the country to two successful careers. I am not sure what is wrong with that.

People have quite distorted views on how much everyone else is pocketing from the government, ime. I've been guilty of it myself.

Retropear Mon 09-Dec-13 22:41:37

Ah Janey still fascinated with my financial details as ever,sadly I have no intention of going over them in minute detail on here.

So we'll look at those sahp who will be losing CB.Starts at £50k and gone at £60. Fine if that is what the gov regards as wealthy sooooo not seeing why those on incomes of 80-100 keep it and will get help with childcare on top.The sahp are funding their childcare themselves so surely wp should.

Oh and re our pensions,I have a very money savvy dp and dad,we've also been paying pension contributions a looooong time.For what we want in retirement ie not cruises but enough to not be poverty striven we'll be fine.

Retropear Mon 09-Dec-13 22:43:07

Monica those with a sahp want to get on too and work hard.hmm

Philoslothy Mon 09-Dec-13 22:45:21

You were the one who was mocking " getting on"

When I become a SAHP I will be severely pissed off, if I have to work hard. Trying to avoid hard work is exactly what I am trying to avoid,

Retropear Mon 09-Dec-13 22:46:47

Well you'll have a shock then.

Philoslothy Mon 09-Dec-13 22:48:06

Not really retro, this is baby number 5, I have been a SAHP for varying lengths with all of them.

We all come to parenting with different tolerances and past experiences.

monicalewinski Mon 09-Dec-13 22:48:22

I didn't say they didn't (unsure why you did a sarcastic face there).

You said:

"Oh and they could also quit with the "want to get on" bollocks while they're at it."

So I replied:

"Not bollocks, I did want to get on - I wanted to carry on being the best I could be in my career and achieve my potential in my profession - that's not bollocks at all IMO."

And you still haven't told me what I got that was denied to a SAHP.

Rufustherednosedreindeer Mon 09-Dec-13 22:48:35

Not all SAHP are at home because they want to be, some have difficulties that mean they can't work whether is disabled child, disabled SAHP, poorly qualified or partner who is never around

I am a SAHM because I love my lattes for example

In the same way that not all WP work because they want to, they can't afford not to. Or may be in jobs that it is hard to take a break from

The problem with these threads is that people naturally talk in generalisations, and then others take it personally. It just goes round and round

I don't believe that retro is just speaking for herself, she feels that some government initiatives are unfair to SAHPs in general

Lj8893 Mon 09-Dec-13 22:51:08

Retro......i must be missing a trick because if I was to go back to work on a £17k job with my dp in his £18k job we wouldn't get any help with how is a family with an income of £80-100k getting help?!?

Retropear Mon 09-Dec-13 22:51:23

Monica guess what I'm not talking about you.

Retropear Mon 09-Dec-13 22:52:02

L you will be when the new measures come in.

janey68 Mon 09-Dec-13 22:53:07

I'm not fascinated retro- I'm simply repeating back what you yourself have said. You've told us on countless threads how Narked you are to have lost CB. Therefore your partner must have a minimum income of 60k. Simples.

As for pensions... Well, like I say, plenty of people are savvy and have been paying in a loooong time, but to describe yours as fab I'm assuming you've continued to pay in without breaks, despite not working. Like I said , me and my DH pay in around £800 per month between us into our pension pots and I'd describe ours as good but not fab. I also found that dropping to 3 days a week work for 5 years has hit my pension quite a lot... So goodness only knows what you must be doing to have such a fabulous pension while being a SAHM! But as you're clearly extremely well off, plus you could step back into your high flying career any minute if you wanted, your life is clearly marvellous. Which just makes it odd that you seem so resentful of WOHP getting a bit of 'help'. Help as in 1k back out of 6k paid out in childcare. Very odd hmm

monicalewinski Mon 09-Dec-13 22:53:08

You said my name!! Who were you talking to/about then?!

Retropear Mon 09-Dec-13 22:53:26

And many get wtc atm,not that hard to understand.hmm

Retropear Mon 09-Dec-13 22:56:26

Well you wonder away Janey,for what we want we'll be fine.

Believe you me compared to rising 3 kids on one salary we'll be fine.

Retropear Mon 09-Dec-13 22:58:19

Fabulous to us may not be fabulous to you,ditto any job I do or don't do.

People differ.

Retropear Mon 09-Dec-13 22:59:44

Anyhoo same old,same old.

Rufustherednosedreindeer Mon 09-Dec-13 23:00:50

These threads never stay as debates

After a while it turns into the janey and retro show

Boring...and I know you don't give a shiny shit what anyone else says so I am off in a pout!!!!

May have a latte....

Permanentlyexhausted Mon 09-Dec-13 23:02:34

Retro - you seem to have a lot of opinions about benefits you seem to know very little about.

ItsIgginningToLookALotLikeXmas Mon 09-Dec-13 23:04:08

We (both teachers, 1 ft, 1 pt) got WTC until the government changed, with 2nd child they had gone - also pay cuts, increase in cost of living, pension contributions. Not a great time just now. If one of us earned 60k the other could stay at home, we have to work as described above in order to earn that much. But then what we view as "enough" as a family wage is very individual.
In general though, doesn't society need people to work? And also need people to have children? And that includes the children of poorer people who struggle to pay for childcare. I would not like to live in a society where the only children who existed were those of the financially solvent.

Retropear Mon 09-Dec-13 23:04:40

Rufus I do.

If it didn't keep me up all night I might have a latte- and a manicure.wink

janey68 Mon 09-Dec-13 23:05:38

Oh hang on - retro told us earlier on this thread she was a childminder who deliberately kept her hours low so she was under the tax threshold.... Yet she has a fabulous pension!

I smell BS

Rufustherednosedreindeer Mon 09-Dec-13 23:05:52

It's no good talking to me retro I'm not here anymore

Ooh shit.....need to rethink that grin

Rufustherednosedreindeer Mon 09-Dec-13 23:08:31

janey she may well be making contributions out of her husbands wages

And fab is a relative term

And I'm not here, that wasn't me saying that

Really need to rethink the whole flouncing off's not really working for me

Retropear Mon 09-Dec-13 23:10:20

Really Permanent.hmm

Its I'm not saying don't help the poorest but decide on a system and stick with it so it's fair oh and that perhaps putting down/ criticising those who have chosen to fund their childcare by having a sahp is a tad unfair.

janey68 Mon 09-Dec-13 23:10:49

Exactly rufus- so it comes across as a bit grabby to be complaining about losing CB if your partner is purchasing a fab pension for you while you're not working!

Retropear Mon 09-Dec-13 23:13:13

You said it Rufus(fab is relative)I also have a financial adviser for a father.

I'm no good at flouncing either.

Rufustherednosedreindeer Mon 09-Dec-13 23:15:03

I wasn't aware she was complaining about losing CB, I thought she was complaining about the discrepancy of house hold incomes.

Between 50 and 60k for single income families, 100 and 120k for joint income families

I am probably wrong though, I haven't made a study of her posts.

I am not a retro expert....I would be shit on mastermind!