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Does it matter to you how much your partner earns?

(767 Posts)
brusslesprout Tue 07-Jan-14 23:52:45

Not wanting to start a debate or anything like that just a general musing really if this is a really important factor for everyone?

I wonder when looking at the bigger picture does it make the relationship better/easier?

My bf doesn't earn much which bothers me a little sometimes but on the same merit has no debts or bad spending habits as he's always had to be careful.

Growing up my Dad had quite a well paid job but isn't too good with money so still is in a lot of debt when he should be relaxing into retirement.

So yes does it matter in the grand scheme of things?

Twinsplusonesurprise Tue 07-Jan-14 23:55:45

Well as a purist I say no. It matters more that you enjoy your job, after all it's what you spend most of your time doing.
But I'm now SAHM so yes, it now does matter as DH has to earn enough for all of us.
Guess it depends a bit on circs. Does it matter to your bf?

Yes. The amount he earns allows me to stay at home.

LittleThorinOakenshield Tue 07-Jan-14 23:58:10

It's not what would initially attract me to someone but the more they earn the easier life is.

Unless they are a spend thrift.

Anomaly Wed 08-Jan-14 00:02:02

My DH earns a similar amount to me if I were to work full time. It would bother me if he earnt less because I would have to work more!

I like the fact that he has some ambition and I know he feels a sense of responsibility to provide for his family.

Money has caused enormous arguments at times though and even now can be a flash point.

Anomaly Wed 08-Jan-14 00:02:20

My DH earns a similar amount to me if I were to work full time. It would bother me if he earnt less because I would have to work more!

I like the fact that he has some ambition and I know he feels a sense of responsibility to provide for his family.

Money has caused enormous arguments at times though and even now can be a flash point.

Only1scoop Wed 08-Jan-14 00:04:52

I think I would struggle being the main bread winner. I love working part time in my career and its due to dp earnings that I can do that.

Lweji Wed 08-Jan-14 00:10:57

It didn't when I married now exH.

Now, if I was going to marry, I'm not sure. It would have to be someone really special.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 08-Jan-14 00:14:35

It would matter to me if I had a partner. I suppose it shouldn't but I'm way past seeing poverty as a romantic attribute. Had one DH that earned loads but spent more & that didn't work out. Had another DP that saw me as a meal-ticket & that didn't last long either. So high on my list of qualities I look for in a man is 'solvent'.

ShanghaiDiva Wed 08-Jan-14 00:15:02

not so important - key issue is you have the same attitude to money e.g - large purchases, savings, pensions etc

Backonthefence Wed 08-Jan-14 00:18:31

It's probably yes for most it's on par with height in attractiveness.

hoppinghare Wed 08-Jan-14 00:20:47

I agree that a similar attitude to money is more important or good communication about finances. The amount of money my h earns is not important to me. Just as well.

Nope. Be a bit fucked if it did.

brusslesprout Wed 08-Jan-14 00:23:00

It doesn't matter to my partner but does bother me that I'm the main breadwinner, maybe just because I grew up in a house where the man earned the most.

I find money very depressing and hate even thinking about/worrying about it but unfortunately it's unavoidable

KareKare Wed 08-Jan-14 00:29:55

Not something I considered when I fell in love with dh.

But now, yes it is important.

Joysmum Wed 08-Jan-14 00:36:36

No.

When I got together with hubby, he was an apprentice on £55pw (19 years ago). I'd just relocated back home and was looking for a job. Then I got a job earning £300pw. Now I'm a SAHM and have been for 12 years but hoping to accepted to train as a nurse and hubby is earning loads of money (for the likes of us anyway!).

It doesn't matter. We're a team and our income is shared.

brusslesprout Wed 08-Jan-14 00:37:44

MurderofGoths grin

MoJangled Wed 08-Jan-14 00:45:56

I'd love it not to matter. In my soul it doesn't matter. But back here in real life, oh boy does it matter.

That bit in 'up in the air' when George Cloony's squeeze describes her perfect man and says (something like) 'strong hands, nice smile, and let him earn more than me, it just makes things so much easier'. What she said.

Lweji Wed 08-Jan-14 00:50:47

You do have to consider what you'd do if you had children. Would you afford childcare? Would he be prepared to stay at home? And would he actually pull his weight as a sahp?

AcrossthePond55 Wed 08-Jan-14 00:58:00

Nope, never bothered me a bit. I made more from the day we met and my pension is more than his now that we are retired. And I was the sole breadwinner for around 2 years early in our marriage when he was off work due to an injury. His yearly earnings were maybe 20% less than mine, give or take. It never bothered either of us. It wouldn't have bothered either of us if I had earned less than him, so why should it bother us when I earned more? What was important was that we loved each other and shared our life equally.

Double standard, IMHO. Doesn't matter who earns what as long as you have an equal partnership where it counts.

"Doesn't matter who earns what as long as you have an equal partnership where it counts."

I like that smile

Logg1e Wed 08-Jan-14 04:59:10

op Not wanting to start a debate or anything like that just a general musing really...

Oh, ok.

<moves hands away from keyboard>

When we first got together it didn't matter. He had a rubbish NMW job, came from a rough estate, family are dirt poor.
...but honestly, I don't think I would have gone out with him unless I'd seen that bit of ambition in him.
Now I'm a sahm, and dh has a well paid job, yes it matters a lot. (Not a popular view on here, but bottom line, I like being looked after.)

BohemianGirl Wed 08-Jan-14 06:29:02

Of course it matters. Same as lack of ambition matters. Personally I could never have a relationship with a plodder, I prefer someone with a little get-up-and-go.

Money (or lack of it) is the single biggest cause of relationship breakdown.

simmerdown Wed 08-Jan-14 06:31:41

DH has recently started earning a lot of money. He has achieved it solely with his brain power and that I find powerfully attractive. I would still be with him if we had to live on pasta but if I am truthful, it is exciting to be able to plan a no-holds-barred future.

TheDoctrineOf2014 Wed 08-Jan-14 06:39:04

Household income is important, yes.it's been great for is to both work and both earn similar amounts.

MistressDeeCee Wed 08-Jan-14 06:40:09

OH works full-time, Im part-time self employed mainly work from home and he earns far more than me. Yes, money does matter to me. I do pull my weight in many ways but I also like the feeling of being looked after & OHs earnings facilitate that. In the past I had a longerm OP who earned loads more than my current, but he had a real aversion to spending. We never went on holiday once, & his kids couldnt stand him as he was so tightfisted. I left him alone with his money. So its all relative, really..money is nice, but the main thing is the kindness of sharing..

How depressing. I was raised to believe I couldn't count on a man to support me so I would need to have a career of my own. Now I'm married, work in a field I love and earn 3x what DH does. DH works in the charity sector and I'm extremely proud of what he does despite the low wages. I'm proud to be the main earner as well.

Before meeting my DH I had just broken up with a man who earned lots but was quite selfish. There are so many important qualities in a man that come way, way ahead of what he earns in choosing a husband!

To the poster who said she would marry someone poor "only if he was really special" - why would you marry anyone who wasn't really special??

I really hope we teach our daughters to be self sufficient rather than to look for a sugar daddy!

Norudeshitrequired Wed 08-Jan-14 06:43:51

It matters that we have enough money to live on, it doesn't matter which of us earns it.
I married my husband, not his wallet.

SaltySeaBird Wed 08-Jan-14 06:48:01

I'm the main breadwinner which I don't really like as I'd much much rather be a SAHM but DH works damn hard, full time and does want to progress. He is a junior manager for local government so they have been hit hard with wage freezes over the last few years.

He is careful with money though and always puts his family first. I wouldn't change him at all.

HappyMummyOfOne Wed 08-Jan-14 06:49:48

What a depressing thread, so men have to be high earners to be considered and a lack of ambition means they have failed. Yet they need to do this so the wife can stay home all day not working hmm

simmerdown Wed 08-Jan-14 06:57:01

I don't think that's the message coming across from this thread mummyofone.

Logg1e Wed 08-Jan-14 06:57:18

Absolutely agree Happy. Can't believe people are saying, "yes, because it means I don't have to work or work more".

To me it's more about shared work ethic and responsibility than earning.

In answer to the OP (which we weren't supposed to debate) it is absolutely not important to me. That is probably because I'm lucky enough to have financial independence.

Fairylea Wed 08-Jan-14 07:00:34

It doesn't matter to me in terms of being a high earner but I appreciate the fact he earns enough for me to stay at home and we manage - I would hate to have to work again!

mumtosome61 Wed 08-Jan-14 07:02:05

I don't work - I'm a student and semi-medically retired. I would dearly love to work, which is why I'm trying to gain qualifications that mean should I be able to return to work, I can pay my way.

OH works very hard. We don't have a great deal of money between the two of us and we have to think practically about most purchases. But everything is joint; he passes things by me, I do the same with him. Without his loyalty, rather than his hard work, none of this would have been possible. For a long time it wasn't possible and I returned back to my Mum's to ensure my OH wasn't having to support me constantly.

Fortunately we are in a position where we are just above water. Sure, more money would be nice. It would be nice for my OH to not feel the pressure of hard work constantly. I make up for it in other ways - I am solely responsible for household management and take it very seriously to make sure our lives are as easy as possible. Between studying, appointments and management, I work harder than I ever have before; and I love it.

My Dad was a self-made richboy who had absolutely no concept of money or debt and owed £100k when he divorced my Mum and sold the house (leaving her with nothing). I would far rather take less money with more stability (it is possible) and honesty in joint decisions. I grew up with the opposite.

annieorangutan Wed 08-Jan-14 07:04:46

Nope the only thing that mattered to me was true lurrrvvve and thats what I got. Money cant buy you love any way I can easily make my own. Ive been with dh through the skint times and now the times when we are going on lots of hols etc. I love him aa much as the day ww met.

Pilgit Wed 08-Jan-14 07:06:17

It's not necessarily the money that's important but what it gives. I am the main wage earner in our family. I wanted to have a better work life balance after dd2 as I work stupid hours in a city job. The state of the economy and dh business meant there wasn't enough coming in to make this a reality for me. That hurts. He runs his own business and my wage has afforded him the freedom to do it and fit round the children. Sometimes this is a point of tension because he doesn't seem to appreciate the freedom he has as a result of my wage.

BUT he works bloody hard and is incredibly supportive so it doesn't matter. In an ideal world he would earn more but it isn't for want of effort on his part (he strives every day to bring more in) because he wants to be able to help me find the balance I want.

Having said all the above I was raised to support myself, not rely on anyone and to recognise that what we bring to a family isn't only monetary. In my case if he couldn't contribute equally to the family that would be a deal breaker.

sydlexic Wed 08-Jan-14 07:09:51

It would play no part in my decision to be with someone. It is nice to be able to live on one wage and not worry about money but doesn't matter if it's his or mine. Two good wages is even better

17leftfeet Wed 08-Jan-14 07:10:52

For those of you that want to be looked after

Do you realise how incredibly stressful being the sole earner in a family actually is?

ISeeYouShiverWithAntici Wed 08-Jan-14 07:12:03

God yeah! Everything that comes into the house is both of ours jointly and equally, so the more he (or I) makes, the more we've got!
sometimes he's earned more, sometimes I have.
doesnt matter which of us brings it, as long as we've got it.
Im far more concerned with who does how much housework wink
It must be really miserable to be keeping track of who brought what, who's got what and who gave what. I know some people prefer it but I really couldnt be arsed, im far too idle grin

Lweji Wed 08-Jan-14 07:13:34

I agree with Happy in relation to some pps.

I didn't even read anything in relation to being able to be at home for the children.

If a partner had posted this, I'd question their motivation and be sending them back to full time work, TBH.

Anomaly Wed 08-Jan-14 07:13:35

What does financial independence mean? I work three days a week. If dh earnt less I would have to work full time. Tough with 3 kids 2 still in nursery. I also doubt we'd have had dc3. If DH left tomorrow I would have to work full time but would be ok money wise. DH and I are a team so I dont feel the need to be financially independent.

Once all the kids are at school I will probably go back full time.

Logg1e Wed 08-Jan-14 07:19:05

Good question anomoly for me financial independence means "I don't rely on my partner being an earner". This means I could afford to stay with him during sickness and times of unemployment. It also means I don't have to go on talk forums and say, "yes it's important he earns a lot because it means I don't work".

MistressDeeCee Wed 08-Jan-14 07:19:23

I do like to be looked after and that wont change "shrugs" its each to their own, isnt it. My OH earns far more than I do so he enables us to have a more comfortable lifestyle. Looking after doesnt relate solely to money however, Im quite sure sahm's where OH is the sole earner, arent relaxing on a sun lounger all day (are they?!)grin they do their share of looking after too, just not financially. If some men are happy with that then thats their prerogative, just as its the woman's. Its up to a couple how they run their relaitonship.

Yes as it allows us to pay the mortgage and our bills. He'd say the same about me. Once we've paid t

Paid the mortgage off, a lot less. It matters that the 2 of us have enough coming in to maintain our lives

Logg1e Wed 08-Jan-14 07:26:44

There's a difference between saying, "I want a high earner so I don't have to work" and "I want the family income to be high enough that one of us can care for the children full time".

madam to me, being looked after means we bring cups of tea in bed when the other is ill. It doesn't mean being "kept" because I choose not to work.

NearTheWindmill Wed 08-Jan-14 07:32:54

When I met my DH he was really struggling. More going out than coming in. He was about five years call. Luckily I had my own house and was earning a lot of money then and could provide security for both of us. I loved him to bits and money wasn't important in our relationship; I suppose I took a chance on him but I don't think I'd have done that if he hadn't been fearfully ambitious.

He overtook me about 18 years ago, when DS was born. Since then our commitments have steadily climbed but had there been a disaster my capital would have kept us out of trouble albeit with a more modest life style although comparatively it is pretty modest by many standards.

We have very similar views about how money should be spent and how it should be invested.

simmerdown Wed 08-Jan-14 07:33:22

I would be financial independent without DH although since we are together my money is pretty much irrelevant. I continue working because I think people should work and because I would never want to ask DH for money for stuff I want. However much money we get we would never fritter it on nonsense. Money is another thing that's nice to have, not for itself, but for what you can do with it. We have taken on big responsibilities in the past 3 years (before we had much money) and it is definitely easier now we don't have to worry about certain aspects of it.

MinesAPintOfTea Wed 08-Jan-14 07:34:12

DH being a reasonable earner has given me the space to start my own business in the knowledge that I have a year to turn a profit (this is a freelance consultancy not a hobby business). So as in anything else, the more money that the family has, the more options we have as a unit.

But I wouldn't love him any less if that hadn't been something we'd decided was one of the options, I would just have had to of got a full time job as soon as DS was old enough to go to nursery. I fell in love with him age 16 when neither of us had jobs and we survived the lean student years eating pasta.

Basically access to money makes life easier so in turn makes us less stressed especially now we need to maintain a decent standard of living for DS>

noddyholder Wed 08-Jan-14 07:34:59

No it matters how much I earn.

annieorangutan Wed 08-Jan-14 07:35:42

If your relationship is so weak that lack of money breaks it up then you arent properly in love. Its much more important to have great conversation, great sex, him being a family man and doing lots at home with the kids and him being your best friend. If youve got that then you are richer than anything any money can buy.

Moreisnnogedag Wed 08-Jan-14 07:39:00

Nope. Bloody hell I'm a bit hmm about some responses. I wanted my DH to have a work ethic, not just earn. He doesn't earn at all now but is a fantastic sahp. We have always known that I would earn substantially more than him as his previous field was low paid.

simmerdown Wed 08-Jan-14 07:39:57

annie I think that's naive. Many people are in love but their relationship is put under immense strain by financial woes and this probably stops them wanting to have great conversation and sex.

When DH and I met we both owned houses with approximately the same amount of equity and earned similar amounts. I don't see why I should be wringing my hands because he now earns a lot. I married a man with a massive brain and great vision - that's not the same as marrying a wallet. If it all went tits up we could live on my income anyway, although I would miss the lifestyle.

noddyholder Wed 08-Jan-14 07:40:28

If you feel that you are a team and hence no need to be financially independent you are in trouble IMHO That is a terrible attitude.

ithaka Wed 08-Jan-14 07:42:22

No. My DH jacked in a well paid job that made him unhappy & went back to uni to retrain as a teacher. Financially we scrabbled by and emotionally it has been fantastic as DH is now happy & fulfilled in a job he loves.

I would never expect him to work so I could stay at home - what century is this? We both have the skills to pay the bills and supporting our family is a joint endeavour.

Would all the Stepfords on this thread fall out of of love with their DHs if their man couldn't earn for some reason & shock, horror they had to work themselves? Seems like a pretty flimsy base for a marriage to me.

MinesAPintOfTea Wed 08-Jan-14 07:47:00

noddy what if like me you accept support through a non-earning patch as an investment in my career and thus higher long-term family earnings? I can do this precisely because we're a team and pull together financially.

If DH stopped earning tomorrow we'd be running our savings down fast. If he wanted to do so in a year then that's fine (as my deadline to turn a profit or get a permanent job is 9 months away)

CaptainHindsight Wed 08-Jan-14 07:47:48

Nope, he didn't have a penny to scratch his arse with when we met (students!) and nearly 10 years on he earns well but that's incidental and certainly not a requirement for us to have a strong relationship.

We have been that couple coppering up pennies to buy nappies in the early days and I loved him then as much as i do now.

annieorangutan Wed 08-Jan-14 07:48:00

We have money now but there have been times we have had no money like when we were students and when we first had a mortgage in our early 20s. It didnt stop us from having great conversation or sex simmerdown I think its hard to understand for people who dont love someone no matter what.

OhCaptainDarling Wed 08-Jan-14 07:59:06

Yes, as it pays the mortgage and has let me be a SAHM. However i will be going back to work within the next 18months / 2 yrs.

simmerdown Wed 08-Jan-14 08:02:40

annie I wasn't really talking about people who are a little bit hard up when they're students or getting their first mortgage. I'm talking about having kids and responsibilities and not being able to make ends meet when you're exhausted and fighting off repossession or worse. Of course, sex and conversation are free, but do you not see how mental stress can affect desire and life in general?

OhCaptainDarling Wed 08-Jan-14 08:02:41

Should add, I meet DH when I was 18 and at Uni. He'd left uni and was working in some fairly low paid jobs for a while. He's worked really hard to become a high earner. I left Uni and worked full time until we had DD.

My ex was awful with money. I knew financial stability would only come from me. I was ok with this because I loved him. It wasn't until he left me that I realised what a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders regarding money.

I'm currently at the start of a relationship with a very high earner. I can honestly say it doesn't particularly come into my thoughts as I'm in the process of starting a flourishing business myself.

However I would definitely not start a relationship with somebody who was not ambitious or was terrible with money after ex.

callamia Wed 08-Jan-14 08:08:38

It's not a source of attraction.

I earn more than my husband, but he is studying so that he can get a job that will allow him a better quality of life - I admire this, and I'd much rather have a happy partner who is able to spend time with his family than a rich husband who worked very long hours. He does earn 'enough' though -between us we can afford our rent etc.

Nope, doesn't bother me. DP is trained in a career that he chose to leave. If he stayed, he would earn over twice what he does now, but I would never see him. He would work away 5/6 nights a week and that's not a relationship either of us want to be in.

As it is, he earns less, but he's much happier and he's home evenings and weekends. He has the opportunity to do overtime if he wants it, and if he doesn't, that's fine too. We both have the same attitudes to money and the same goals, and that's what matters imo.

annieorangutan Wed 08-Jan-14 08:31:13

Been through lots simmerdown. We have lived on nothing with our first when we were 23. Still got on with it though and our love never wavered.

annieorangutan Wed 08-Jan-14 08:34:29

Totally agree captainhindsight smile

Pigglesworth Wed 08-Jan-14 08:36:19

Both I and my partner work full-time. When we first met I was a very low-earning student and he was a tutor/PhD student. Then we both earned the same amount for around three years, then he got a job that pays almost double his previous salary. I have loved him and happily been with him throughout. I do feel that life is easier/happier when you have more choices due to your better finances, but I would not seek out a partner based on his salary. What matters to me is work ethic and, if I reflect on it, I do also think that my partner having a full-time job is important (as it represents an element of financial stability/security). I have a very strong work ethic myself so I think it's largely about compatible values.

scornedwoman67 Wed 08-Jan-14 08:50:37

To all the ladies who are saying they are happy to stay at home & let their husbands earn the money, I will say from personal experience & that of several friends. . make sure you have a 'plan B' because once they have their mid-life crisis & clear off with a twenty something who sees them as a meal ticket, you will need something to fall back on & will need to look after you and the kids. And deceitful men are very clever at hiding money, pleading poverty and yet still finding money for their new floozy. I've seen it many times. If possible, keep a bank account or at least work part time to keep your toe in the world of work. Thank God I did. I'm now post-divorce and back working full time, supporting me and my children. I shudder to think how it could have been.

BonaDea Wed 08-Jan-14 08:56:27

On the other hand my DH earns what many would probably regard as a lot. But he works all the hours god sends, is never home to bath DS in the week (or to see me before bed for that matter!) and is stressed.

Although we have a financially comfortable life i do sometimes wonder whether a smaller house in exchange for a more 9-5 husband might not be such a bad deal.

simmerdown Wed 08-Jan-14 08:57:19

Yes, annie when you were starting out. It's good that you have a strong relationship. Did you think you'd be poor forever? Or did you have good prospects? Honestly, I'm not denigrating your strong relationship, I'm just saying don't think those who find their marriage affected by financial stress, particularly in their 30s and 40s, but which time they would have hoped not to be struggling, didn't love each other enough to begin with.

annieorangutan Wed 08-Jan-14 08:59:04

Im poor compared to mumsnet as we make about 30kish but for me and my area Im loaded. It all depends on what you value in life I suppose.

Thetallesttower Wed 08-Jan-14 09:00:16

I've seen too many of my family get to middle-age and get divorced - and as scorned says, mysteriously the pension pot has disappeared or the CSA calculates a small amount to depend financially on a man for my financial future and to assure me I won't be poor in my older age. I earn a good wage and depend on myself financially and am not tempted into changing that the older I get.

benid Wed 08-Jan-14 09:01:33

That bit in 'up in the air' when George Cloony's squeeze describes her perfect man and says (something like) 'strong hands, nice smile, and let him earn more than me, it just makes things so much easier'. What she said.

noooooo! why?

noddyholder Wed 08-Jan-14 09:02:38

I am 48 several close friends have recently got divorce and their exes with good lawyers and the knowledge that the kids are all 18 and over have had to pay v little if anything and these women are floundering! Always maintain financial independence and involvement in that side of life. yes agree for one to support the other while children are small if you want a parent at home initially but once they are at school you need to WORK

benid Wed 08-Jan-14 09:05:18

Hm posted too soon. Why does it make it easier if your male partner earns more? It's 2014 not 1954!! If that makes a man feel uncomfortable he should get out of the stone age.

This >>> "It matters that we have enough money to live on, it doesn't matter which of us earns it. "

wordfactory Wed 08-Jan-14 09:08:34

I knew from a very young age that I would not be poor. I always knew that I would do whatever I needed to earn a lot of money.

When I began dating, I went through a lot of men who I loved to be with and found highly attractive, but I also knew that I would not settle down with anyone who didn't share my views on money.

Fortunately, I met DH grin.

Also, ambition matters to me. I'm highly ambitious and find it an attractive quality. So it's not just about money...

noddyholder Wed 08-Jan-14 09:09:12

This thread is the MN equivalent of a bloody time machine.

brusslesprout Wed 08-Jan-14 09:10:24

I agree women should be self-sufficient. I have worked since I was 16 and never relied on anyone for money.

However my partner only earns roughly 16k a year and for a man of 33 I don't think that's enough sad

I do think there must be less pressure if you both have well paid jobs but then again doesn't mean you're going to be any happier.

My friend was dating a chef in her early 20's, he was loaded but she never saw him so it's swings & roundabouts I guess.

wordfactory Wed 08-Jan-14 09:10:52

benid I would not like to be a sole breadwinner.

I wouldn't mind for a short time if circumstances dictated, or DH decided to try his hand at something else, but I wouldn't have wabted to plan things like that. Too much responsibility.

I can fully see why men feel that way too (though DH has never cared).

Pigsmummy Wed 08-Jan-14 09:11:34

My DH and I earn similar amounts and both have a strong work ethic, before I met him I dated guys who earned a lot less or simply were not bothered about a career and after a while it got a bit draining tbh. I had to everything such as all the driving (they didn't have a car), grocery shopping, arranging nights out and on a couple of occasions booking (and paying for) a much needed short break or holiday. I didn't like the role of being the breadwinner and feeling equal is important to me.

That said if my DH lost his job I would totally step up and be supportive, I am slightly younger than him and imagine he will retire earlier.

brusslesprout Wed 08-Jan-14 09:11:50

Sorry Noddy wink

Lioninthesun Wed 08-Jan-14 09:14:20

It doesn't matter to me. I am very lucky and don't think myself or DD will ever need to rely on anyone else financially. So, with that in mind, I would rather the man I settle with was happy and pursuing something he enjoyed. I would prefer that to him working all hours to earn a living with people he hates and doing something he doesn't even like. As long as he is comfortable with what he earns (and you'd be surprised how many men simply see the figure of their salary as their life's achievement, not the by-product) then I really have no issue.

MrsSchadenfreude Wed 08-Jan-14 09:15:13

I have seen a couple of friends utterly stuffed by their "DH" when he decided to have a mid life crisis and up sticks to be with a twentysomething with gravity defying tits. One (who was admittedly quite a smug SAHM, as her OH earned shedloads, and was a bit pitying of those of us who "had" to work) has been so stuffed financially that she is having to move country, and has gone from a rather lovely 5 bedroom house in the country with swimming pool, to a small and grotty 2 bed flat somewhere cheap, because she has been utterly shafted financially by her ex. It happens quite a lot on the expat circuit, which is even worse, as you are left on your own in a country where you don't have many friends (a lot disappear on the split) and have to decide where you are going to live.

Preciousbane Wed 08-Jan-14 09:15:41

When we met DH and I were on very similar salaries, they were at that time under the national average but certainly ok.

He had very good prospects that have fortunately been fulfilled , more importantly he had the same attitude towards money and child rearing.

My health means I am no longer working, I worked mainly FT for 30 years, straight from school and studied part time at night school. The only positive trait of my abusive ex was he was a hard worker.

So I never expected to be looked after, I always wanted to be financially independent though I now find myself classed as disabled and am looked after.

I did not have an agenda in finding a man to keep me etc, I would have never aligned myself to someone bad with money though. I have been described as being pragmattical in my approach to life many times.

If I had met someone hard working but poor and with no prospects at all would I have loved them, I have no idea.

Of course it does,
Women have babies!

NeoFaust Wed 08-Jan-14 09:19:33

Gods, I'm so f*cked if most people still think like some of the women on here.

I hate working. I really, really hate it. I'm not 'ambitious' because there's nothing in a career I value beyond the money and I don't need much of it to be happy. I work because I have to and I only do what I need to get by. I'd like to be a SAHP, so it's kind of important to me that my present DP is ambitious and happy to support that.

But now I'm terrified that she's secretly stuck in Stepford like so many on this thread.

noddyholder Wed 08-Jan-14 09:20:31

They aren't babies forever! Such a cop out. What someone earns is there business. If you are looking for a better life contribute!

annieorangutan Wed 08-Jan-14 09:21:00

brusselsprout if hes only only 16k and you work you get all your childcare paid and on top of that if you havent got kids yet you will more than likely enjoy the social side of working and being with your friends. Its nice having something different to do

Preciousbane Wed 08-Jan-14 09:21:17

MrsSchadenfreude DH uncle did exactly this, he still enjoys his ex pat lifestyle and now has a new wife after he split up with his mistress. His wife lives back in blighty with their disabled DS and scrapes by. She really went from having it all to having almost nothing.

QueenThora Wed 08-Jan-14 09:22:49

Not in principle – if I'd fallen in love with a threadbare poet or artist or a low-earning zookeeper etc I would have gone with it, as I have earning capacity - although I would want my partner to have a passion and drive for something, however low-paid.

However once you have shacked up with your partner and had kids, you get used to the level of income they bring to the table - you base your mortgage on your joint earnings, etc. It has affected my career to go part-time while the DC are pre-school - I didn't do that because I'm the woman (I hope) but because I'm freelance and it's easier for me to work fewer / more flexible hours. But to do that we all rely on DP staying in his good job. I wouldn't be happy if at this point he decided to become a struggling artist or whatever.

noddyholder Wed 08-Jan-14 09:24:08

Mrsschadenfreude me too. I have seen so many in the last 2 years. And tbh those who thought they had a rock solid relationship and it couldn't happen to them BUT their partners didn't think the same. One couple where I knew the man first hence have had more to do with him since has actually met another woman since his divorce and she is not young or glam or anything but she is independent and financially her own woman. In his case he got bored with his wife who just hadn't moved on from the school gate because it suited her

milk Wed 08-Jan-14 09:24:43

Yes blush I only like achievers! They are passionate about what they do and the money goes with it smile

QueenThora Wed 08-Jan-14 09:24:56

If he lost his job though, that would be different - I would step up, but he would have to do a lot of childcare.

noddyholder Wed 08-Jan-14 09:30:14

Lots of achievers don't earn much! Hopefully you are an acheiver and support your own ethic. You can never 'expect'. Some women on here are in for a shock if things don't go to plan later and staistically there will be a few who end up shafted!

dingit Wed 08-Jan-14 09:32:25

Yes, as I'm a sahm.

He works very hard and now earns a very respectable amount. When he earned less, we were still ok, he's a very generous man.

Fairylea Wed 08-Jan-14 09:38:27

It's so easy for people to make assumptions about sahms though... that we're naive, that we haven't ever earned a good wage and therefore don't understand the pressure of being the breadwinner, that we haven't considered long term etc etc. And yes that may be true for some sahms but not all.

I was one of the people up thread that said I like dh to earn enough for me to stay at home. For me personally this is because when I met dh I was an extremely high earner and had half my house in equity. I know what it's like to be stung financially- my first dh left me and I had to downsize and was left with 26k of debt.

When dh and I got married we remortgaged the house and effectively he is paying his his half. I don't want to work again because otherwise I am buying my house again which I've already done! (My share anyway - it's complicated but my mum and I owned the house together so dh brought my mum's share).

I have all my names on every account and the married bit was important to me from a legal point of view should we ever split up.

I admit I am in a more fortunate position than a lot of sahms as if we ever did split half of my half alone (half the equity) would be enough to buy somewhere small outright.

We have payment protections and life insurances. We have dc together and although I may look for part time work when they start school for something to do I am not particularly bothered about it. Luckily dh enjoys working and I don't even though he earns about a third of what I used to earn. We are happy living a more frugal life.

I think people's circumstances are often so complicated it's hard to understand a viewpoint until you have walked in their shoes really. Especially until you have been through a divorce etc etc.

wordfactory Wed 08-Jan-14 09:39:17

It's interesting that so many women don't want or expect to earn. I wonder if many of us are bringing up our DDs to feel the same? Or bringing up our sons to expect to be sole breadwinners?

brusslesprout Wed 08-Jan-14 09:40:27

annieorangutan I didn't think that you would get all childcare paid if one of you earns more?

noddyholder Wed 08-Jan-14 09:42:04

SAHM is not a job. You are a mother who is looking after your children before they go to school. After that? Agree with word what does this teach daughters and sons. I would hate my son to meet someone with this attitude

LtEveDallas Wed 08-Jan-14 09:45:31

No, which is a good thing really seeing as DH doesn't earn anything smile
(He does have his military pension, but it is less than 10K a year). he has no ambition regarding a second career, but that doesn't bother me at all. If he wants to remain "retired" (in quotes as he is only 45) then so be it. He probably will return to work at some point, but I wouldn't expect him to earn much (not much call for blokes that can drive tanks and complete complex recce manouevers in civvy street).

I am quite happy being the breadwinner - I do wish he did more about the home, but it doesn't cause me any particular angst.

QueenThora Wed 08-Jan-14 09:48:13

While I try to respect their choices, I do feel uncomfortable about people (male or female, but they are usually female) who choose not to work once their DC are at school. I don't mean because they have commitments like caring for someone, if they are retraining, or doing something specific with their DP's agreement, like devoting a year to writing a novel. (and are actually doing it.) But if they just fancy not working because their DP can afford to support them.

If it was a man doing this, he would probably get a hard time if his wife complained about it on here. But lots of women do it and I kind of don't have much respect for them. I can't get my head around not wanting to keep your hand in and earn some money yourself, and I can't get my head around not wanting to have a career. Or even a job. If my career went tits up I would rather work in poundstretcher than do nothing at all (and I have had low-paid jobs aplenty so I know what that means).

I don't say this to people in RL!

Fairylea Wed 08-Jan-14 09:49:28

If a family is happy with one person being at home and the other person working what's the problem? Regardless of the ages of children or indeed if there even are any children at all its completely up to those involved. Jobs are few and far between- if I'm choosing not to work someone else can have the job I would have had!

There will always be ambitious people who want a career and there will always be those who are more content to be at home full time. It has always been that way... and I don't think it's a man or woman specific thing.

My ex dh is now a sahd to twin boys. One of the reasons I think our relationship didn't work is because we both wanted to be at home! He has married a high earning woman and she supports him to stay at home. He has sold the small company he used to own and hasn't worked since.

I guess everyone wants different things. It doesn't make someone a bad person because they want to stay at home if their partner is happy to support them.

QueenThora Wed 08-Jan-14 09:51:35

If a family is happy with one person being at home and the other person working what's the problem?

You're right and it is their choice. That's what I tell myself. But when I meet those women I just can't help feeling a bit disappointed. How can you not want to work/have earning capacity should you need it?

I realise this makes me a bit narrow-minded, I do struggle with it. But I also agree it's not giving your kids a great message.

Bonsoir Wed 08-Jan-14 09:52:00

QueenThora - my DC are at school (one at university) and there is a lot more work at home when they get older than when they were younger. There is more to bringing up DC than minding them.

MrsSteptoe Wed 08-Jan-14 09:55:50

Complicated. I have always earned more than DH, and I don't really like it. But I think I would be more OK with it if DH took a bit more responsibility for sharing the bills. He tends to stick like glue to his chosen line of work, and won't try anything else. If he doesn't have enough money to make a contribution to the mortgage, or to buy groceries, then there's absolutely nothing I can do about it, I have to pay for everything. This can go on for months on end. It's not that he isn't working, it's just that what he works at can go for months without any income (and when he does earn, it tends to be a fairly "ordinary" amount, so it's not the feast or famine that some people experience - it's annually a very low figure because of the periods of non-earning).

I tend to feel that I'm not playing as a team because I'm not happy with being the principal breadwinner. In reality, I wonder how many people would see it as we're not a team because DH doesn't see it as his responsibility to explore other ways of increasing his contribution.

It certainly makes me feel trapped and "on my own with it".

PurpleSprout Wed 08-Jan-14 09:55:56

Shit happens and clearly I wouldn't up and leave my partner if circumstances reduced his income, but yes it mattered.

I wanted a partner with similar levels of education, potential and work ethic to myself. It's just easier.

Having a good standard of living is important to me and I think I would resent it if I had a partner whose choices meant I had to markedly compromise my standard of living. That's not judging those choices in general, it's just that a starving artist would not be a good fit for me (not most likely, me for them).

Incidentally I earn more than he does and have done for a number of years now, so no Stepford wife here.

MatryoshkaDoll Wed 08-Jan-14 09:57:27

QueenThora, privately I feel like you do too.

Maybe I'll revise my opinion once my DC is older and at school. But I can't imagine ever not wanting to work at all. I'm struggling with mat leave right now as I've never not worked my whole adult life.

I earn slightly more than DP but I like that our salaries are on a par. I don't think I'd like to be with someone who earned significantly less than me.

MrsSteptoe Wed 08-Jan-14 09:58:44

God, I hate not being able to edit. But I think I would be more OK with it if DH took a bit more responsibility for sharing the bills. - that goes without saying, doesn't it?!
What I mean is, if DH were more inclined to behave as if it IS his responsibility to try to share the bills - if he put more effort into trying to get other work. What I'm trying to say is, at ridiculous and unnecessary length, is it's all about the effort, not the outcome.

noddyholder Wed 08-Jan-14 09:58:45

I think both contributing financially is important. I wonder if SAHM was changed to non working mum and working mum if people would be so keen on it! Bonsoir what extra is there to do once they are older?

CalamitouslyWrong Wed 08-Jan-14 10:00:38

I agree that this thread makes for some depressing reading.

I'm with those who say that it matters what I earn and that I can always support myself (and my children) on my own. I would rather not work, but it is something I have to do. I am not willing to make myself reliant on someone else financially, so long as I have a choice.

I've seen what can happens when in divorce. Luckily my mum had a career, but she still had to work extra jobs to keep paying the mortgage after she chucked my dad out. He made things as difficult as possible for her in a cutting off his nose to spite his face manner. My mum didn't think he'd be such an arsehole when she married him - obviously.

I earn more than DH. He'll probably earn more than me in the future (due to my health issues) but my salary alone would cover the essentials if need be. In fact, DH had no income when we met (he was a student) and we lived off my salary. I clearly wasn't looking for someone to keep me.

MatryoshkaDoll Wed 08-Jan-14 10:00:59

Since we've been together both DP and I have been made redundant. And there was no question of us stepping up to the plate for each other. In those circs I was happy to be the sole earner until DP got a new job. And then when it happened to me, DP was happy to take on the financial responsibility. We're very much a team in that respect. Luckily we both found new jobs quickly.

MrsSchadenfreude Wed 08-Jan-14 10:01:08

Well, yes, Bonsoir. But it is perfectly possible to do all of this stuff and work as well!

noddyholder Wed 08-Jan-14 10:02:05

Maintaining a home and family is not work! It is what we all do. Would you bring your dd up to be able to run a house really well and tell her a career doesn't matter?

Bonsoir Wed 08-Jan-14 10:04:00

I disagree, based on the very broad sample of families I have around me. The DC with a SAHP do so very much better at school and in general terms than those with a WOHP.

noddyholder Wed 08-Jan-14 10:05:57

What about when they are older and independent? I agree that a parent at home while they are young is great if you can.

Bonsoir Wed 08-Jan-14 10:09:04

Frankly, the final two years of school are by far the most labour intensive I have known. DC are kept super busy by school and need lots of domestic support to ensure they keep up with all the work and still stay healthy. And time taken to identify the right course of HE and do all the things necessary to ensure they get there is just massive. I have never known the DC need so much "talking time" - there is so much information for them to process and digest and take important decisions about.

wordfactory Wed 08-Jan-14 10:10:01

So Bonsoir have you brought up ypur DSSs with the idea that once their partners have DC, they should not expect them to earn for twenty years or more?

brusslesprout Wed 08-Jan-14 10:10:59

As soon as I left school my Mum was on at me everyday to get a job... I remember it well! smile

noddyholder Wed 08-Jan-14 10:12:08

Bonsoir they can do all that themselves though and indeed need a certain amount of input themselves! What will you do once they are all gone? My ds and I are really close and talk a lot but its not a full time job!

Bonsoir Wed 08-Jan-14 10:12:29

We have brought them up with the idea that they will need a wide variety of skills to adapt to the circumstances in which they find themselves.

Having said that, family values are a very high priority for us and we abhor the idea that every parent should be out earning to the detriment of wider society and family life because of misplaced ideology.

wordfactory Wed 08-Jan-14 10:12:55

Also the vast majority of young people at university have two working parents. You do know that right?

I work at one of the most selective universities in the country, in a ludicrously competitive department and most of our students have two working parents wink.

NeoFaust When I first got together with my husband we agreed that it suited or skills better if he ended up being the SAHP and I went to work, so don't worry too much. Not all women think the same as in this depressing thread. And luckily for me DH doesn't care how much I earn seeing as disability fucked things up a bit, good thing we fell in love with each others personalities not wallets!

dingit Wed 08-Jan-14 10:13:32

Despite having a sahm, already my dd is fearcly independent, and has her own mind. Ds on the other hand is a bit of a lazy so and so, but that is their personalities, not because of me.

And people that dis sahms, they don't know the circumstances. I can't be bothered to explain my situation, but we have been together 27 years and are very happy. Yes we could divorce, but I'll cross that bridge and fall off of it when it happens thank you very much.

Bonsoir Wed 08-Jan-14 10:14:03

I have several PT paid (and unpaid) professional activities which I know I can ramp up anytime - no problems there. I have a bigger issue TBH which is turning others down because I need more time for my family.

CalamitouslyWrong Wed 08-Jan-14 10:14:11

The final two years of school are when they have to do lots of work, not their parents. Similarly finding a university course is really their responsibility (they can get advice, but they really should be doing the work of finding out themselves). These things are important parts of the process of becoming independent adults.

Parents can talk to, advise and support their children whether they're at home all day (while the kids are at school). Same goes for ensuring that they are fed and watered, and have clean clothes (although, frankly, teenagers should be helping with the domestic duties).

I'm not sure I'd describe making dinner, asking if they've done their homework and talking to them as a huge amount of 'work'.

Bonsoir Wed 08-Jan-14 10:15:20

wordfactory - the definition of what constitutes "working" is pretty hazy! A lot of people on MN call themselves "working" when they are clearly doing fewer hours and earning a lot less than I do!

MrsSteptoe Wed 08-Jan-14 10:15:52

Crikey, my DS is fucked if he's going to need one of us around most of the time when he does his A levels. There's no way I can stop working that early, and DH won't be any use because he hides from everything academic except maths (chronic dyslexia back when it was a new diagnosis and you were widely seen as just thick shattered his academic confidence. Pity, because he has high latent potential.)

noddyholder Wed 08-Jan-14 10:17:26

No one is dissing SAHM but I think the whole phrase needs re defining. You are a non working mother or another dependent for your dh.People say it like its a job and it isn't.

Dixy30 Wed 08-Jan-14 10:17:44

Not really as we both are ambitious and work full time in well paid jobs. My dH always says he couldn't bare to be with a SAHM type, he wanted an equal who could empathise with his life and was on the same track.

I earn double what my DH earns and I love it. I grew up watching my mum being miserable and trapped as she was financially dependent. I never want to be like her

noddyholder Wed 08-Jan-14 10:18:57

I agree with that bonsoir if you can earn high and still be there (I am freelance) it is great BUT can produce children who are not good at sorting their own shit when the time comes and see you as a secretary/manager which my ds had to be pulled up on as he did see me around a lot.

Bonsoir Wed 08-Jan-14 10:20:24

We always talk to our DC about the details of their coursework and they expect to be able to talk to us about it (this continues now that DSS1 is at university) and to talk through what they need to know and learn next. DSS1 is looking for an internship or work experience for next summer and we have spent several evenings this holiday talking about that - he wants to use the skills he has learned this year and to build on them in a professional context and so we talk about the sorts of roles he could look for that would enable him to do that so that he can target his search most effectively.

wordfactory Wed 08-Jan-14 10:21:57

Oh Bonsoir you can tell yourself anything grin.

It's not remotely hazy. It's a matter of record.

Anyways, no one should work if they don't want to, don't have to, and their partner supports it...

But it's daft to pretend that it's necessary for your DC to succeed.

noddyholder Wed 08-Jan-14 10:22:37

My ds is at uni and tbh I don't know any other parents who get that involved!

Wuxiapian Wed 08-Jan-14 10:23:11

It matters, yes.

I'm fortunate to not to have to work and very hapoy that I'm able to stay at home with the kids.

shinyblueshoes Wed 08-Jan-14 10:23:17

Yes - I have a disability which means I can't work and my DS also has SN which means he's far less independent than most dc his age. I'm quite involved in disability policy/charities and I'm aware that most families affected struggle financially. The stories you read are depressing and I'm very relieved that we can afford things like private therapies for DS, a decent-sized home with space for adaptations, legal help to get him into a good private special school, and pay for various things for me that help my health issues. I'm unlikely to ever work f/t again and DS will probably never be fully independent, so DH has a lot of responsibility and it could be a real strain on our relationship if he didn't earn so much, as it costs so much more to live as a disabled person/to have a disabled child (though DS and I both get DLA which helps). Of course, we didn't know that he'd be the sole breadwinner when we married and in fact I didn't think too much about his earning capacity at the time. We are just very fortunate that he works in a rapidly growing industry, he does work hard but has been quite lucky rather than fiercely ambitious. A lot of our contemporaries who work just as hard but chose a different industry are struggling to buy in London so we've been very lucky really.

Bowlersarm Wed 08-Jan-14 10:23:37

Well, I don't intend to work in a paid job again, necessarily. If I have to look for an income, I will, but in the meantime we are quite happy with the way things are. My DSes are teens now.

Wuxiapian Wed 08-Jan-14 10:24:03

*happy

Bonsoir Wed 08-Jan-14 10:24:17

I think that far too much emphasis is placed on making people "independent" when actually all it does is make them feel unable to talk to others about their preoccupations.

DSS1 has proved spectacularly good, at university (in a country/culture/language that is not his own) at forging relationships with his tutors and getting what he needs out of his course, and he has gained a lot of admiration from his peers because of it. Because he is used to have rational conversations with the informed adults around him...

MrsSteptoe Wed 08-Jan-14 10:25:47

Dixy30 In fairness, I think that's one interpretation of an equal - it's not necessarily one that everyone will share. But I'm honestly not doing that MN thing of getting all narky about a quickly written comment! It just struck me while I was reading your post.
NoArmaniNoPunani I feel trapped because I'm the higher earner - I can't ever step back and rely on him to pick up the slack for a bit.

Nothing's straightforward.

Bowlersarm Wed 08-Jan-14 10:26:01

I didn't really answer the OP in my first post. DH brings in a good income. It is nice for me, because I am financially secure (yes I know, Noddy, as long as we remain together). DH likes being the breadwinner. If DH's income plummets I would look to work again.

Bonsoir Wed 08-Jan-14 10:26:44

It is hazy, wordfactory. I have friends who were contemporaries of mine at university who do PT admin work (20 hrs a week sort of thing at a local stately home) and they are classed as "working parents" by virtue of their hobby job.

Norudeshitrequired Wed 08-Jan-14 10:27:20

Bonsoir- when your DC grow up and get jobs are they going to phone you up everyday to ask what you think they should do? Say your son goes into Ana counts role and can't balance the bank reconciliation, is he going to phone you up and ask for advice? Would you expect him to ask for advice?
Do you think it might be good to let your DSS1 take some responsibility for his own learning now and his job related stuff later?

RRudolphR Wed 08-Jan-14 10:28:47

FFS.
We are all equal you know. Working full time, part time, or a SAHP doesn't make you any better or worse than the next person.

Judge people on who they are, not what they do. Better still - don't judge them at all.

laregina Wed 08-Jan-14 10:29:36

It only mattered to me that the person I ended up spending my life with was motivated and hard-working - just as I am. Because living with a lazy arse would be a nightmare and I couldn't respect that kind of person.

But I don't believe that just because somebody is born with a penis that they should strive to earn enough to support another fully grown (and perfectly capable) adult. And TBH it depresses me that as the mother of sons, there still seem to be plenty of women out there who think that is the man's role sad.

Bonsoir Wed 08-Jan-14 10:29:43

I think all adults need a network of other adults to talk through their preoccupations - and, as a generalisation, women are much less good than men at having that network. The skills needed to exchange information (and my DSSs give me and DP plenty of useful information - it isn't a one way process) are crucial to life success.

RRudolphR Wed 08-Jan-14 10:30:22

My adult DS still asks my advice yes.
I still ask my parents advice.

There is nothing wrong with that you know?

Geckos48 Wed 08-Jan-14 10:30:31

A good worth ethic and prospects was important to me in choosing a husband.

I was told (by my hippie friends) that this was 'not what love is about' but I dont want to struggle through life, I want things to keep getting better for us and for the kids to have a nice upbringing.

so yes, very important to me.

bakingaddict Wed 08-Jan-14 10:32:39

I would not mind being the major breadwinner as long as I knew that the other person found their job rewarding or semi worthwhile. I imagine teachers and people working in the City can have similar stress levels yet the later earns considerably more but still lots of graduates pursue teaching as a career so it cant always be about the money

I too agree with what purplesprout says, I wouldn't have any issue if my and DH's roles were reversed. We both have professional jobs and he is the major breadwinner but I would have an issue if DH was content to potter around in a low paid job with no real career ambitions. I guess the bottom-line for me was somebody with similar aspirations because growing up my family struggled with money and I wanted an easier life for myself and my kids

georgie22 Wed 08-Jan-14 10:33:38

Dh and I are a team and that applies to our household income too. We have a similar approach to money (although I spend more than him!!) and we don't have any debt other than our manageable mortgage. He works hard but has a job with fixed hours that allows him to spend time at home with the family, but also gives him the opportunity for overtime if he wants it. I would hate to have a dh who is a high earner but never spends time at home. We have a team approach to childcare and housework although I naturally do more than him as I only work part time.

We are lucky that my job was sufficiently well paid to allow me to work part time after we had our first child. I'm reassured that I'm financially independent and could increase my hours if necessary in the future.

Couldn't agree more Laregina

OhCaptainDarling Wed 08-Jan-14 10:34:20

The only reason, and it's the only reason I'm a SAHM is whist I have always worked full time. My paid, travel cost and the nursery fees meant we'd be losing money about £300pm. So we made the choice for several years I would stay at home and bring up children.

I'm bored and would love to return to work. Don't get me wrong I love DD, but there is only so much arts and crafts / play-doh one can do wink DC2 arriving next week. DH and I have decided that we'll take a view on me working towards the end of the summer and go from there.

I'd love a PT job, however the pay is shit. If I'm going to go back to work it has to be worth it financially. If I can contribute to paying the whole mortgage every month that would be amazing. I know DH does feel a huge amount of pressure as the sole wage earner. We make it work.

Norudeshitrequired Wed 08-Jan-14 10:34:43

There is absolutely nothing wrong with children (whatever age) asking their parents for advice. The problem only arises if they are not able to problem solve without asking others because it isn't a skill they they have ever needed and therefore haven't developed.

Bonsoir Wed 08-Jan-14 10:36:09

Teaching is stressful IMO because it is, by and large, an environment where you have to reconcile huge differences among people (staff and students) in terms of intellect. It is hard to get large institutions of disparate minds working in harmony.

Much easier to be in a highly competitive field where the less quick witted are not around to slow things down.

Bonsoir Wed 08-Jan-14 10:38:07

There is a massive difference between talking through your preoccupations and choices with other rational adults, and leaning on others to solve your problems. Not the same thing at all.

It is rarely a good idea to try to solve problems entirely on your own.

dingit Wed 08-Jan-14 10:40:00

I get pissed off as 'friends' who do judge me as a sahm. But most of them have huge mortgages, and both parents have to work. We have a small mortgage and manage financially very well. I don't tell anyone that, nor do I judge them. Sometimes they admit they envy me. Sometimes I envy them, their own money, being with other adults. But the thing is its choice, our life is ours to live how we choose, end of. It boils down to, are you happy, if not change it!

dingit Wed 08-Jan-14 10:43:40

And Georgie, my dh is the high earner we never see! But he would be like that whether we had cd or not, that's how he is. It was hard when they were tiny, now not so much. ( although being the only homework nagger is hard)

PurpleSprout Wed 08-Jan-14 10:44:38

Geckos That was similar to my experience as well.

Now more than 10 years on, the same people are telling me how 'lucky' myself and DP are, which gets my goat no end because these were people who had similar backgrounds and opportunities to myself & DP, but made different choices.

ShoeWhore Wed 08-Jan-14 10:55:05

Similar values around money and work ethic and general ethics are more important to me.

Since we've been together we've had periods where I earned significantly more than dh, where I was a sahm and he earned a good salary, where he was starting a new business, I was still sahm and neither of us earned anything (that bit was scary!), and now he is earning a lowish salary (hopefully on the increase!) and I work part time and don't earn much. I'm hoping to study for a new career in the next couple of years and dh is very supportive of that too.

We both consider each other equals - we both pull our weight in this family - it's about contribution not income. And (within reason obviously) we both feel job satisfaction is important - neither of us would want the other to slave away in an unfulfilling job for the sake of a few extra quid - but both of us would be willing to pitch in and do whatever if the finances were utterly dire.

I think we are both quite driven, but not so much by money but personal achievement I suppose.

One thing's for sure though, not having much money is pretty stressful! There have been studies that have suggested that above a certain level, more money doesn't make you happier though.

Parsley1234 Wed 08-Jan-14 11:08:44

For me it does really matter but not for me to be able to stay at home but in order to have choices about education travel home etc. have always worked and have had situation where supporting my exp I lost all respect for him and I can second the post which says how hard stressful it is to be main bread winner I wouldn't do it again. I see too many posts on here where women have been left in financial poverty after their partner leaves I would nt give up my independence and my partner wdnt want me too either important to keep that because you never just never know what may happen.

slug Wed 08-Jan-14 11:11:28

Doesn't bother me at all. When we got together he earned more, though I caught up fairly quickly. He spent the better part of seven years earning absolutely nothing as a SAHD and, quite frankly, it was the best thing for both him and our family. I much prefer the chilled out happy man without work stress but with little money than the man who despised his job and felt trapped.

I earn far more than him (mainly due to my lack of a career gap) and, while he's gone back to work, he earns far less than before, but he's in a lower stress job.

I also think it's good for our DD to grow up in a household where the main income earner has swapped between both partners and where the nurturing and the earning role has been as much her father's job as her mother's.

LittleMissDisorganized Wed 08-Jan-14 11:24:39

I'm speechless shock at some of the replies on here!!
Liking being looked after, and earning potential meaning women cut off their own potential financial independence.... it's so sad, for the men in these relationships and the women.

I could be financially independent tomorrow if something happened in our marriage, or DH's health, or his family.... and that's all that matters really. My DH earns less than me, but is much better at all the house management stuff. He's not that ambitious - just caring.

I think in my friendships, the women that I get on with and want to be friends with have this kind of equality as well, mostly. So I'm shielded from women who think like many of the posters on here do - fortunately. For me and for them.

My mum was the main earner, and her sister. Those are my role models, and I'm very proud of them.

Parsimonium Wed 08-Jan-14 11:25:35

Bonsoir.

Where does your step children's mother fit into their upbringing?

Bonsoir Wed 08-Jan-14 11:27:39

She takes them on holiday from time to time.

missedmebythatmuch Wed 08-Jan-14 11:39:19

Yes. My relationship is being strangled by DP's failing business, which he won't let go of. It's taken 10 years but it killed the relationship in the end.

I didn't really mind supporting him before we had DC - I earn enough to support two people quite comfortably, but not five. It's terrifying being with someone who is in his late forties and the thought of savings, pensions, etc really hasn't crossed his mind.

If we split up, the DC and I will be ok, because I am good at making money and good at managing it. I suspect he's going to get a very rude shock when the power and the phone get disconnected, because he's still dreaming that his ship will come in.

Frostycake Wed 08-Jan-14 11:41:28

The short answer is, it depends.

It depends on how much you earn, how you feel about what you both earn, what you want to do with your lives and your life-style and ethics.

If he doesn't earn much but is working his way up and has ambition then no it doesn't matter. If he doesn't earn much because he didn't go to college/Uni and now has limited employment opportunities then yes it does.

If he earns less than you will he come to resent you? If he earns a lot more than you, will he look down on you and see you as a drain on his finances?

I've been with high earners and low earners and I have to say that life is easier with a high earner.

missedmebythatmuch Wed 08-Jan-14 11:48:12

The point up-thread about how we would react if our roles were reversed is a good one.

I started a business on the side and it pays more than his about half the time, when I only work on it for half an hour a night and a couple of hours on the weekend. I feel that I haven't been able to grow my business - which quite clearly has a lot more potential than his - because I've had to earn the solid, dependable wage.

I am only now realising exactly how far apart our attitudes are. I would walk away from a failing business after a year at the most, probably closer to six months. I am happy to try, fail and move on. He, on the other hand, would rather walk away from a family than his business.

Sad, but there you have it.

brusslesprout Wed 08-Jan-14 11:51:14

I think my partner is good at managing money and would make an excellent SAHD as he doesn't mind staying at home (I hate it have to work or I go stir-crazy). So in that respect me earning more is a good thing.

What bothers me is he has more savings than me and seems proud of this but it's only because I've paid more of the bills than he has that he's been able to save more.

I know it's OUR money and when you're a team that's how you should approach it but it's hard to get my head around it sometimes.

MaddAddam Wed 08-Jan-14 11:53:24

No, I'd be happy with a low-earning but enthusiastic DP, or a high-earning IF he still did half the housework/childcare. I don't want a high earning absent partner. DP's job is in a sector where there are high paid long hours jobs but he instead works flexibly/locally for a more modest salary and I like this about him, both personality-wise (he's very relaxed about life) and in terms of childcare support for me. I would never want to live on a man's salary anyway, I like paid work, so the DP's earning power is less important than his family and domestic contributions.

Being financially sensible is important, not being in debt, not spending stupidly. That would be a dealbreaker, if a partner were financially incontinent.

Creamycoolerwithcream Wed 08-Jan-14 12:00:39

It definitely didn't matter when DH and I got together because he had nothing. He was unemployed, staying in a relatives spare room and massively in debt. First date was a packet of crisps and an orange juice in a pub. I paid the 5% deposit needed for our first house and for most of the wedding. Fast forward nearly 20 years and I'm a SAHM and DH is a very high earner and I think it does matter to me because I love my family's lifestyle. If he were to lose his job I would be super supportive, look for a job, cut back etc but life is so much easier without money worries and being able to plan treats and have a lovely home.

Weegiemum Wed 08-Jan-14 12:12:42

It certainly makes our lives now easier that dh earns well (he's a GP).

When we got married I was teaching full time and he was a medical student. Over the years at different times we've both had time out of work (mainly by design, e.g. to study) and got by.

His earnings made it easy for me to be a sahm for a while. I became disabled 2 years ago and get HR dla, and his earnings have meant I haven't had to enter the ghastliness of ESA and job capability interviews etc. It means I can work part time in the charity sector and volunteer at a local anti-poverty project at our church. Stuff in the house takes me a lot longer these days, and my time at home is well used for the benefit of our whole family. DH works very hard and the hours are long, but the holiday allowance is great and we spend lots of time together as a family. I'm able to be home when the dc (10,11,13) get in from school and I'm really appreciating that time with them - due to after school clubs its a different mix every day.

So - our lifestyle (and we really aren't extravagant!) is more based around quality time, and that's what dh's earnings give us.

Creamycoolerwithcream Wed 08-Jan-14 12:14:39

Financially incontinent... That made me chuckle.

MistressDeeCee Wed 08-Jan-14 12:22:37

Yes, quality time is definetely a bonus. I was glad to be there when my DCs arrived home from school, able to attend all school plays and events, lots of quality time in school holidays too, and also to a great extent able choose my part-time self employed working hours to fit around family life as thats just as important to me as paid work. DCs are late teens now - but I wouldnt have missed their growing years for the world. Thats what OHs salary enabled..security, quality, family time together. Thinking back though around 18 months after we got together he was struggling in a job he absolutely hated, and I encouraged him to leave; its not worth the emotional stress and unhappiness (which would impact on us all) going into a job you hate daily, year after year. So, he left and we just got by until he found another job.

Bonsoir Wed 08-Jan-14 12:27:20

Yes, quality time is key. Being around when the DCs are around and not having that time constantly encroached upon for mundane chores and errands is great.

Mumof22222boys Wed 08-Jan-14 12:30:27

We have very similar attitudes to money and ambition. DH is pretty driven, and wouldn't be happy as a SAHD. I get that - I woudn't say I was hugely ambitious, but I did spend about 3 years at home and was pretty bored.

At times I have earned nothing (retrained as a lawyer, and mat leave), and also had hugely reduced income after career change...and he has supported me. The money is in one pot! When he changed career, I supported him (although he did have a big redundancy pay off to exist on). We live within our means and are both very happy with the situation. For the record, we both earn almost the same amount at present - I have just caught up, and may well pip him if I get a bonus this year. It is friendly competition, and if I get a bonus, we will jointly decide what it goes on (as we did with his pay off).

I didn't want a "rich" DH, but I have one who does earn pretty well, but is a great Dad, good at DIY and not bad round the house. If he had decided to retire (at 45) with his Navy pension I would have been gobsmacked - neither of us would have been happy. I like my lifestyle, and our attitudes to life and finance mean we can afford it.

Equally, he wants someone who is happy, and working makes me happy!

Contrast this with my brother who earns about £110k, whose wife is financially incontinent and that is the major reason they are about to get divorced.

annieorangutan Wed 08-Jan-14 14:04:22

I like quality time but one of the benefits of being on less momey is lots more time to yourself as childcare funded. I enjoy the break tbh so am retraining but have purposely waited as its silly earning more when kids are small unless its v high income.

racmun Wed 08-Jan-14 14:14:16

It does matter to me how much dh earns and it also matters to him. Unfortunately we all live in an expensive world and having a family is a costly business. You only need to read threads on here about people not being able to put the heating on. I'm sorry but that cannot be an easy way to live and must cause a lot of tension. Money gives you choices.

When I met dh 6 years ago we earnt similar ish amounts, he now earns about twice that and I'm a SAHM. He had a terrible childhood and his achievements are entirely down to him working his arse off at college and uni without any familial support and then working really hard in his profession.

What attracted me to him is that he is ambitious and forward looking and this extends to all aspects of our lives, eg moving house, career moves etc etc. being motivated and successful often go hand in hand and I for one could not be with someone who is happy plodding along and just settling

If dh lost his job tomorrow he would take any job he had to pay the bills but would always be striving for the next thing and that is what I find attractive.

DadOnIce Wed 08-Jan-14 14:15:00

Some people are not "plodders" (nice word hmm) but just may be in jobs where there is not a lot of money floating around and employment is insecure - e.g. publishing, bookselling, arts fundraising or the charity sector.

I think it's fair to say that it doesn't occur to many starry-eyed 22-year-olds when they get together. If you meet your life partner in your 30s or 40s, it's probably something you are far more aware of.

It's probably a bit sexist to expect the man to earn more, but that is how some people think. If it's important to you, and a dealbreaker, then you should not complain if the man wants to consider something equally old-fashioned and borderline sexist as important to him - your cooking and home-making skills, for example... Or your breasts.

I imagine huge earning power is pretty low on the list of attributes most of us blokes look for in a woman. Near the bottom, I'd say. It just isn't relevant.

noddyholder Wed 08-Jan-14 14:17:06

I always knew my dp would never be a huge earner as he was a musician for years and thats just how it was. But I did know what I wanted for us as a family and as long as that happened I am fine. I am more interested in my own career and financial standing than someone elses.

QueenThora Wed 08-Jan-14 14:19:07

Bonsoir I have to take exception to your assessment based on my own experience growing up.

My mum worked, my parents divorced when I was a teenager and I had to take on a lot of responsibility for my younger siblings. I did school runs, I shopped, cooked and cleaned while doing my A-levels. I went to Oxford, got a first and have a much-envied career.

While I don't mean kids should have to go through what I did, I do think they should be contributing to chores and running the household as they get older, yes even when there's a lot of studying to do. There shouldn't be more for you to do when you have almost-adults around to help.

Also, I'm not sure it's good for teenagers to know someone is not WOHM just so they can be there for them and pick up after them all day. Especially when that person is almost always the woman because it gives them that dodgy role model. I'd say if you can find a balance, it's better in the long run for children to grow up seeing parents of both sexes doing as many different jobs as possible. I'm glad my DC know that me and their friends' parents have all kinds of jobs, including the women. That's the "setting" I want their minds to be on – that they can do anything they set their minds to and gender doesn't come into it.

Lastly there is such a thing as part-time work. It would be ideal if most of us could avoid working excessive hours and the work hours could be more fairly divided up and much more flexible, so that people could work and be there for their kids when needed. Eventually more employers will grasp this.

MinesAPintOfTea Wed 08-Jan-14 14:35:36

DadOnIce the question wasn't "do you love your partner because they can provide for you" but whether a partner's earnings are important. Add dh holds half the earning potential in this family of course the answer is yes. Anything else would mean that we weren't working together as a team.

This will continue to apply add my business develops because it influences where we can afford to live, savings, holidays etc.

That didn't mean I don't love him for richer or for poorer, just that our respective earnings have a big impact on family wealth.

NanooCov Wed 08-Jan-14 14:38:08

My husband earns about half of what I earn. And he's never been good with saving so came into our relationship with nothing (in fact, a bit of debt which I helped him pay off), whereas I had saved and had property too. It does mean we have to consider things like how we will manage when we have kids and I'm not working (he could be a SAHD, but that's not actually what either of us want) and also when we married we had a long talk about whether we should have a pre nuptial agreement of sorts. In the end we didn't bother but it was something we both had to be very honest about. Though the difference in our salaries doesn't make me love him any less, and I like to think I would have fallen in love and married even if he wasn't earning at all, I'm not sure that's 100% honest.

Creamycoolerwithcream Wed 08-Jan-14 14:48:56

I am surprised by the amount of people who say what their DH's earn doesn't matter. I've read so many threads where people are saying they really want to move as their family is squeezed in a small house or the local schools are shite, or they would love more money to take their DC on holiday, on more days out, buy more Christmas presents etc, not eat value food all the time. What your DH or DP earns has got to have some influence on these things. I don't see how the thread has to be about the usual old SAHM v working outside the home mum debate.

Yes it 'matters' because we have taken family decisions that mean my career is at a standstill. I worked part-time when the children were smaller and now need to be the one that drops them at school and picks them up from the childminders. We needed me to work locally to integrate us into the new town we chose to move to. All these factors mean that I am not in a position to advance my earning potential at the moment, so my husband's earnings pay the majority of our outgoings. In a few years I should be in a position to do further training to finally have a career rather than a job.

It's not what makes me love him, but life would be very hard for all of us if he didn't bring home what he does.

Norudeshitrequired Wed 08-Jan-14 14:53:17

I like quality time but one of the benefits of being on less momey is lots more time to yourself as childcare funded.

WTAF! Are you being serious?
I really hope that I have misinterpreted what you have written because your posts makes it sound like you happily plonk the kids in state funded childcare whilst you go off and have some 'me time' without any concerns for the fact that the state cannot afford to pay people to have 'me time'.
I've nothing against funding childcare to enable low paid people to work, but your post doesn't come across that way.
I really hope I have misunderstood this.

annieorangutan Wed 08-Jan-14 15:04:07

You have to pay for full days anyway norude so its just convienent.

Joysmum Wed 08-Jan-14 15:07:32

Wow, so many people judging their relationships, and that of others by earnings. Now that's shallow!

We have enough to live on plus more, but we are no different in our attitudes to each other and our own value within our relationship. When we first started out with hubby earning £55 on his apprenticeship and I was working a 60 hour week in a factory to keep us afloat. Now his job rewards well and I'm coming to the end of a long stint as SAHM. His value to me is no more now because he's the breadwinner now and I certainly didn't mean more to him in the early days because I was. I'm ending my SAHM stint because it's not enough any more and I want the satisfaction and challenge that working brings, but that will come at the cost of less quality time. Wages have nothing to do with our decision for me to return to work as we are doing nicely without, I may very well end up in voluntary work. Not sure yet but think that might be most satisfying.

Whatever happens, who we are to each other is not affected or defined by earnings. So sad that there are so many shallow people out there for whom earnings mean more than simply being able to afford to live.

PurpleSprout Wed 08-Jan-14 15:18:36

DadonIce I think the point about starry eyed 22 year olds (or whatever age with no commitments / mortgage / whatever) is spot on.

It did occur to me when I met DP at 21, but then I knew what I wanted for myself, knew I was going to try for a good graduate scheme in a large organisation. I wanted someone with a similar outlook (non-necessarily grad scheme, but with some kind of career plan or goals). This is wider than jobs or money, but work ethic & ambition is certainly part of that.

I look at a lot of my friends and think more people should have conversations pretty early on about what they want and certainly before getting a mortgage together or having kids. I've seen so many people with wildly differing expectations of what their lives will look like post-30 / when they marry / when they have kids and it can cause huge resentment.

It is silly earning more if it puts you just out of tax credits or over the threshold to get CB.

Just as there's bugger all point in many women going full time if all they are earning is the increase in child care.

Women waffle about doing it because it will be worth it once the DCs are at school. Truth is wrap round child care is almost as silly as nursery and holidays can be impossible. Plenty of women and yes it is almost always women, end up working part time forever.

Lets be realistic, its women in a couple who are usually younger, take maternity breaks and it's women who miss their DCs and feel guilty.

So of course it matters to most of us what our male partners earn.

Do they care what we earn, yes if it's needed to make ends meet and yes if their own job is insecure. Funding everything as my DH does is very stressful in the present climate.

Bonsoir Wed 08-Jan-14 15:29:47

QueenThora - I wouldn't wish your teenage experience on anyone but I take great exception to people taking the moral high ground about contribution to the household and it being so good for teenagers. I don't agree - child labour is illegal for a reason and child caters, of whom there are far too many, are to be pitied and helped out of their sad circumstances, not held up as role models.

Logg1e Wed 08-Jan-14 15:36:36

bonsoir let's pretend that having a job means you can't have meaningful talks with your 15 year old child and that the female parent therefore can not work. What do you do between the hours of 9 and 3??

AbiRoad Wed 08-Jan-14 15:40:38

When DH and I met we earned similar, but my earnings always had the potential to increase significantly more than his and they have done. It matters to me that he does not have hang ups about me earning far more than him.
In fact, it would make my life easier if he did not WOH, but he wants to and i am fine with that.

Apatite1 Wed 08-Jan-14 15:47:24

Well, it matters because he earns a lot more than me (he's a GP, I'm not a consultant yet) and we've gotten used to the level of income. Truthfully, I would like my income to match his, but I would have to go back to full time work then which isn't possible for me right now as I'm caring for relatives. I am determined to never stop working, and will keep my hand in as long as I'm healthy. I would never risk being a stay at home mum as I'd be too scared of being completely financially dependant, and I'd have to re-train if I stayed out of medicine too long.

Creamycoolerwithcream Wed 08-Jan-14 15:48:52

Logg1e what does it matter what Bonsoir does between 9 and 3? I'm a SAHM and spend my days seeing friends, spa and gym days, doing house stuff. My family doesn't need any more money so I don't work. My DH pays about 70k in tax and a year so I feel like our family is contributing to society.

sleepyhead Wed 08-Jan-14 16:03:37

Dh earns less than me in a low status job. I'd like him to earn more and have more status because that would make him happy (and the extra cash would be nice).

However, I'm very happy with our lifestyle in that neither of us works long hours or has a massive commute, or has to take large amount of work home, or is on call in the evenings or holidays. We have loads of family time and aren't particularly stressed at the thought of work when we're not working. In this we're far more fortunate than many of our friends who have one partner on the big bucks, working away, with long working hours and never fully detaching from work, and the other carrying most of the parenting role at home.

Currently dh is on additional paternity leave with ds2. He's off for another 3 months and it's been one of the best times of our lives together I think. Unfortunately we can't afford for him to be a SAHD permanently. Maybe I should be more ambitious... wink.

I think we have the balance more or less right for us as a couple.

Bonsoir Wed 08-Jan-14 16:05:35

School hours aren't 9-3 where I live - DD does 9-12:30 and 1:30-4:30 on Mon, Tues, Thurs and Fri and DSS2 does 8:20-6:00 most days but comes and goes a bit in the middle. And DSS1 is at home from university right now. There is no concept of a long uninterrupted day here. DC need lunch.

HappyMummyOfOne Wed 08-Jan-14 16:08:09

I truly hope DS meets someone who sees him as an equal and shares everything including a work ethic and financial contribution.

This thread shows lots want a partner with a work ethic, ambition and money to finance their life yet them give their partner none of that in return. Being a SAHP is not a job and most adults have a house to run and clean, and strangely most manage to work as well.

Its not a great message to send out to children is it really, sons you need to work hard if you want a wife and daughters theres no point bothering at school or uni just look for a rich man so you dont have to work hmm

wordfactory Wed 08-Jan-14 16:08:24

All that running backwards and forwards to school makes me feel giddy even thinking about it Bonsoir.

Is there no canteen? What do the DC do whose parents work?

Creamycoolerwithcream Wed 08-Jan-14 16:15:25

You can do very well at school, go to university, have a career and be a SAHM. I have. Life is a journey with many different stages.

Bonsoir Wed 08-Jan-14 16:16:35

There is a canteen but very few DC eat there every day of the week. DD eats there if no-one else is available but it makes her uber-grouchy at 16:30 ie we all pay for it. DP never ate at the canteen even once as a child and doesn't like the idea of his DC eating at the canteen unless exceptionally.

I think the DC learn much better when they get a break from noise and screaming at lunch time.

wordfactory Wed 08-Jan-14 16:20:38

Sounds a nightmare Bonsoir. Your whole day taken up sad.

Here in the UK, at least once they're in school, the day is uninterupted.

Diagonally Wed 08-Jan-14 16:22:13

If I had a partner, my expectations would be that they contribute in a number of ways, it could be bringing in income, or domestic / diy, I wouldn't be too worried, as long as I felt the contribution was equal to mine in terms of hours put in.

It would be lovely to have someone sharing the domestic load, I'd probably value that more than financial contribution tbh.

fay144 Wed 08-Jan-14 16:23:38

DH and I have almost always earned pretty much exactly the same. We've been penniless students together, debt-paying grads, and then got to our 30s with a fairly high disposable income.

I think that it has been an ideal situation, that has made life very easy for us. It's always been clear that we contribute equally, we've had the same expectations of our lifestyles at any given time, and we've both always kept financial independence. As a result we don't really argue about money. I've never had the problems that friends have had, where their DHs see the wife's job as less important, or don't take equal responsibility for house work etc.

The down side is that it took a bit of mental adjustment for me to get my head round the massive change to our situation that maternity leave will bring. We've went over 12 years without ever needing to consider a lot of basic questions about what we consider fair (e.g. can I spend £100 on a haircut every month, if I'm not earning anything?). We needed to iron out things like this before TTC, but luckily did pretty much agree.

The plus side is that he automatically assumes parenting will also be done equally - e.g. sharing some mat leave, both going part time after, etc, which suits me entirely.

If his income doubled around now though, I think I could handle it...

QueenThora Wed 08-Jan-14 16:25:33

There's a difference between being a child carer - eg being 10 and having to look after a parent with MS for example, which I agree is horrendous – and being 14, 15, 16, 17 years old and being expected to do a few chores and pull your weight in your home.

Apart from anything else it's responsible to train your DC in the realities of what running a home involves – both genders. It's not child labour, it's preparation. I'm not sending my 3yo up a chimney but I do teach my DC how to cook, do laundry, pick up after themselves etc and involve them in things like food shopping. And when they are older they will be expected to play a part so they can get some practice at this stuff. And yes, if you refuse to do that for your DC, I do take the moral high ground, I'm sitting up here in my judgy pants right now!

Bonsoir Wed 08-Jan-14 16:30:35

Yes and no. Lots of working parents eat with their DC at lunch time at least once a week. Typically parents and grandparents and nannies share out the lunch times. DP also has lunch with DD and DSS2 (different days because different schools). The nightmare scenario is for the poor DC who do have to eat at the canteen every day as it is really grim.

Ragwort Wed 08-Jan-14 16:32:25

To me it is more important that we have the same approach to financial matters; when we met we both earned about the same and each had our own house (& mortgage grin). Over the years he has earned more and I have been a SAHM. Now we earn considerably less between us but we still have the same values - ie: important to save, make pension provision, not waste money etc etc. In over 25 years the one thing we have never rowed about is money grin.

Bonsoir Wed 08-Jan-14 16:32:58

When my DD's older she'll be expected to do tax returns and have sex with her DP - I suppose you've got your judge pants on because I'm not making her practice and expect her to do educational and fun children's stuff instead?

Logg1e Wed 08-Jan-14 16:37:40

bonsoir's point is that your children don't suddenly stop needing a parent at home because they've entered full time education. So far, the reason given for this is because they need guidance and discussion. So, I'm curious what happens in the six hours per day these teenagers are out of the house. If bonsoir had said she was at the spa or "doing house things" I wouldn't have needed to ask.

wordfactory Wed 08-Jan-14 16:41:19

Ahem. Last night I got my DC to go through my expenses box and put the receipts in date order grin.

I was in two minds to ask them to input them in my spread sheets...

I wish I had. My accountant and the tax man are waiting.

Bonsoir Wed 08-Jan-14 16:45:17

When my DC aren't at home (and there aren't six uninterrupted hours - I'm lucky to get 2:15) I do all sorts of things, including work appointments, food shopping, seeing friends and running errands (lots of these). Certainly not gyms or spas <hollow laugh>.

MuttonCadet Wed 08-Jan-14 16:46:14

It doesn't matter at all to me, which is very fortunate as he's been out of work for about 2 years now.

I am thankful that I am fortunate enough to be able to cover all the household bills myself, if not we'd be in a bit of a pickle.

Treats Wed 08-Jan-14 16:55:02

In contrast to those of you who like that your DH earns lots of money so that YOU can spend time with your family - I go out to work so that we can BOTH spend quality time with our family.

I don't understand how people can be happy in relationships where the DH works all hours God sends to bring home a sufficient wage for the wife to stay at home and be - to all intents and purposes - the sole parent.

DH could be earning a great deal more than he does, but it would involve very long hours and travel and time away from home. That wouldn't work for us. He would hate not seeing the children and I would hate having to do all the parenting myself.

So we both work, on reasonable but not spectacular salaries, in jobs that are flexible enough for us to share the care of our children.

We're both in a position to step up to something more lucrative if the other ever lost their job and we lost one of those salaries.

When I met him I didn't especially care about his future earning potential, but i did care very much that he was committed to family life and willing to share the stresses and rewards equally.

Lioninthesun Wed 08-Jan-14 16:56:46

For me I rent out property. So I am I suppose 'working' without actually having to do much other than deal with occasional issues from tenants and my Tax returns. I don't feel I am teaching my daughter that work isn't important, as we have a steady income, and I hope I can pass on the same houses to her to rent, so she will also have the same regular income. I would probably only do this on my deathbed though, so hopefully she would have already had a fully fledged career to support herself by then. I also know that when she goes back to school I will probably get bored. I could choose to spend hours in an office doing a monkey job or I could enjoy my free time. I don't know what benefit it would have to be stuck in an office feeling like a gimp just to prove to DD that I can wear a suit hmm I think I would rather start an OU course!

Upcycled Wed 08-Jan-14 16:56:55

OP
Change husbands.
Get a new one who earns shedloads of money and can treat you.
There is a thread here about this at the moment.
Maybe you can get some tips and make some new friends there.

Upcycled Wed 08-Jan-14 16:57:46

oh no
clicked on the wrong thread

Creamycoolerwithcream Wed 08-Jan-14 17:04:26

I don't feel like a sole parent because my DH earns a good wage. He earns well and sees the DC every evening and weekend. We do parents evenings, school meeting etc together and he does all the footie stuff with DS3.

Methe Wed 08-Jan-14 17:07:49

We'll it shouldn't matter, but of course it does. Dh and I were both in low paid jobs when we met and it didn't matter but we were young and didn't have children. Now we both work and we both earn reasonable money so we have a decent standard of living.

Now, if I were looking for a new relationship I wouldn't be looking for someone who wasn't able to fully support himself to a reasonable standard. I could probably be just about financially independent so it's not a case of wanting to be kept, or wanting a man to pay for me to stay at home. I guess id be looking for some equality. Earnings would certainly be a consideration.

Thankfully, as that all sounds incredibly mercenary, I'm married and hoping to stay that way.

Andy1964 Wed 08-Jan-14 17:31:35

Wow, I can't belive how shallow some of the posters are.
Even some members who I respect, I've a totally different view of them now.

By the time my DW was expection our first I was earning £16k pa. with a £45k Mortgage & Bills.
We had £50 per month mad money.
On those finances we decided that my DW would be a SAHM

So no, it didn't matter.

To those who think differently.....REALLY!!!!!!

Creamycoolerwithcream Wed 08-Jan-14 17:42:05

You don't know how lifes going to turn out. I would never have guessed my unemployed, in debt boyfriend would turn out to earn a really good salary. We just worked our way through the last 20 years supporting each other and being a team. Life has been challenging, probably the biggest is my son's disability but we pulled together and the money thing just sort of happened.

Viviennemary Wed 08-Jan-14 17:46:45

I agree it depends on individual circumstances and aspirations. A lot of people are quite happy on a not very high income that meets their needs. Others are always discontent with what they have even if it seems to be quite a lot.

TheDoctrineOf2014 Wed 08-Jan-14 18:12:48

Andy, your mortgage was less than 3x your gross income.

I believe household income matters, not the amount any one partner earns, but lots of people are more stretched than your example and that causes tension.

littlemisssarcastic Wed 08-Jan-14 18:13:40

Out of interest Bonsoir, what age do you think DC have to be before they don't need you to be a SAHP anymore?

Some people think DC need a SAHP or childcare equivalent until they are 11 years old, some people believe it to be nearer to 16, others believe DC need a SAHP or equivalent until they are fully grown adults of 18.
Since your DSS is at university, he must be over 18, so out of interest, how old would he need to be before you would consider WOH?

Bonsoir Wed 08-Jan-14 18:16:22

I don't know! All I know is that at present I am uber busy with things I cannot outsource. We'll see how that evolves.

mastershifu Wed 08-Jan-14 18:17:02

Lioninthesun, it is people who do "monkey jobs" that earn the wages you scrounge off to support your lifestyle. Maybe have a bit more respect for people who actually contribute to society for a living.

Not sure that DCs have much to gain in talking through their career choices with parents who themselves have little or no experience making their own way in the world. Surely they can just google job guides and get more information than these parents would have? Personally I think children should learn to be independent when they get to, say, their early teens instead of being mollycoddled and being turned into mummy's boys and girls. Surely this turns them into adults who are more resilient and resourceful.

lovemenot Wed 08-Jan-14 18:56:26

It doesn't bother me what he actually earns.....but it does bother me that I don't know how much that is.

It's a big secret, dontcha know, and he used to say he didn't want to worry me on lean months (self employed) coz after all I'm just a woman who doesn't need to know these things.

Bonsoir Wed 08-Jan-14 18:59:53

NotJustACigar - I agree that less educated and skilled parents may have less to impart by way of skills in informed decision-making. Though I disagree that Google is a substitute for conversation with interested and informed adults.

januarysunsetfire Wed 08-Jan-14 19:08:30

My relationship ended in 2013. He earned less than half of my salary; it did not matter at all. I loved him for who he was.

Bonsoir, I don't really understand the point behind being a SAHM so your children do well at school and university with the premise that most (I realise not all) people will have their own children and therefore not work.

I realise education isn't just about earning potential but with the cost now it does make a bit of a mockery of it.

MeganBacon Wed 08-Jan-14 19:12:26

Ambition, hard work and intelligence do matter to me. That may translate into a large pay packet. But if a guy had those attributes and was following a meaningful vocation which earned little, I'd be equally happy.
Generally though, I have had problems with men who earn less than me, either they want me to support them, or they are a bit affronted by career success in a woman. My relationships were just easier when man earned more than woman, although not by a significant amount.
I've never been able to get my head around not working and relying on Mr. Bacon to bring home the bacon (see what I did there?).

olathelawyer05 Wed 08-Jan-14 19:19:12

This is mumsnet's defining thread. Brilliant stuff....and to think, the OP didn't want to 'start anything'.

Creamycoolerwithcream Wed 08-Jan-14 19:19:54

Januarysunsetfire, sorry to hear your relationship ended. I hope things work out for you.

Offred Wed 08-Jan-14 19:27:26

It mattered very much because there was a massive disparity. Xh earns just under £60k, when I was in work full time I earned £10k. There was no option for me to work as his job involves on call work and the childcare would have cost more than I could earn and we were entitled to no help and just scraping by as it was.

I started a law degree with OU with this in mind, knowing I needed to increase my earning capacity.

Now we have split, weirdly we're all better off financially. I would be able to afford to work but will not complete my degree until 2016 so time is taken up with that.

Offred Wed 08-Jan-14 19:28:04

It mattered because it was one of the inequalities that wrecked the relationship.

MrsCampbellBlack Wed 08-Jan-14 19:33:09

Well, I met DH when he was earning well. Then he wasn't as set up his own business which coincided with me being made redundant and getting pregnant. So our joint income reduced by about 75% - those times were not much fun.

Now we have more money, I work part time as youngest has started school but its in my DH's business so if we ever divorced - that would be interesting.

But I am not stupid, I gave up a lot to be at home with my 3 children and I manage all our money.

The people who worry me are friends I have who have no idea of even what their DH earns or where their savings are.

Sunflower49 Wed 08-Jan-14 19:33:57

Amount of money earned is less important than how good or bad he is with it! I don't like frivolous expenditure, buying loads of crap, debt-nor do I like men being 'tight', and I've dated both types!
Being poor can make people miserable, but you can earn loads of £ and still be poor if you aren't good with money.

DP and I earn roughly the same, but I've had to 'train' him a little!He used to waste money on loads of crap!

januarysunsetfire Wed 08-Jan-14 19:38:50

Thanks Creamy, that's really kind of you smile

*It matters that we have enough money to live on, it doesn't matter which of us earns it.
I married my husband, not his wallet.*

I agree with this post. DH could earn more if he travelled more and spent time away from home but neither of us want this. I currently earn more but we're a team , it's a joint venture.

Joysmum Wed 08-Jan-14 19:47:37

Exactly, it just matters that people have enough to live on.

To those who's relationships failed because if money, I can't help but think that even if money were no issue then would the relationship have failed anyway?

Good relationships aren't good relationships only when this are going swimmingly. Good relationships are the ones that weather the pressures and storms too, whether that is health, money, family, whatever. If it wasn't a storm over money would it have been a storm over something else?

Norudeshitrequired Wed 08-Jan-14 19:56:26

When my DD's older she'll be expected to do tax returns and have sex with her DP -

I like to think that my DC will want to have sex with their DP's when they are adults, rather than being expected to do so.

Offred Wed 08-Jan-14 20:09:34

Joysmum - yes, was one of the inequalities that made life difficult. If the rest of the relationship had been ok it wouldn't have mattered that much.

Offred Wed 08-Jan-14 20:10:32

Part of the thing was he wouldn't ask for flexible working to enable me to work. Now we've split he has so he can spend more time with the children but I've been able to take career relevant voluntary work because of it.

catsrus Wed 08-Jan-14 20:13:11

It only matters which partner earns the money if not earning the money for a period of time leaves the other partner financially vulnerable should the worst happen.

"the worst" might be illness, death or divorce - not things any of us really expect to happen, but if we have totally relied on one person in the partnership to support the family then we have to make sure that if any of these things happen we would still be able to support ourselves and our children.

I see a worrying number of women on here who don't seem to ever consider the possibility that their lives might change at some point and they need to be prepared for that.

NearTheWindmill Wed 08-Jan-14 20:23:09

I agree catsrus. When we married I had the high salary and the capital assets. DH had the ambition. We had a pre-nup to protect what was mine (my mum had three husbands). Had my DH had an issue, I wouldn't have trustd him enough to marry him. Nearly 25 years on, I earn less than one tenth of his earnings, yet my original capital is still protected. And if the worst came to the worst I'd still be happy to leave with the equivalent of what I brought.

Benchmark Wed 08-Jan-14 20:38:22

I earn more than DH although not considerably so. We both earn decent money. He is clever and kind and hardworking but has no drive to earn lots of money, it's not a priority as we are comfortable. His attitude is so refreshing to me. There's no greed or pretension in his family and I've never known such generous and kind people. DH has turned out like them and I couldn't be happier. I find overly ambitious, money driven types quite selfish actually and it's not a personality type I would find particularly attractive.

Lazyjaney Wed 08-Jan-14 20:53:48

Money gives choices, that's it's main benefit IMO, esp. when kids arrive. Below a certain level of income it really matters, above that it gets less and less important as it goes up. Level varies by where in UK you live.

I couldn't stick SAHM-hood because I liked the stimulation, freedom and security earning my own money gave, bonus means less worry about DH' job in times of risk.

motherinferior Wed 08-Jan-14 20:58:05

It matters to me how much money is in my household, on account of having to pay for such idle frivolities as food, mortgage and gory novels.

Doesn't bother me who's earning it.

PhallicGiraffe Wed 08-Jan-14 21:11:08

A study was done; it's official. The quality and frequency of a women's orgasm is directly related to how rich their husband is:

www.nickcampos.com/2010/08/womens-orgasm-tied-to-mens-wealth/

TheDoctrineOf2014 Wed 08-Jan-14 21:13:00

T

TheDoctrineOf2014 Wed 08-Jan-14 21:15:04

That study was done in China. You may have heard about their one child policy and stigmatisation of female children?

NearTheWindmill Wed 08-Jan-14 21:24:22

Phallic ROFL grin but I may be too old PMSL.

MotherInferior I nipped to Sainsbury's on the way home tonight and very carefully spent £15 to avoid parking, went down on my knees to retrieve the trolley pound I dropped and thought carefully about treating us to four mini trifles reduced to 45p each. Just had one - yum.

When I unpacked; saw DH had left his bank statement on the kitchen counter. He had the cheek to tell me not to buy any extras this month after the expense of Christmas.

He's lucky I'm a tight wad too because wtff - it's a good job we know each other well enough to laugh about it. Books hairdresser for full works before pay day hmm

Lioninthesun Wed 08-Jan-14 22:01:07

Master I don't understand your post. I used to have a monkey job of my very own, thank you. Just because I have another means of income doesn't mean I am scrounging from anyone!

Lioninthesun Wed 08-Jan-14 22:02:09

Plus I also pay taxes, thank you.

morethanpotatoprints Wed 08-Jan-14 22:04:55

My dh loves his work and we have managed our lives so we don't need much money. His income is peanuts to most people but we managed to get in a position where we have few outgoings and have assets.
So how much he earns is immaterial really.
We aren't materialistic in the slightest and don't want stuff.

messalina Wed 08-Jan-14 22:05:02

I am the breadwinner and i like being the breadwinner. I would be annoyed if he earnt more than me. It allows me to call more of the shots.

Puddles1234 Wed 08-Jan-14 22:05:24

It's absolutely important to me. I don't work and I never have I am now 26 and this wouldn't have been possible without either my parents and now my husband. We are expecting our first child so luckily I will be a SAHM. We both come from households where the 'Wife' doesn't not work so it suits us fine as it is exactly what we are used to. From reading the replies, to most people it doesn't matter so if it makes you happy and you can live with it then so be it but I would think about the long term future ie.Children and a mortgage and consider if him earning a small wage will be an issue then.

When I met DH he was an apprentice earning very little, he's now a company director-do I love him more because of his earnings? No but I do respect the ambition & hard work it took to get him there.

januarysunsetfire Wed 08-Jan-14 22:08:42

Puddles - it wouldn't be an issue to me if a DH was earning a small wage because mine is more than adequate.

It is that I cannot for the life of me understand. Why demand something from a DP that you yourself cannot or will nor provide?

angeltulips Wed 08-Jan-14 22:22:46

It's an interesting theme that many posters on this thread are saying simultaneously that they need someone with ambition whilst admitting they don't want to work themselves. I guess it's good there are still men around happy to marry women without ambition - i feel a bit sad for all of you who don't have any passions though.

Needless to say I am financially independent and would not marry a man who thought he needed to "keep" me - I find the notion offensive and am amazed so many women are saying they like to be looked after. V weird.

Puddles1234 Wed 08-Jan-14 22:25:40

January - There is no 'Demand' we both come from wealthy families so we don't need to demand anything from each other I just prefer to be a 'Housewife' and to be honest money is important to me. We live in a expensive world and there is a certain lifestyle I like to lead.

People are entitled to their own opinions wether you like it or not. All I said was the OP needed to think about the future as buying/furnishing houses and bringing up children is extremely expensive and it obviously concerned the OP enough to post about it.

Lioninthesun Wed 08-Jan-14 22:27:12

I do think you can have passions for things without 'working' though.. Just because you are a SAHM doesn't mean you have no passion for anything hmm
I think the main thing is that women are independent enough financially for the worst case scenario. Any woman who has to rely on a man financially is putting herself and her family at risk, no matter how minimal that risk may be.

januarysunsetfire Wed 08-Jan-14 22:31:40

But it isn't about how wealthy your families are, surely - when I think about the future I imagine marrying a man I love, not someone to go out and work so I don't have to. I suppose it is that I am struggling to get my head around, obviously it is nice to have money, obviously it is nice not to have to worry about money - but surely no one thinks "buying a house is expensive, must marry a high earner!"

I would hope a strong marriage would see people loving one another no matter how many figures were on their paycheque.

januarysunsetfire Wed 08-Jan-14 22:36:28

I suppose, to phrase it differently, I have been in two serious relationships. In one he earned more, but not hugely significantly so and was a bit older than me and therefore in a more senior role. In my last one he earned far less than me.

It just honestly didn't matter. I can understand how if you both earned a small amount it would make life stressful, but that is (surely?) not a reason not to be with someone and love them. It may mean of course not having the lifestyle you'd envisage but then quite a lot of people don't. I certainly can't imagine stating that I would not commit to somebody because of what they earn!

Ex-DP was a handyman and while he may not have earned a lot of money, he certainly helped loads in and around the house and garden. People's contributions - financial, emotional, physical - are so much more than money.

Puddles1234 Wed 08-Jan-14 22:41:39

January I love my husband more than anything in this world and think about how I lucky I am to have found my soulmate everyday however I am not going to lie and say money isn't important to me and that it doesn't help because it does.

I just think the OP needs to consider the future.

Also SAHM and Housewives have aspirations and passions mine just happen to be my husband, family, friends and the Arts which I can indulge by not having a career.

angeltulips Wed 08-Jan-14 22:43:52

Of course, lion, but I don't hear anyone on this thread saying they need a high earner to enable them to pursue their (non paying) dreams - they want to be looked after so they can stay home.

Puddles - your life, your choice - but my goodness you sound dull.

SkinnybitchWannabe Wed 08-Jan-14 22:44:51

Yes it does matter..my oh doesn't earn enough for me to stay at home.
I do resent him for that.

Lioninthesun Wed 08-Jan-14 22:51:34

Some people's dream may well be to stay home with the kids. Everyone's idea of a dream is different. Perhaps they do the gardening or cook Michelin star meals - just because they don't get paid to fulfil their dreams doesn't mean they don't have passion.

rpitchfo Wed 08-Jan-14 22:51:51

I cannot believe some of the posts on this thread and there are so many of them. It's a side of mumsnet i've really not experienced before.

I wouldn't consider getting into a relationship with a women who didn't have ambition career wise. i want her to be successful in her own right (she is).

Lioninthesun Wed 08-Jan-14 22:54:12

I think the confusion many people are still having is between ambition/money/passion. They are all separate and although can be linked, are not always. Some people do not mind that they are not, and others do.

Puddles1234 Wed 08-Jan-14 22:56:01

Dull because I don't have a career? Get a grip angeltulips most people would love to be financially well off enough where they didn't have to have a career and not work and I'm guessing you included.

Lioninthesun Wed 08-Jan-14 23:02:20

Actually Puddles, I think a lot of people wouldn't know what to do with themselves if they didn't have a career. I think it would break a lot of people. It's horses for courses. Anyway the OP was about the DH, not a thread on SAHM or Working mums.

rpitchfo that's all very well, but I'm younger than DH we got together as post and undergrad students. I had ambitions I have PG degree, but DD1 came along before I had a established career.

Ambition and the practicalities of parenthood aren't always comparable.

Lioninthesun Wed 08-Jan-14 23:03:02

That last bit wasn't directed at you Puddles, the thread in general seems to be veering off.

angeltulips Wed 08-Jan-14 23:03:45

Not dull ecause you don't have a career - dull because you have no interest in being successful at anything other than pootling around at home.

And i could give up work tomorrow if I wanted to. No idea why I'd do that - I love building and creating things, and I'm good at it, so the money flows from there.

Li

angeltulips Wed 08-Jan-14 23:04:43

Oops iPhone fingers

Lion I don't disagree in principle, I'm just observing that I don't hear any of that on this thread.

Lioninthesun Wed 08-Jan-14 23:08:13

I don't really understand the whole putting money before the person you marry tbh. You can say it wasn't the ONLY thing, but the fact it was 'needed' negates the rest of the person IMO. If you look at the wallet first and the rest second, it doesn't sound like it will end well to me.
But that's me being negative I'm sure someone will say. I've just never rolled like that. Maybe I would have if I didn't have my own money though, who knows. Each to their own.

rpitchfo Wed 08-Jan-14 23:13:56

starballbunny

you had ambitions? so you no longer have them?

There's also a difference between choosing to be SAHP because you feel it is will benefit the family unit and actively seeking a man out to suit your lifestyle choices...if that makes sense?

noddyholder Wed 08-Jan-14 23:15:15

I can see that if you don't have your own money it may have some meaning to you but that in itself is dangerous ground ime.

secretsofsanta Wed 08-Jan-14 23:17:45

Soppy but true. Got together with dh because I fancied him then loved him. Money didnt matter, still doesnt.

noddyholder Wed 08-Jan-14 23:19:09

I wonder what men think of this Have never heard a man say I hope I find someone who earns less and needs me forever to bankroll them

Lioninthesun Wed 08-Jan-14 23:23:27

No, but you do get men who want a woman who can cook/clean/look pretty - some of this stay and home and rely on a man stuff is also inbuilt survival. Outdated but still a fair representation of what I'd say half of the men out there want. So I wouldn't be surprised if on the flip side half of women would like to be able to quit work and be funded to stay at home.

Havingagoodny Wed 08-Jan-14 23:23:38

When I met DH we earnt exactly the same amount. When our first was born he earnt a small amount more than me. Over the past 10 years his salary has increased hugely and he is now classed as a very high earner and we live very well. It's important to me as it means that we can do all with the things we have come to enjoy as a family but we don't live beyond our means and could manage on far less. I have always worked, in a fairly senior role but part time and in a poorly paid sector. It has always been important to me to work for 2 reasons. Firstly because I enjoy it and working part time is a great work life balance but also because I want to know that if we ever split up I will be able to support myself and ramp up my work if necessary. I also don't feel right asking DH to fund my shopping coffee and lunch habits which he would without hesitation but doesn't sit comfortably with me.

I don't worry though about what would happen if he were too ill to work or if he died as we have insurances and he has great cover through work.

Lioninthesun Wed 08-Jan-14 23:26:55

FWIW, one of my exes hated that I owned a house and earned more than him. Then his salary went up and he felt less weird about it.
Another ex was extremely happy not to have the pressure on him - seemed he had felt stress and pressure all of his life to be a high achiever, and he wanted to be himself (still high achiever mind and now is DD's dad who earns a lot more than the minimum wage CSA say he is on [anger], but hey, I digress).

MinesAPintOfTea Wed 08-Jan-14 23:44:37

Lion I think that the criticism is because you are looking down on your customers who have to remain in the lifestyle you look down on in order to pay rent to you. Not suggesting you don't pay tax.

And do none if you don't-cares really love lives that would be unaffected if your dh lost their job?

For me it would mean not being able to risk the (better paid overall) fast and famine of freelance work.

Lioninthesun Thu 09-Jan-14 00:10:27

Ah, I didn't mean to sound condescending to my tenants (actually they seem to have far more interesting jobs than I did before I was a landlady!) I meant only that I do not like office work, or more specifically my old jobs, and would rather work for myself. Nothing against their jobs or careers or whatever. I happen to be an excellent landlady and am pretty sure they would confirm that, which is better job satisfaction for me, than working for a faceless company smile

LibraryBook Thu 09-Jan-14 00:30:02

Worrying about money saps creativity. It's easy to take creative risks when you're financially well cushioned. Plus it's generally easier to get the sort of life you want when you are in financial control. Money makes money.

I think income matters up to a point. But it's also important that you know when to stop working for filthy lucre if it's no longer enjoyable, that's v hard for most people. I would hate to be married to and parnt with a workaholic. That would be a bore.

LibraryBook Thu 09-Jan-14 00:32:00

parent

Neverending2012 Thu 09-Jan-14 00:50:45

Equality in earning, like to hold my own financially, putting equal into the pot.. Hate to have to ask anyone for money or answer to them on spending.. Ambition on both sides is important.

Neverending2012 Thu 09-Jan-14 01:12:49

Isn't aspiring to be 'kept' a bit 1950's?

GarlicReturns Thu 09-Jan-14 01:50:06

I spend a fair amount of time supporting women in unequal relationships (informally, I'm not trained.) I'm shocked & saddened by the high proportion who are trapped by their financial dependence. This can be just as big an issue when a relationship isn't abusive but has gone down the pan - it's a rare salary that can support two households these days.

As an old-skool feminist, it bothers me that women are still merrily signing away their futures with little thought.

Admittedly, I took this a bit far in my own marriages - I earned more, and got shafted in both divorces. In the unlikely event I ever couple up again, I'll defend my independence more assertively. I should certainly be more bothered about his attitude to equality than his pay slip.

Want2bSupermum Thu 09-Jan-14 02:14:46

There is a saying my grandmother used 'Marry a man for money and you will earn every penny.'

I married DH because I loved him. He wasn't earning much but is now high income 5 years later and out earns me by a ratio of 8:1. I changed careers but I still work FT 2DC later. DH has done his fair share of parenting and housework (when made to by me!).

I got a good one and I know it. Keeping him is the tough part. Some of the things I have seen women do are hillarious but it is very sad when they go after a married man who has asked them to stop.

Lion I agree that many men want a housewife. I am the only working spouse in DH's peer group. It is very sad that this is the case. When socializing with the other wives all I hear about is inane drivel about their appearance, weight, clothes etc. This comes up in conversation because the wives know they are in a vunerable position. I am so happy I insisted on working. If DH left me with the DC I would be financially ok without any support from him.

Lweji Thu 09-Jan-14 03:47:08

This is an interesting thread to read, because yesterday I was part of a discussion that there were no major problems in being a woman in the workplace. Equal opportunities, but it was the men who had trouble reconciling family demands and jobs.

Yet, most of this thread is about being kept by working men, or men starting to earn less or the same and end up in much higher salaries.
Anyone in reverse who didn't divorce?

Lweji Thu 09-Jan-14 03:49:57

Oh and Jacqueline Kennedy/Onassis: "The first time you marry for love, the second for money, and the third for companionship"

GarlicReturns Thu 09-Jan-14 04:18:26

Lweji, I have friends with tremendously high-powered jobs and lovely low-powered husbands smile It certainly does happen, and works. Despite being well into the 21st century and all, though, they still have to put up with dumb-ass remarks all the time.

GarlicReturns Thu 09-Jan-14 04:19:13

Bugger, I got it wrong on number 2!

ComposHat Thu 09-Jan-14 04:34:47

Now I'm a sahm, and dh has a well paid job, yes it matters a lot. (Not a popular view on here, but bottom line, I like being looked after.)

I get that being a stay at home parent is a valid choice and it is equally a form of work, but this isn't what is being described/aspired to: it is a desire to be 'kept' which in 2014 is rather depressing. As is the desire by some men to have a wife who is economically dependent on them.

I wonder if the genders were reversed, how long before the phrase 'cocklodger' was deployed.

Lweji Thu 09-Jan-14 04:37:54

I wonder if the genders were reversed, how long before the phrase 'cocklodger' was deployed.

I was wondering earlier what was the female equivalent to cocklodger.

Ok, cocklodgers don't do housework, and I'm sure such "kept" women slave around all day.

GoshAnneGorilla Thu 09-Jan-14 04:50:43

One of the best pieces of advice I ever received was "Money comes and goes, but a good work ethic is for life".

When I met DH, he had just finished uni, I was the one with a steady job. He looked for work every day and did all sorts of jobs until he got a position in his field. Now he out-earns me, which means I can work part time, something I greatly appreciate. He is also very good with money - I appreciate that too, I've seen the tension it can cause when a spouse is bad with money.

So, if things all went wrong, I could increase my hours and support me and DD. However equally important to me, is that if my husband lost his job, he'd do whatever work it took to bring money in, that means a lot to me.

ComposHat Thu 09-Jan-14 04:56:02

lwejj

fanjosquatter?

Lweji Thu 09-Jan-14 04:57:42

With exH I ended up with a cocklodger, essentially. He seemed hard working and with a good work ethic at first, holding 2 or 3 jobs, although not earning that much.
He had the excuse of MH problems, but I think towards the end there was a lot of piss taking, with doing very little at home and getting better MH wise but still not remotely looking for jobs.
I was happy to provide for the family, though, just not taken advantage of. And couldn't think of being kept ever.

Anyway, bf after raised my eyebrows when he seemed prepared to walk out on his job, because he was annoyed, with no prospects all all of getting another. He didn't, but that lost him many points on the leading to commitment scale. No way I'd be taken in to support another man for a second time, particularly if he didn't think it was important to keep his job.
He still earned less than me, but not many people earn much more where I live. I'm fine with lower salaries, just as long as he is a hard worker, good with money and good partner (and father). But I don't think I'd marry (and support) a very low earner again. He'd really have to be a virtually perfect partner. Even so, I'm not sure I'll get over the possibility of divorce and end up having to pay maintenance.

Lweji Thu 09-Jan-14 05:00:02

fanjosquatter?

Just don't know about squatter. hmm

NearTheWindmill Thu 09-Jan-14 07:28:33

Puddles1234 I think it's sad that you have never worked at 26 - even the Duchess of Cambridge has experienced a working life. I don't have to work at all but I get a huge sense of satisfaction from it; I love to have my own money in my purse; I love the sense of purpose it gives me.

My DC are 19 and 15 now and I think it has been good for them that I have worked full time for the majority of their lives although I was a SAHM for 8 years when they were small. I look now at women my age (53) who haven't worked since their early 20s and if their world were to go "tits up" they are probably unemployable in spite of in some cases having had elite educations. I know whose shoes I would rather fill and I know who DH's clients would rather talk to at some glad handing event.

Also - if you have children are you going to have different expectations for your sons than for your daughters?

I didn't marry my DH for money; I married him for love and got lucky I suppose but after nearly 25 years to maintain our lifestyle (and it's comparatively modest) we need a certain amount of money coming in to do so and isn't small but at this stage it is getting less because the children are coming out of the indy education system.

Lioninthesun Thu 09-Jan-14 08:34:31

Personally I don't think I will have different expectations for my DC, depending on sex. I wish that I had focused more on what I enjoyed at school/further ed and not been bullied by my parents into doing courses that they thought were 'better'. If I had had the foresight to see that your life needs to be based on something you enjoy for you to want to get up every day and slog it out, I wouldn't have been so quick to listen to the advice. I hope my DC feel they can just have some childhood to enjoy subjects and find an affinity with one, which we can then pursue for careers. Together. I honestly believe DC work better when they enjoy it and that is the main thing every parent wants; happy children. If that means they can earn huge amounts, fab, if it means they scrape by but enjoy work, that is also fine in my book.

wordfactory Thu 09-Jan-14 08:46:56

But you see the dichotomy here Lion, right?

If women need/want to be financially supported by their partners, then their partners must earn enough.

And earning enough to do that for five, ten, fifteen years, even whilst their DC are in university as has been suggested, will greatly reduce the choice of jobs that do the trick.

So are we bringing up our boys to understand and accept what this means for them?

Lioninthesun Thu 09-Jan-14 08:49:47

But again, this all comes from whatever financial set up you have. I know I will have money/steady income to leave DC when I die, so although that shouldn't be relied upon perhaps it means I don't feel the pressure of training them up for a high paid career? I don't know how I would feel if I were to somehow loose it all (thankfully not likely as it is mine completely) but I would like to think that my children's enjoyment of work would trump the cash. After all who wants to marry someone miserable as fook who hates what their life has become, but earns big bucks and never has time to do anything with them? Money does not make a happy person, which is what we all strive for in the end.

Lioninthesun Thu 09-Jan-14 08:51:50

X posted
I think it is 50/50
Some women will always want a career and high salary - these women may object to having to loose their salary and depend on their partner. Some men like this.

Other women may always imagine their life being home based and reliant largely on their husband's income. Some men like this.

Lioninthesun Thu 09-Jan-14 08:56:23

I have often wondered if this idea of keeping the woman and family is why men get higher salaries in so many spheres; the men at the top of the sphere see that a lot of men are still doing the 50's lifestyle of being the sole earner. I do wonder how this skews figures when we debate salaries and opportunities for women. Of course the other Q arising here is whether the men at the top want to keep it this way (a whole other tangent) and I am deviating from the thread hugely. Apologies!

Logg1e Thu 09-Jan-14 08:56:41

make sure you have a 'plan B' because once they have their mid-life crisis & clear off with a twenty something who sees them as a meal ticket, you will need something to fall back on

I think this comment is quite ironic. Alternatively, the husband, after years of supporting a "cocklodger" may find somebody with a similar work ethic and interests who loves him for himself and not the lifestyle he can provide.

NearTheWindmill Thu 09-Jan-14 08:57:18

Lion I think it's your phrase "train them up" that makes me sad. We chose to educate our children to give them the widest choice available to them and close as few doors as possible. They will be very comfortable whatever they chose to do but I would hope they chose to maintain the capital they will have rather than spend it. Remember too they will get half each of what we have and if they have two or three dc each their will be further dilution. So, I hope they will both want to work and they will both have fulfilling careers. But they are free to chose them and even if one choses to follow DH's footsteps they won't have to do their first few years in a damp, cold shared flat.

I agree however it's entirely wrong to force one's dC into the inv banking, medicine, magic cirle sausage machine the way so many do.

Lioninthesun Thu 09-Jan-14 09:03:19

Near yes when I said that I was thinking of how my parents saw me (think performing seal) and how I have seen many friends being pushed into certain careers by well meaning parents. In some cases they thrive and enjoy it, in others it takes years of doing work they hate for them to suddenly sit up and realise they are unhappy and feel they have to start again. It is all a learning process, but I'd rather try not to 'train up' my kids in this way. Education is of course very important, if you want a career or not.

wordfactory Thu 09-Jan-14 09:08:50

Well that's very much my point Lion.

We can tell our boys that unpaid work is hugely valuable, that SAHMs never stop running around, that their DC will all be the better educated for it, or whatever...

But do we then go on to explain what that means for them? That they will have to make very particular choices in career, mostly driven by salary, that they will have to work long and hard, that they will always have to juggle their need to earn highly with the desire for family time?

I look at my 14 year old boy now, and am not sure I would want him to have that sort of responsibility!

Lioninthesun Thu 09-Jan-14 09:14:43

I think we can educate them as to options, but in reality perhaps your son will like being the sole earner? Maybe it will be something he finds hugely gratifying. Or maybe he will really find women who earn and have high flighting careers hugely attractive? He may want to be a stay at home dad. There are options in between, but I think your son will figure that bit out on his own.

Bonsoir Thu 09-Jan-14 09:30:11

I have girlfriends like you, wordfactory, who are ambivalent about wanting high-earning careers for their sons. They seemingly cannot bear the idea of their sons having to work too hard.

I don't understand their mindset at all. Fortunately the DSSs have not been brought up to be anything but ambitious and are definitely up for the challenge.

TheDoctrineOf2014 Thu 09-Jan-14 09:34:56

Oh, Bonsoir.

Creamycoolerwithcream Thu 09-Jan-14 09:42:09

I think its only a problem if both partners want different things. A friend of mine has her own business, I am not sure how financially successful but she seems super busy and absorbed with it. Her husband has a lowish paid job, maybe 18k. they are mid 40's. Every year she asks where i am going on holiday , i tell her and then she turns to her husband and says if you had a good job like Mr Creamy then we could go on a cruise or whatever it is. My husband and I would never say something like this to each other. I think that is more of a problem than me being a SAHM , my husband having a good job. we are both 100 % happy with this. i do all the money stuff, sorted our mortgage etc, get good deals on the utilities. we are both very apppreciative of what the other does. we have lots of policies etc if one of us was to die or get ill. i simply cant see whats wrong with that, my DH pays a massive amount of tax, we give to charity and are raising a happy family. yes i know these things can be done if i work but financially we dont need another 25k or whatever i would earn. sorry about the lack of capital letters, keyboard is playing up.

CrispyHedgeHog Thu 09-Jan-14 09:44:35

My younger self would have said no, but after a succession of cocklodgers yes it does matter.. he should at least be able to pay his own way.

QueenThora Thu 09-Jan-14 09:47:42

Bonsoir I know it's tangential but I'll just hark back to my point one last time.

I think it's good for teenagers (and younger children) to have the self-esteem that derives from being given some responsibility in the home and contributing to family life (for example by doing their own laundry or taking a turn to cook a meal).

From what understand about brain science it also has a positive effect on learning to take a break and do something physical, so it's actually especially good for them (and anyone) when revising heavily, for example.

On top of that, you are creating young adults who may be able to get a top job in law or medicine but won't know their arse from their elbow when it comes to domestic life which will make them a PITA of a spouse.

On top of that, if you don't work in order to devote your life to being a full-time skivvy and mollycoddler for teenagers, you're showing them that that is what women are for. Whatever else you say, your actions show it and it sinks in deep. So your DC – male and female - will go on to take that attitude into adulthood, perpetuating inequality.

I know I've gone slightly off-topic but I think your attitude sums up a lot of what I worry about in regard to long-term SAHMing.

QueenThora Thu 09-Jan-14 09:51:29

I say all this while taking on board that maybe kids need a parent around. But if at all possible both parents should work as flexibly as possible and both take their turn at that.

Because basically what your posts have said is "Be a SAHM, have better kids". In other words, if WOMEN (not parents) work they are failing their kids and should feel guilty.

NearTheWindmill Thu 09-Jan-14 09:51:34

We don't need my salary creamy (although it's closer to double that) but I like going to work. I love the feeling when I spend £80 on a bottle of perfume that I am entirely unaccountable. I love the purpose it gives me and I think it has been a huge benefit for the DC to have a working mother. They are more independent for it. I have met people beyond my circle and I know more about life beyond the ivory tower I could live in. If DH died tomorrow I woukd have a purpose and a life of my own to keep me going. Even though it isn't necessary I shall also have almost a full occupational pension when I retire - that's half my present income at least from 65 until I die (long lived family on my side). Far better to fund hair and make-up and holidays from that than from capital.

QueenThora Thu 09-Jan-14 09:56:00

I totally know what you mean Creamy. I don't always have a lot of spare income but when I do I just love going shopping, for me, with my money, unaccountable to anyone. Both DP and I contribute to the joint pot and have our own private accounts. That is MY money and it's a great feeling. If we had decided I should stay off work F-T with preschoolers I could just about handle shared finances temporarily, though I wouldn't like it – technically I can see that that would legitimately be my money too, but it would never feel the same.

QueenThora Thu 09-Jan-14 09:56:21

Bugger I meant Windmill not Creamy.

Creamycoolerwithcream Thu 09-Jan-14 10:01:45

I underderstand all that NearTheWindmill and am pleased you are doing what you want with your life. I am too. I dont think it makes one right and better and one wrong or worse.
teenagers can be independent and helpful with a SAHM. Mine have lots of jobs ets, they do moan about them but i think thats normal.

LibraryBook Thu 09-Jan-14 10:06:55

I'm struggling to think of anything less attractive than an ambitious person. grin

Is it not better to glide effortlessly through working life and reserve energy for family life, theatre, dinner, friends, etc. DH is successful but he's never broken into a sweat about it. I actually think he's more successful because he doesn't let the tail wag the dog.

I think we all need to be less ambitious in the workplace but more personally ambitious.

wordfactory Thu 09-Jan-14 10:12:49

Oh Bonsoir you do make yourself sound dafter and dafter grin.

You know full well how high my expectations are for my son and my daughter and how ambitious they both are. Not altogether surprising given how ambitious and successful their father is. And me, to an extent. So far neither chuild gives me cause for concern wink.

But that is blindingly obviously different from bringing up a child to think they need to live their life in a certain very contrained way simply because they are male.

pickledsiblings Thu 09-Jan-14 10:23:09

Wordfactory, I can see where you are coming from re: sons with high earning careers consequently having 'to juggle their need to earn highly with the desire for family time'.

This is especially true in the early years. There may be some men who are happy to miss out on the DC's bedtime routine but there are also some who cherish that time with their DC. Just like lots of young DC love a parent (even better if mummy and daddy can be there) to be at the school gate at the end of the day, many also love both parents to bath them/tuck them in/read them a story/sing them a lullaby.

Ideally, even parents in high earning careers would get home by the DC's bedtime and make up the hours working from home whilst the DC sleep.

wordfactory Thu 09-Jan-14 10:29:45

pickled and of course ther's travelling.

Many highly paid jobs require travel. And not everyone likes that. And it certainly eats into the time one spends at home.

DH is a very good man, who never complains. Very stoic. His view is that for the silly money he takes home, he can't expect to 'have it all.' But I'm not sure it's fair to expect that all men will feel like that.

In reality, the chances are my DS will enter into a highly paid profession. At the moment he's toying with studying economics. But I don't think it's right that he feels that's his duty IYSWIM. Not if I'm on the otherhand telling his twin sister that being a SAHM is perfectly valid.

motherinferior Thu 09-Jan-14 10:29:54

Oh, no, pickledsiblings, I totally disagree. If you do that you've got no life bar work and kids. Too many women work in that way already - and the temptation for me, as a freelancer, is to do that too. I think we need delineations between work and the other bits of our lives, or it all gets into a terrible jumble when you're never really away from the boss.

SliceOfLime Thu 09-Jan-14 10:47:13

No it doesn't matter to me what DH earns. Even though, right now, he works very hard in a very high earning job and I am a SAHM. I did the same job before having dd and had similar earnings, I am very well qualified and if I needed to get a job tomorrow, I hope I could find something, even if not close to my former salary. The way things are financially work out well for us at the moment but ever since I left my job, I have been totally clear with DH that if out circumstances changed and he lost his job or was I'll or whatever, we are a team and will deal with it together, and if that meant just me working, or both of us working, that's what we would do. He is happy with that and so am I.

pickledsiblings Thu 09-Jan-14 10:49:48

But mother inferior they are young for such a short time. My point is that it would be both parents doing/sharing the bedtime routine for the first few years of their DC's lives. Plenty of time to work late at the office when they're busy with homework in the evenings and will still be up when you get back.

motherinferior Thu 09-Jan-14 10:52:07

They're young for about six years. And that's only if you've got one child, or twins. A long bloody time to have no work-life balance at all, I really think.

motherinferior Thu 09-Jan-14 10:52:59

Too many women already 'make up the hours while their children sleep'. It's not doing those women any good. One needs a life, beyond parenting and money-earning. And I like my job. (And my children, actually, as well.)

CalamitouslyWrong Thu 09-Jan-14 10:58:20

I think actually the world would be better if jobs had sensible hours. Honestly, if your employer genuinely think you need you be working 60 or 70 hours every week, they aren't employing enough people. Two people could have jobs with reasonable hours instead.

I think my main problem is with the idea that women should choose whether they want to work or not, but that men are expected to earn lots to facilitate that choice. Why don't men get the choice too? I think some of the posts on here have been imported from the Victorian age.

Bonsoir Thu 09-Jan-14 11:07:12

"Because basically what your posts have said is "Be a SAHM, have better kids". In other words, if WOMEN (not parents) work they are failing their kids and should feel guilty."

Yes, that is exactly what I think smile. And exactly what I see from the many, many families around me.

With the proviso that I think my definition of SAHM does not mean that (a) you cannot have all sort of things going in your life apart from home/DC (including earning work) providing that you can put those things aside to support your family when it needs it (b) men cannot be the SAHP (but most men don't want to be and most women don't want to be breadwinner to a SAHD as far as I can see) (c) it is parents who need to feel guilty together when they fail to support their DC adequately.

I don't think that bringing your DC up with high standards of care means that they don't learn to look after themselves but quite the contrary: when they have been well cared for, they know what a well-run household and well-cared for family look like and are able to maintain those standards themselves. Anecdotally, the only student in my DSS1's student flat at university this year who failed to care for himself (and had to move into catered accommodation mid-way through first term) was the son of two Cambridge GPs who had clearly been living in chaos at home and reproduced that same chaos (to the disgust of his flatmates) at university.

wordfactory Thu 09-Jan-14 11:07:37

calamitous that would be lovely.

I often think it would be nice if DH could reduce his hours by a third and take a corresponding pay cut. But sadly, his business just doesn't work that way.

And yes he could employ more staff, all of whom earned less and worked less hours but they wouldn't want that. They want the filthy lucre grin.

Creamycoolerwithcream Thu 09-Jan-14 11:10:18

I think it happens the other way around. Often one partner is already earning a lot and then as a couple there is a discussion and the other one leaves work. In my case it was a gradual process. We needed 2 incomes when we younger and then I worked less as my DH's salary rose. I dont know that this would have happened if we earnt a simular amount. Then my DS started to have extremely seviere seizures and was diagnosed with epilepsy and as a family and a couple it was a joint decision for me to be a SAHM and for husband to continue in his career he loves and moved 100's of miles away from where he grew up to be able to do.

Bonsoir Thu 09-Jan-14 11:10:57

wordfactory - I think you are projecting female values on men.

Most male breadwinners much prefer their life to any other. Indeed, my brother-in-law, who is extremely ill (dying), would much rather work FT in his last few months/years than stay at home with his family. He loves his children (very much) but his life is his work.

Crowler Thu 09-Jan-14 11:11:34

I'm not crazy about my boys "choosing" a high-flying career to which they're not suited to fund a SAHM & a hectic, expensive existence. If that's what they want then fine.

My husband makes way more than I do. It's not always been that way, he was a PhD candidate in archaeology when we met (so it wasn't looking great). He's a lot smarter than I am & has done much better career-wise. I'm also primary care-giver.

CalamitouslyWrong Thu 09-Jan-14 11:14:59

'Female values' hmm

Crowler Thu 09-Jan-14 11:17:20

Bonsoir there is no way that you can know that most career men would choose the same path in the absence of a SAHM-wife. I reckon this is a fairly lonely & stressful existence at times.

wordfactory Thu 09-Jan-14 11:25:56

Bonsoir I think your beliefs regarding SAHMs are built to support the particular circumstances in which you find yourself. Unsuprisingly you see positive confirmation of your paradigm all around you. This is natural, but often falsely comforting.

I suspect the reasons why you need to be a SAHM are various.

1. You want to be a SAHM. You enjoy domesticity. This is the single best reason.

2. You did not much enjoy your previous career. Perfectly valid.

3. You find yourself in France where the education system is shoddy and feel the need to make up the difference to what you'd be getting if you were bringing your DD up in the UK. Understandable.

4. Your DH has very high standards about the upbringing of his DC but won't/can't do it himself (eg picking up his DC at lunchtime).

5. You have very high standards for your home and domestic life but your DH and DC will not help out.

6. In France women are expected to do far too much and be far too many things. And you don't want to join that silly treadmill. I wouldn't either.

But here's the thing. We don't all walk in your shoes. Our circumstances are different. So what needs to happen for family life to work well will not be the same.

All it takes is a little bit of imagination to see how that might be grin.

And with that, I must do my tax returns which, sadly, my DC are not yet old enough to do for me...but I will train 'em. grin.

Bonsoir Thu 09-Jan-14 11:36:31

wordfactory - some of those reasons are true, and some are not true. I'm not going to write an essay in response wink.

My DP does do lunchtimes with the DC - he is doing one at this very moment (I am at home). And all my family help out at home. However, the children are not expected to take care of themselves on their own (this is very important IMO).

It is not currently fashionable to adhere to the importance of good household and family management. People are supposed to be able to care for themselves these days, or care is outsourced to low-paid low-skilled workers. This is what I disagree with most. I think all those things are highly important for human welfare and are difficult to outsource effectively without great cost, psychologically, emotionally, intellectually, to children's development (and to the well being of their parents)

I am not subject to the whims of fashion and care little whether or not my lifestyle is popular with the wider world. It is the one I believe in and that would be true wherever I lived.

Leavenheath Thu 09-Jan-14 11:40:54

Completely agree with motherinferior. I wish women would see their lives in the round more, in the way that men have always been encouraged to.

A life that was just about work, marriage and kids would be very dull indeed for me personally, much as I love all three. It's always been very important to me to have time for friendships, learning something new, volunteering and hobbies.

WRT to the thread question, it didn't bother me at all what a prospective partner earned when I was dating because it seemed irrelevant. My financial independence was sacred to me and I knew if I was able to work, I always would.

Once we had big financial commitments and children, if either of us had wanted to do something that would have meant a big drop in income, it would have mattered and would have merited discussion, because our financial commitments have always been so onerous and there are things we would have been loathe to give up. There have certainly been times when we've both wanted to change jobs or working hours to be happier- and we've supported those choices in the other. A combination of luck and a shared characteristic of wanting to make a success of whatever we do has fortunately never meant a major drop in income and occasionally taking those risks has actually meant a rise, long term.

Like others, I have seen contemporaries of mine who've never secured their financial independence, in dire straits in middle age. Not only because of their husbands buggering off with an OW, but because of marriages running out of steam and ending either by mutual agreement or because one of them has had enough. I also know a few people who feel trapped in terrible relationships but because they've lost earning power, simply cannot afford to be single.

While there is still a ludicrous pay-gap between men and women, it frustrates me that so many women still step out of the workplace for years without making provision if life circumstances change.

It also bemuses me that I see so many women whose lives are all about work, kids and husband while their husbands manage to pursue all manner of hobbies and interests. It's fine if that is truly your choice and we all want different things in life, but when I see the gender imbalance so starkly illustrated, I have to think this is political to some extent seeing as there's no evidence to suggest women are born with an innate dislike of hobbies or special interests, or that men are born to love golf, go-karting or the territorial army...

One acquaintance said to me 'I like to be at home when I'm not at work. I don't feel the need for a hobby' to which I enquired that if something outside the home really grabbed her, how easy would it be to pursue it?

'Oh my husband wouldn't want to look after the kids at night on his own after a hard day's work, so no that would be impractical'

Not a free choice then.

[anger]

SliceOfLime Thu 09-Jan-14 11:54:51

For those talking about their DCs future jobs and reasons for choosing them, I don't think anyone initially chooses their career based on their possible future spouse / family do they?! When you're at university / school you choose to study something that interests you, go on to look for jobs in that field, and then later on meet someone and have kids - I don't know anyone that chose their career based on whether or not they would need to support a family later. Once kids have arrived, that's when you re-assess circumstances and maybe think twice about changing jobs, as that's when you have many more financial commitments.

pickledsiblings Thu 09-Jan-14 11:58:29

'Bonsoir I think your beliefs regarding SAHMs are built to support the particular circumstances in which you find yourself. Unsuprisingly you see positive confirmation of your paradigm all around you. '

This is natural, but often falsely comforting.

I would like to add to this that not only can it be falsely comforting but when it comes to giving advice to other people who's circumstances are wildly different it can be insulting/damaging.

Seeing a 'positive confirmation of your paradigm all around you starts' first with convincing yourself. I'm not saying that's a bad thing, just that a little more transparency would be useful. As well as a bit of putting yourself in someone else's shoes in the broadest sense i.e. if you were them, with their particular set of circumstances/constraints.

Creamycoolerwithcream Thu 09-Jan-14 11:59:18

I haver never noticed women having less hobbies than men, I guess it depends on your group of friends. My interests are swimming, sewing club, horse riding, seeing friends. DH likes gym and playing computer games, football games with DS or his friends.

Bonsoir Thu 09-Jan-14 12:03:13

"I don't know anyone that chose their career based on whether or not they would need to support a family later."

Really???! That is the very first consideration that we discuss with our DC when they are choosing what to study at university. No medicine! (doctors are paupers in France).

Leavenheath Thu 09-Jan-14 12:04:15

Well when it came to my own career decisions when younger, yes I did assume it would have to earn enough for me to support a family and the lifestyle I wanted. My aim was to find something I loved doing, that paid well.

I know that this was because of not having enough money to go around as a child and seeing a clever mum who wasn't given the opportunities to earn a high salary. I'm forever grateful that she drummed into me the importance of grabbing opportunities and being financially independent, which is also something we've passed on to all of our kids, regardless of gender.

Leavenheath Thu 09-Jan-14 12:14:53

Good grief I don't think I've got any friends who don't lead full lives, health permitting.

But I meet lots of people around and about and like most people, know lots of women who are passing acquaintances who I'll chat to. The woman I'm referring to whose husband wouldn't look after his own kids in the evening lives in our town, but is not a close friend.

AuldAlliance Thu 09-Jan-14 12:15:19

"doctors are paupers in France"

Bonsoir, you do know that you live on an entirely different planet to almost the whole of the rest of France, to say the least, don't you?
When you make inaccurate, sweeping statements like that one, you undermine the relevance of anything else you might write.

SliceOfLime Thu 09-Jan-14 12:16:31

I can see that salary is a consideration, I just mean for say an 18 year old deciding what to study at university, it's not the main thing I.e the thought process doesn't start with: "what are the best paying jobs around?" Then follow onto "what do I enjoy?" Maybe it does for some people but not for everyone. Leavenheath when I was a teenager we also had difficult financial circumstances but it didn't result in the same thought process - although I did end up with a very well paid job so I'm not trying to take some kind of moral high ground smile just surprised that supporting a family would be such a strong concern at a relatively young age. I think I came away with the view that you could still have a happy healthy family even without much money, so not to focus on that.

AuldAlliance Thu 09-Jan-14 12:19:57

In 2009, the average monthly salary for a French GP was 6148 euros.

For a radiologist, according to this article from 2012, it was 12424 euros/mth.

It may be less now, due to a hike in various charges and taxes, but to describe someone earning that amount as a pauper is just silly.

Bonsoir Thu 09-Jan-14 12:22:55

Not salary, AA - doctors in France are self-employed. That is income, before costs.

And older doctors are free to set their charges in a way that younger doctors are not, and will never be. Look at what the younger (under 40) generation of doctors make versus what the older generation. " C'est une profession en voie de paupérisation" was what people were saying 15 years ago. It has now happened.

Leavenheath Thu 09-Jan-14 12:26:21

We've been- and are still going through- those university/career chats with our kids and with all of them, earning power and doing something they'll enjoy have been/are fairly equal considerations. They all assume they'll work throughout their lives and that if a break or downshift is required or chosen, they must make provision for it if life circumstances change.

It's been helpful to sit around the kitchen table over dinner talking about some of the women especially we all know who are up the creek without a paddle because of relationship breakdowns, men's job losses or bereavement. Not in a gossipy way, but with a sympathetic tone about the crock of shite those women were sold when young that life won't include curve-balls when you're least expecting them.

Creamycoolerwithcream Thu 09-Jan-14 12:26:46

My aunt and my friend both said to their sons who thought they may want to be teachers to choose another higher paid career instead. I thought that was sad.

Leavenheath Thu 09-Jan-14 12:29:48

It's terribly sad if the assumption behind that was that they'd have to be the sole breadwinners throughout their lives and/or if they'd have given different advice to their daughters.

Bonsoir Thu 09-Jan-14 12:30:45

Why is sad? Why all this sentimentality about career choices?

Creamycoolerwithcream Thu 09-Jan-14 12:33:41

No sad because I think my cousin would have made a great teacher, his sister is a solicitor so I don't think it was because of the breadwinner thing.

motherinferior Thu 09-Jan-14 12:35:56

I think it's rather sad if you want to do one job and you're told by your parents that you can't because it isn't paid enough. Work and careers take up lots of our lives. It's a pity not to do something that really grabs you.

brusslesprout Thu 09-Jan-14 12:36:35

My Dad wanted me to be a hairdresser and he's been bald since he was 27!

motherinferior Thu 09-Jan-14 12:37:11

Mind you any right-thinking young person just goes off and does it anyway...maybe not straight away, but most of us don't stick in the grooves dictated to us by our parents. Not if they've brought us up properly to be independent thinkers.

WipsGlitter Thu 09-Jan-14 12:41:06

bonsoir "when they have been well cared for, they know what a well-run household and well-cared for family look like and are able to maintain those standards themselves."

Do you not think that families where one parent/both parents work can't have well run houses and well cared for families?

Bonsoir Thu 09-Jan-14 12:44:19

WipsGlitter - I think it's much, much harder. Not that having a SAHP is a guarantee that they work hard at it, mind you!

WipsGlitter Thu 09-Jan-14 12:45:21

Work hard at what? Parenting?

Bonsoir Thu 09-Jan-14 12:48:18

Managing their household, their families, bringing up their DC.

NearTheWindmill Thu 09-Jan-14 12:49:12

I want my children to do jobs that make them happy. Be those jobs journalism, teaching, law, accountancy, medicine, nursing, occupational therapy, banking, advertising, architecture, etc..

I find it very sad that in the UK the trades: plumbing, electricians, builders, hairdressing, floristry, policemen, etc are so undervalued and that by undervaluing the jobs there is a vicarious under valuing of the people doing them.

I've no idea what my DC will do apart from the fact that one is right brain wired and one left so they will probably chose different paths. Ultimately I think they will be good people if they never undervalue anyone else's chosen or imposed path. I hope also that they will work hard and be responsible - we can influence that but we can't ensure it.

Leavenheath Thu 09-Jan-14 12:52:08

Ah so you mean that teaching was regarded by those women as low-status and low-earning? How awful...

We've honestly tried to strike a balance between the 'all you need is love (of job/partner/kids)' philosophy and being pragmatic and realistic about how difficult life is without enough money to support yourself. We've also encouraged them to do their own research and talk to people in various careers. There are so many myths and outdated views about how much a job really earns, or how appealing and interesting it is in actuality.

We've also stressed that what they choose now doesn't have to set in stone and that the career you choose in your twenties isn't necessarily what you'll be doing at 40 or 50 or...70 if the government has anything to do with it wink

WipsGlitter Thu 09-Jan-14 12:54:03

Really? I work but manage a household well, clean, tidy, home cooked food. Look after my children, engage them in a range of activities, bring them up to have manners etc. And have my own life as well.

Conversely, I see some of the SAHMs running to school late, houses total chaos, etc. Not all of them obviously.

I think when you have the discipline of work it means that you have to be disciplined and organised in all the areas of your life; I need to be at work at the agreed time so I have to make sure my children are at school at the right time. So we're organised and are never late.

As with all of these arguments it's impossible to have black and white - some SAHPs are well organised, focused and committed, some are a shambles. Same goes for parents who work outside the home.

Do you think that parents who stay at home may over invest in their children and families though?

CaptainHindsight Thu 09-Jan-14 12:54:54

Bonsoir Do full time working parents not work even harder to do all those things and hold down a full time profession?

Creamycoolerwithcream Thu 09-Jan-14 12:59:44

Yes I believe these women undervalued teaching.

motherinferior Thu 09-Jan-14 13:01:08

I have no idea what a 'well-run household' means, in all honesty, but my children are fed reasonable food (by both parents), the repairs (eventually) get done, the washing gets done (by their father), and we've all survived...

ComposHat Thu 09-Jan-14 13:01:21

What exactly does managing a household and a fanily involve on a practical level bonsoir, especially once children are of school age.? What 'managing' is there to do once you've wanged some somestos down the loo, paid a gasbill and run the hoover around y'kno the stuff you fit around the rest of your life?

motherinferior Thu 09-Jan-14 13:02:13

I feel Mr Hat and I share domestic values grin

Leavenheath Thu 09-Jan-14 13:07:06

Well I agree with you that's sad then. Mind you, the teachers I know feel massively undervalued by the current government and so theirs is not a happy lot. But thank Christ for them. An inspirational teacher who loves what he/she does is worth their weight in gold and it's astonishing (to me) that some people don't value it as a profession. Or that some people don't value trades.

ComposHat Thu 09-Jan-14 13:11:02

Ah yes mother. Everything that needs to get done gets done. No one has starved, the utilities haven't been cut off and no one has caught an e.coli bug.

I am genuinely bemused how you can spin housework into an all day everyday activity.

brusslesprout Thu 09-Jan-14 13:11:15

NearTheWindmill Never undervalue someone's chosen path... I like that advice.

I worked in a supermarket before I got my professional job and it was a damn lot harder than working in an office, I always think that these kind of jobs are underpaid and find it very unjust. Brains before Brawn and all that.

Leavenheath Thu 09-Jan-14 13:19:44

I think there's a massive difference between jobs that are chosen as a result of true free will and those that are dictated by circumstances. My belief is that few choices are made in a vacuum and are the product of decisions enforced on us by things like gender/financial circumstances/educational opportunities...amongst others.

So it was interesting to see the list of trades mentioned and how many of the high-earning ones are over-represented by men doing them.

Creamycoolerwithcream Thu 09-Jan-14 13:20:45

I found this when my DS left school 9 years ago. He's done 4 different jobs and 2 college courses. When he was doing the not so highly regarded jobs there were lots of comments especially from DH's side of the family. Then we kind of found his feet and got a different job after doing an IT course at college the comments have stopped, in fact they don't even ask how he's doing any more. All my DH and I did was offer our support and chat to him if wanted us to. I wasn't worried about him chopping and changing as I thought to myself he's a lovely boy with really good people skills and still quite young.

Custardo Thu 09-Jan-14 13:25:43

it is not the money, but the lack of ambition in relation to capability which pisses me off

DH is very capable and should be more senior. he works in the public sector - shit pay, never any pay rises - not even in line with inflation.

no options for promotion

always thinking his department will suffer cuts.

I constantly pass him jobs that he is more than capable of doing, and he never fills in an application.

that I earn more than him doesn't matter practically because its all one pot of money

It would be easier if he could get a better paid job

HOWEVER, he is very happy, very well respected in his field - and what price happiness? I have been very unhappy at work and would happily take less pay to be happy appreciated and fulfilled

motherinferior Thu 09-Jan-14 13:32:44

And it's my turn to agree with Levenheath. Totally agree: our choices are far more circumscribed than we think.

Logg1e Thu 09-Jan-14 13:38:37

I still do not understand what bonsoir does all day, being a stay-at-home-mum to teenaged, stepchildren in full time education.

I think it's sad, bonsoir that you wouldn't encourage your stepson if he wanted to read medicine, on the basis that he wouldn't be a high earner and therefore able to keep your daughter-in-law in the manner to which you yourself are accustomed.

Lioninthesun Thu 09-Jan-14 13:40:47

I caught up with a few posts but not all.
Why aren't people telling their sons they can be stay at home dads?
If you tell your daughter it is fine to be a SAHM then you should be saying similar to your sons. This might influence whether they look for a high flying career driven woman! Women who would love to return to their career and not put their baby into a nursery. It works both ways. You can't however expect your son to get the best/highly paid job in the world and then also be able to take a year off or more with his kids, just as much as high flying women struggle to do this currently. It maybe isn't fair, but it is the way it is and to not inform your sons of this choice is a little unfair.

Creamycoolerwithcream Thu 09-Jan-14 13:42:50

Logg1e, she probably does Mumsnet, same as us.

AuldAlliance Thu 09-Jan-14 13:44:51

Bonsoir, the Nouvel Obs article's figures are before tax but "toutes charges payées." The article itself specifies that self-employed doctors, taking all specialisations into account, earn average pre-tax income of almost 9000e/mth, after costs."

I fail to see how that makes them poverty-stricken.

The top-earning 25% of radiologists earn close to 30,000 euros/mth. Some people earn that or less in a year and are still not paupers, sensu stricto. Or even sensu lato or amplo, for that matter.

<<I know, the thread has moved on. My goat was got, though.>>

Leavenheath Thu 09-Jan-14 13:51:20

Why aren't people telling their sons they can be stay at home dads?

They are.

We have.

We've also discussed other options, such as both parents working part-time, both working full-time but not long hours, freelancing and WFH options, not becoming parents at all and not choosing a partner for life.

When talking about SAH parenthood though, we've suggested they consider making financial provision for themselves if life doesn't turn out how they expected it to be, that's all.

motherinferior Thu 09-Jan-14 13:54:38

My chevre aussi.

Lioninthesun Thu 09-Jan-14 13:56:25

Leaven that's OK then - I saw Word's post about telling her DD and how it seemed unfair - which it would be!

wordfactory Thu 09-Jan-14 13:56:41

Tax return done!

I'm sorely tempted to pin a shirt to it, with the words 'take it all' written in blood.

But I too am wondering what I'm meant to be doing about domesticity and my DC's education and all that stuff.

Both my DC left the house at 7.45. And I won't see either of them for ages. DS is going to some lecture at the LSE with his Dad after school and I have to collect DD at 7pm after a lacrosse match.

Why shouldn't I spend some of this time earning cash? Why on earth should that make me feel guilty?

Bonsoir Thu 09-Jan-14 13:57:35

AA - I suspect you don't know many doctors (or families of doctors where several generations are in the profession) to have such little understanding of the position of doctors in France today.

Lazyjaney Thu 09-Jan-14 13:57:58

"Why aren't people telling their sons they can be stay at home dads?"

Judging by this thread, because many women won't touch them....been quite an eye opener, this thread has!

Main reason though is the same one I wouldn't advise my daughter to aim for a life as a SAHM - puts you in a position of financial dependence and reduces freedom to choose options.

Bonsoir Thu 09-Jan-14 14:01:00

If you are able to be available for your DC as and when you need to be, wordfactory (and you are, because you are able to buy expensive full-service education and domestic help as and when required and your DC are not at a critical age) there is no need to feel guilty, none at all. But please don't present your situation as typical of most women in the UK. You are disingenuous to do so.

Custardo Thu 09-Jan-14 14:03:18

the SAHP v the WOHP argument gets on my nerves at it invariably misses the crucial point that the majority of people work because they have to

ergo

there is little or no choice.

if I did have a choice ( which I don't) I would choose to work as I do honestly think that being a SAHP whilst the children are at school - especially teenagers is a cop out

Custardo Thu 09-Jan-14 14:04:49

Furthermore, I have not discussed the option of being a SAHP with my grown men children because I do expect them to work, I expect their partners to work also

Unless they marry into money, which is not likely as we don't move in those circles

wordfactory Thu 09-Jan-14 14:09:12

Bonsoir I haver never| said my situation is typical.

My whole point is that each family is individual. I know that in France people are highly conformist and many families run to a theme, but in the UK it's not like that.

Each one skips to its own rhythm. Forges its own way.

That's why it's absurd to make statements like yours; that women should be SAHMs and feel guilty if they're not. That their families suffer if they don't stay at home.

Creamycoolerwithcream Thu 09-Jan-14 14:10:52

If you expect everyone to work then what has marrying into money got to do with it?

wordfactory Thu 09-Jan-14 14:13:02

custardo that's the way I figure it.

Most families have two working parents. Because they have to. Most of them have perfectly lovely DC.

Tis not rocket science.

Custardo Thu 09-Jan-14 14:13:27

in the context of working for money because most people don't have a choice

a choice is supposed if there is oodles of money

hope that clarifies the situation

noddyholder Thu 09-Jan-14 14:13:57

What is managing a household? Bonsoir you are giving what you do elevated status considering its what most of us do every day.

AuldAlliance Thu 09-Jan-14 14:14:39

Bonsoir, I know half a dozen doctors/dentists/dermatologists, two of whom come from families with medical backgrounds stretching back several generations.
None of them are paupers and none would ever think of using such a term to describe their life.

I work in a field where, as you know, income has fallen drastically over the past decades while working conditions have got worse.
While my colleagues are all in agreement that we are grossly underpaid, none would consider themselves poverty-stricken. We earn enough to house, clothe and feed our children, own and run a car and even to go on holiday and eat out from time to time.
We are not rich, but nor are we paupers.

Creamycoolerwithcream Thu 09-Jan-14 14:18:21

Custardo so is it a cop out not to work if children are teenagers and you have oodles of money or only if you don't have oodles of money?

Bonsoir Thu 09-Jan-14 14:20:16

And do you know what it is like for a doctor who wishes to set up a practice today, AA? What their living and working conditions are like? Why large swathes of France are a désert médical with mairies subsidising the importation of practitioners from Eastern Europe and Africa? Or has that conveniently passed you by in your misguided belief that doctors are doing better than you?

Custardo Thu 09-Jan-14 14:21:03

in the context of working for money because most people don't have a choice

a choice is supposed if there is oodles of money

hope that clarifies the situation

motherinferior Thu 09-Jan-14 14:23:07

And picking up from WF: gender roles are becoming increasingly flexible in all sorts of ways. What about lesbian co-parents? Transmen who give birth? And in reality, most 'blended families', where step-kids are involved, have a lot of different earning patterns (you've said your DSS's mother works...)

lainiekazan Thu 09-Jan-14 14:35:03

I have been with dh since we were very young, and money didn't really matter to us then. We have jogged along through times of feast and famine.

BUT - if I were to be on the look-out for dh#2, I guess I would hope for a certain income. This is certainly true of friends of mine. One friend has just broken up with someone because he just didn't have the same assets as she does. And it's not a gender thing, either. Male friends looking for luurve second (or third) time around are certainly not looking to rescue Cinderelllas. They expect a future partner to bring an equal share to the table.

AuldAlliance Thu 09-Jan-14 14:37:50

Bonsoir, I am not denying that medicine is increasingly hard and unrewarding, especially for GPs starting out in rural areas, and especially given the competitiveness, length and cost of medical studies.
Some doctors are doing better than I, some are not.
I am not labouring under any misguided apprehensions as to our comparative situations and claiming that because doctors earn more than I do they are not paupers (though that doesn't seem far wrong, TBH).
I was merely pointing out that "pauper" is an inaccurate term to use in this context, as it would also be were it used to describe a profession like mine, where average earnings are far lower.
However hard things may be for those in the medical profession in France today, few doctors are literally poverty-stricken, extremely poor or even very poor. That is what "pauper" means.
In the current economic climate it is inexact and insensitive to describe them thus.
I shall step away from this thread now, as I have nothing to add and fear a derailment.

TheDoctrineOf2014 Thu 09-Jan-14 14:38:11

My understanding is that there are tax breaks available in France for SAHPs and dependent children, making it a little easier to stretch a single salary. Both partners working in the uk is way more tax efficient than one earning twice as much.

Bonsoir Thu 09-Jan-14 14:43:32

You are absolutely right. It is much more tax efficient to have a single high-earner in France.

Creamycoolerwithcream Thu 09-Jan-14 15:33:26

In England you completely lose your tax free allowance if you earn over a certain amount.

TheDoctrineOf2014 Thu 09-Jan-14 15:55:10

Above £100k you lose £1 allowance for every £2 of income.

Another reason to have two good earners not one very high earner, if that's an option.

freakingoutabit Thu 09-Jan-14 16:17:22

Yes, and tax rate over £150k is 45% so for example two earning £100k each will be better than one earning £200k, but of course there are other factors to consider and people rarely make the decision on this alone.

ComposHat Thu 09-Jan-14 16:49:49

I still do not understand what bonsoir does all day, being a stay-at-home-mum to teenaged, stepchildren in full time education.

This is puzzling me too. Unless she lives in a home the size of Chatsworth, I fail to see how much 'household management' one home needs.

Given that a good proportion of today has been spent on mumsnet, I am worried that chez bonsoir is going chronically under-managed.

I am prepared to be convinced otherwise, if Bonsoir can talk us through a typical day.

Creamycoolerwithcream Thu 09-Jan-14 17:03:30

I think Bonsoir has a maximum of two and three quarter hours a day without children so I'm sure she has plenty to do and what does it matter if she doesn't. Can't see how a family runs is of concern to anyone else.

ComposHat Thu 09-Jan-14 17:07:11

No, but she is busily telling everyone else that their domestic arrangements are inferior to hers and damaging to their children.

She seems to talk a good game, but her daily routine seems to consist of a few school pick ups and drop offs and making lunch, followed by standing over her kids whilst they do their homework.

Creamycoolerwithcream Thu 09-Jan-14 17:14:20

Oh ok I see. I just read it between the lines that she gets all the jobs/errands out of the way so they have the weekends or evenings free.

Logg1e Thu 09-Jan-14 17:45:47

It's none of our business Cream and I understand why bonsoir has ignored the question so far. However, in this house we both work full time and manage to raise our children and, er, manage our household and have hobbies and quality time with the children.

I'm genuinely interested in how bonsoir fills the 40+ hours a week that I spend working, on "household management" and the care of teenage stepchildren who are in full time education.

Creamycoolerwithcream Thu 09-Jan-14 17:54:58

To be fair I didn't really read many of her posts after she said about DC not needing to help out at home. I always do this if I know I'm going to completely not understand where somewhere is coming from.
Great thread though. I said up thread I spend my days with friends, doing house stuff and going to the gym. I thought I was going to get slated for that.

Logg1e Thu 09-Jan-14 17:57:31

Why don't you work cream? (Am thinking that there are lots of reasons why people don't work).

Creamycoolerwithcream Thu 09-Jan-14 18:08:49

It's a mixture of things really. I kind of prefer the studying to actual work. I have a degree in Sociology (which I loved doing) which I studied for when DS1 started school. Then I got married and had 2 more DC very quickly. When the youngest I got a job as a home care assistant which I really enjoyed. I seem to like helping people/doing stuff for people etc. Then my DH started working away and working my fair share of evening and weekend jobs became very difficult and were commented on by my team. So I reduced my hours, around the same time we went through an awful time where DS3 started having seizures and was eventually diagnosed with epilepsy. I thought the best thing was knock the working on the head. My DH is a very good earner and I literally used my money for mini breaks, gym and I saved some towards a special holiday. So then I started day trading at home and because I have a love for numbers got quite into it and made money for some more holidays. That's it really.

Logg1e Thu 09-Jan-14 18:21:17

That's really interesting, and has made me question why I work and why I don't even consider not working.

FreakoidOrganisoid Thu 09-Jan-14 18:37:31

Apologies as I haven't read the thread. But in answer to the Op, no, how much he earns doesn't matter to me. But what does matter is money sense and work ethic.

Rosencrantz Thu 09-Jan-14 18:39:01

I'd like them to match me I think. I wouldn't want my quality of life to be reduced, or have to support someone else. Equality and the ability for both partners to always have financial independence (ie, freedom to leave) is very important to me.

Logg1e Thu 09-Jan-14 18:40:05

420 posts in Freakoid it won't surprise you to hear that that point has been made. Repeatedly.

TheDoctrineOf2014 Thu 09-Jan-14 18:40:15

Freedom to leave is flattering - if you are free to leave but choose every day to stay, that's a really positive thing I think.

GarlicReturns Thu 09-Jan-14 18:42:31

Making money with day trading is work, though.

Rosencrantz Thu 09-Jan-14 18:44:32

I think so too Doctrine.

I'd hate to think someone was trapped in a relationship with me because they couldn't afford not to be.

likeit Thu 09-Jan-14 19:03:08

Didn't attract me to him initially no. Him earning what he does enables me to stay at home though and we have a very nice lifestyle so does make things easier .. Happier maybe, as we don't have financial struggles which a lot of couples may have disagreements about.

FreakoidOrganisoid Thu 09-Jan-14 20:48:31

My apologies Logg1e. Although my understanding of the OP was that she wanted to know how we personally felt about it so really it shouldn't matter whether my point has already been made by others or not.

MoJangled Thu 09-Jan-14 21:24:31

Have just read the whole thread with great interest.

It seems to me that, the more freedom an individual has (in terms of choice over work), and the more general agreement in the partnership over work ethics, child care etc, the less it matters to the posters whether their partner earns more or not. This seems to be equally true for those who earn loads with a SAHP and those who are the SAHP and those who share earning and home-making.

Flip side, those with less choice over work, and a less close values match with their DP, feel more strongly about it, again from all ends of the spectrum from those who can't work hating their dependence to those who feel trapped as the breadwinner.

So OP (if you're still reading) I'd say if you're unhappy about the amount your bf earns, then it's a problem for you, in this relationship, at this time, and you're entitled to have ishoos with it based on values, choice and shared responsibilities. NB that doesn't mean telling him he has to earn more, but it does mean deciding for yourself whether this relationship is for you.

Doesn't have to be a political standpoint though, which there has been a tendency to make it into.

NearTheWindmill Thu 09-Jan-14 21:27:55

I don't know what Bonsoir does all day either. I might live in England but I also have two well cared for DC, a home in France shock, with attendant lettings to manage, have renovated our forever London over the last 12 months (in my spare time) and have now started on our old London home. I have five hours pw of cleaning and ironing outsourced, obviously builders always.

At the risk of a flaming my renovations on our new home have resulted in a capital gain of nearly £500k (in my spare time!!!) And with a favourable market - hence why DH bought me a project sight unseen [cough]. It's not a year I want to repeat but I told DH I was having a bloody good coat and pair of boots with no questions asked shock.

Puddles1234 Thu 09-Jan-14 21:56:01

NearTheWindmill In response to your earlier post in which you though it was 'sad' I have never worked at 26, that's your opinion and I beg to differ. I have the freedom in which I can go on holiday anytime I wish without the ties of a job and I have the freedom to do what I want, when I want. Also the Duchess of Cambridge has hardly had what I would call a career she worked for her parents company. I could do that if I wished. Would that constitute a career in your eyes? As it certainly doesn't to me.

I applaud any woman that does it all Children, Career and Social life. I just choose not to have the Career but have the rest.

NearTheWindmill Thu 09-Jan-14 22:17:24

That sounds terribly defensive. I hope you have a very fulfilling and rewarding life.

I might just say that if you haven't tried it you don't know if you woulkd like it. Rather like the sort of people who hate "forrin food" when obnly meat and two veg have passed their lips.

Puddles1234 Thu 09-Jan-14 22:46:57

Not defensive in the slightest. However I find it exasperating when people judge someone else's lifestyle choices.

People's circumstances are different I don't need a career, I don't need my husbands money but most people need one or both. Choosing to not work is not a passionless existence it's a choice that you make when considering your circumstances. Apologies if I come off defensive I just find the venom with regards to not having a career ridiculous.

NearTheWindmill Thu 09-Jan-14 23:03:10

Neither do I dear girl but it often helps to heed experienced advice.

Logg1e Fri 10-Jan-14 02:04:47

I think it's sad all of the things you've missed puddle - that first brown wage envelope at 15, buying something with money you've earned, especially a present for a loved one, camaraderie and battles with colleagues, interview stress for your dream job and interview success...

I don't know. I guess financial independence is such an important thing to me.

Kiwiinkits Fri 10-Jan-14 02:45:16

I like it that my DH is a high earner. I also like it that I am also a high earner and if he left me, I'd easily have enough to support myself and our children.

That said it would have been a massive turn off for me if he earned less than me when I met him. It is repulsive to me to admit that but it is the truth.

Rosencrantz Fri 10-Jan-14 04:03:00

Puddles Please don't think me rude, I am genuinely interested in your situation and may consider it for myself one day. But please may I ask you a question?

If your DH attacked you tomorrow, and you couldn't possibly stay for a second longer for fear of your safety, do you have enough money to get out of that house, travel to safety, and support yourself until you rebuild?

Rosencrantz Fri 10-Jan-14 04:03:25

(This is what I fear the most, and why I currently make sure I have my own money)

Rosencrantz Fri 10-Jan-14 04:14:39

Nevermind Puddles, I have just read that you come from inherited wealth, so you are not working due to your ability to rely on family money, rather than your partners income.

Not a situation many women have, so you understand why people are so zealous about providing for one's self?

Lweji Fri 10-Jan-14 07:31:56

Quite frankly, in Puddles situation I very much doubt that I'd work, although I would probably be involved in some kind of voluntary work.

She has her own source of income, independent of her partner.

It's people who have to rely on their partner's income that I don't understand. Unless they don't work specifically because of the children and would be financially worse off by working.
And again, if it doesn't make sense to have a very low wage and the husband is a very high earner, why not do some voluntary work?

NearTheWindmill Fri 10-Jan-14 08:10:19

My children will have inherited wealth but I still expect them to work.

Lweji Fri 10-Jan-14 08:41:41

It depends.

They should not count on an inheritance. And some people may want to increase the wealth or particularly like certain paid activities.

In any case, it could be argued that people with independent means would be taking someone else's job if they work. smile

hercules1 Fri 10-Jan-14 08:58:59

Financial independence is very important to me. I earn quite a bit more than dh but both us of could financially manage fine independently. Sorry, puddles, your life sounds wonderful but I don't think I would find any fulfillment or real meaning to it. I like that I fund my mortgage, childrens' food etc. I like having a career through which I make a difference.
I've had a job of some sort since starting at 11 with a paper round so not working is alien.
I am sure I would feel differently if I has massive amounts of family money and rich dh but I'll never know.

Dh is a fantastic father and we have an equal relationship and life. He is Aldo my best friend. These things are why I love him; money is unimportant.
However, what is important to me is an equal match in terms of values and intelligence. I feel great pity for women who have ended up with a child for a husband. Money wouldn't make that ok.

KouignAmann Fri 10-Jan-14 09:01:47

I love my job which is very well paid and part time so I have time for fun as well. DC are all grown up now!
My DP hated his job which was long hours and long commute and not highly paid. I have encouraged him to retire early and run his own business with me as an insurance. So far it is a huge success. He is relaxed and happy and catching up on the backlog of home maintenance and his business is making him very happy spending his days doing what he loves with his friends!
It's not about the money once you have enough to live on. It's about enjoying your life and reaching your potential. That's why I would worry about Puddles if she was my DD.

hercules1 Fri 10-Jan-14 09:02:33

Sorry, money is important. Between us we need to earn enough to
pay the bills. Both of us work to do this. I am not sure I would respect dh if he chose not to work through laziness and wanting to be looked after. That's where shared values comes in though. Neither of us would want to be looked after, illness aside.

LibraryBook Fri 10-Jan-14 09:34:02

Is it not a bit parochial (and odd given your DSS has chosen a UK university) to think only in terms of your DC living in France? Medicine may provide insufficient income in France but it provides a very good income in the USA, among other places.

I agree that children need to be shown the shape of functional family life. I wouldn't bet on them exactly emulating it though. There isn't one correct shape.
.

Puddles1234 Fri 10-Jan-14 11:25:17

Rosencrantz My situation is in that Me and My Husband come from very wealthy families. We met when I was at university, he proposed once I graduated. As we were planning our wedding I didn't have time to consider if I wanted to work or not as I have never had that pressure as I have my own money from trustfunds/inheritance etc. Once I was married I decided working wasn't for me as I have a busy social life and like to spend time with my husband and we are now expecting our first child so I am now busy preparing for that.

I am financially independent. Me and my Husband have a Prenuptial agreement so if we were to divorce my assets are protected.

If my situation was different I would have to consider entering the working world however my partners salary would still be of the uppermost importance.

NearTheWindmill Fri 10-Jan-14 11:48:20

If you and your husband's families are so ver wealthy why is his salary important to you though.

You do realise that capable women are able to plan weddings and babies and work don't you?

Your social life is lovely now but in 20 years you will be a lady who lunches possibly on the odd macmillan committee. I know lots of ladies like that and there's a big difference to being a socialite at 26 and 56. When your DH is CEO of something or other wouldn't you prefer his clients to want to talk to you at a function because you are part of the real world rather than as a duty, stifling a yawn about the Summer Exhibition or a ball you are organising because you are the CEO's wife.

Also why are your husbands paid earnings important to you but yours are not to him. That would concern me in the equality context and as the mother of a son and a daughter. I would be concerned for my son if he were to marry a girl like you and I can assure you that he'll be quite a catch. I hope he marries a girl with aspirations beyond his inheritance, his salary and her social life. I don't mean that to be harsh but to be realistic. I also think it very sad that you will have such limited experiences to share with your own daughters shoulkd you have them.

Re your holiday comments I think you are rather naïve. As your DH becomes more senior you wil not be able to go on holiday when you like; it will be dictated by his corporate responsibilities. Further when you have children, your holidays will be determined by term time. At least until your youngest is 7 if you are planning on boarding. Or are you thinking of sub-contracting everything to staff? I guess if you are that rich you might be.

Geckos48 Fri 10-Jan-14 11:59:58

near work might be all there is to life for you but that's not universal.

Your post is incorrect and makes you seem a bit
Jealous to be honest.

motherinferior Fri 10-Jan-14 12:09:14

Ah yes, the good old 'you're jealous' accusation...

wordfactory Fri 10-Jan-14 12:16:30

Why do people always assume that if you don't fancy or agree with someone's lifestyle, that you're jealous?

Seriously, have people got so little imagination? Are they so self absorbed?

Can they not imagine that many people love their work. I know nots of writers, artists, musicians etc and none of them give up work when they make lots of money. Many of them didn't even need to do it in the first place, myself included. I copuld live off DH's money easily...but I don't want to.

StrokeOfBadLuck Fri 10-Jan-14 12:21:15

"When your DH is CEO of something or other wouldn't you prefer his clients to want to talk to you at a function because you are part of the real world rather than as a duty, stifling a yawn about the Summer Exhibition or a ball you are organising because you are the CEO's wife."

Now I'm in my 50s, I think all that stuff about wanting to talk to an interesting woman who has a career is all a myth. Most men, of any age, just want to sit next to a pretty younger woman who hangs onto their every word (and probably most women, too - with a nice young man). smile Taking a job to make yourself interesting at dinner parties seems like a non-starter to me.

I think having enough money/earnings potential to be able to escape a bad relationship is the most important aspect. This applies to both men and women. (And I say this as someone in a happy relationship for 20+ years.) Both partners need to have an emergency fund, and if one partner is high-earning, they need to help the lower-earner to build this up over the years.

When I chose my DP, I didn't look at earnings. I looked at ability to do the washing up, cleaning etc, to notice if something needed doing and leap up to do it himself, and to be a responsible adult who treated me as an equal. This has served us well over the years.

NearTheWindmill Fri 10-Jan-14 12:21:20

I'm not sure what I'm supposed to be jealous of to be honest as I could live a similar life to Puddles but have chosen not to.

Puddles might even be jealous of me wink. I might even look at her rather imperiously at a ball committe already for all she knows.

Creamycoolerwithcream Fri 10-Jan-14 12:39:13

I disagree about the holiday thing. I've found as my husband has moved up the career ladder he can take leave whenever he wants and although he has 6 weeks leave he can easily take 8. I found when I was working it made holidays more difficult. Getting Christmas and Easter of was near impossible and I only got 5 weeks.

cluecu Fri 10-Jan-14 12:50:35

I have learnt quite a bit from mum, actually. I have no idea how much, if any emphasis she placed on my dad's earnings when they got together but he ended up going to prison and their marriage ended as a result of that. Due to the circumstances, as well as the sudden loss of earnings, she also had no chance of any maintenance towards any of us.

Although she'd had some years out of work when my siblings were small, she'd kept her teaching career and although it's not amazingly paid as she's never wanted promotions, it was enough to survive on and keep the mortgage payments.

If she hadn't had a career of her own, I have no idea if she'd have managed or how different life could have turned out. So although she's by no means well-off, having a way of supporting herself meant that when she really was up shit creek - she had a paddle smile

NearTheWindmill Fri 10-Jan-14 12:55:51

I think you might be right creamy re the corporate world. I'm so used to beng limited to the times when the Courts don't sit. DH has to plan outside that 18 months to two years in advance and even though he blocks out time it doesn't always happen if something he really wants to take on comes up. He's also self employed, so doesn't get holiday pay. Although in line with Puddles arguments he has no need to work nowadays at all for money but he loves it and it is his life and his soul. I just like the discipline and routine of work and of being purposeful. Am lucky because I get about 9 weeks.

KouignAmann Fri 10-Jan-14 13:01:05

After 24 years married to a high achiever and facing the real prospect of becoming Lady Amann I was so glad I still had my career which enabled me to leave and support myself when it became intolerable. No amount of spending money, expensive holidays or status make up for living with someone who treats you badly. I am more than happy with my lot now.

I hope the youngsters who think marrying well is enough to secure their future don't come unstuck later in life. I harp on to my DDs about having a good education and being able to stand in your own two feet. But I am old and cynical!

TheZeeTeam Fri 10-Jan-14 20:00:34

I'm not sure how this thread managed to turn so quickly into a bash the SAHM thread, but I have heard it all now. Do people honestly think I should go to work in order to be more bloody interesting conversation to a CEO over dinner?!! Wtf?!!! Who thinks like that?!!

Rosencrantz Fri 10-Jan-14 20:21:26

Is your degree not wasted if you get it at 21, then don't ever work?

NearTheWindmill Fri 10-Jan-14 20:21:38

I don't think it turned into a sahm bashing thread. Nobody said it was wwrong or bad to be a SAHM. I did it for 8 years to provide the DC with love and early nurturing but I think I and they are more rounded from being and having a working mother.

TheZeeTeam Fri 10-Jan-14 20:47:27

Whereas I think my kids and I are more well rounded for having me around full time. Different strokes and all that.

And as for not being a SAHM bashing thread, there were enough boring clichéd comments for me to disagree. Being described as the female equivalent of a cocklodger is hardly complimentary, is it?!! grin

Bonsoir Fri 10-Jan-14 20:48:30

"Do people honestly think I should go to work in order to be more bloody interesting conversation to a CEO over dinner?!! Wtf?!!! Who thinks like that?!!"

No-one in RL that I have ever come across!

Lioninthesun Fri 10-Jan-14 20:51:57

Feel a bit like weighing in for Puddles here. I also thought as Zee - who on earth carries on working purely to 'appear interesting' to CEO's and other men? Honestly!

If people are happy leave it be <suddenly sounds Yorkshire> and just accept that not everyone equates a career with brains or interesting conversation. Some of the most boring people I know bang on about their jobs and how they have to do what someone else tells them all of the time/what was the point in me getting a degree if I can't use it, etc. I'd hate to be stuck on a table with some of the people on here and feel quite sorry for Bonsior being pecked at for being honest enough to say she doesn't work and uses her time to keep her house. She might be painting rusty shutters and building an outhouse for all you lot know! <lighthearted but pointing out we have once more veered off the thread>

Lweji Fri 10-Jan-14 21:16:46

I know that if I didn't work, I'd have more interesting conversations, because I'd have time to read more, go out more, travel more, meet more people.

My job is fairly interesting and I do get to travel and meet people, but many jobs are boring.

Lweji Fri 10-Jan-14 21:19:13

I don't think it turned into a sahm bashing thread.

I don't think either.
The comments about "fanjolodgers" were about people who said their husbands earning more enabled not to work. Full stop.
Nothing about being a sahm.

RRudyR Fri 10-Jan-14 21:37:52

fanjolodger
that's so offensive.

There really is nothing wrong with not working if your partner earns enough to support you.

Joysmum Fri 10-Jan-14 21:46:32

Yep, the offensive women are out in force again who can't understand how anybody could dare to disagree with their choices in life.

maleview70 Fri 10-Jan-14 21:50:06

Having enough income to never have to decline something on cost grounds is important to me.

Currently my wife wants to move house and this will be a huge increase in mortgage.

She know that to get this she will have to go full time from her current Part time position.

Until she does we are not moving.

So money therefore is important to me!

Lweji Fri 10-Jan-14 21:50:09

It was a comparison with cocklodgers and just as offensive.

It depends on how it's taken, and it depends on whether the woman does contribute a fair share while at home, or just takes advantage of the money her husband earns.

Choose how you want to live, but a woman who spends her day doing not much (shopping, lunching, meeting friends) while her husband works does not earn much of my respect, in the same way that a man in the reverse position doesn't.

Leavenheath Fri 10-Jan-14 21:52:51

Given what I've said about wanting women to live more interesting lives beyond husbands, work and kids (assuming that's a free choice they could make if they wanted to), I actually don't give a stuff if women work, as long as they make provision for their survival if their relationship breaks down or the main earner loses his income because of economics, illness or death.

I agree that work itself doesn't define whether someone has value or can make interesting conversation and being somewhat long in the tooth, I have a very different approach now to life than when I lived to work.

So now I'd just prefer it if women actually thought about their choices and considered the wider perspective about why men's lifestyle choices are often much more economically rewarding and where outside interests are concerned, more personally satisfying.

I see on the Relationships board every time I'm on it some poor woman who's in a shit relationship who gave up her low-paid job because it made sense for her to be the main childcarer. It's often inappropriate to bang the drum at that point about why she was the low-paid worker of the two in the first place and why no-one advised her to make provision for when the wheel came off big-time with some plank who's now wasting the family budget on prostitutes, lads holidays to Amsterdam or another woman.

Every time I see one of those posts from a woman who says 'I don't work and am completely dependent on him for money and childcare so I can't leave'...I inwardly scream.

And yes I know some men would prefer not to be workhorses and consumers of the corporate pill, so that's why the current set-up disadvantages those men too.

Overall, I absolutely hate the default setting that men will work and women will stay at home, because men are paid more and women are assumed to be the natural child-carers and oven-cleaners. There are large swathes of men and women who this default works against in terms of their personalities, abilities, skills and interests and it especially doesn't insure people against the curve-balls that life has a habit of throwing later on in life.

Leavenheath Fri 10-Jan-14 21:57:56

Joy use your loaf. Think about what we've said about choices never being made in a vacuum.

I just wish people would think about this stuff instead of sleep-walking into a lifestyle that has become inevitable because of constrained and restricted choices earlier down the line. And getting snippy and feminist-bashing when someone actually gets them to think.

GarlicReturns Fri 10-Jan-14 22:04:37

flowers Well said, Leaven.

RRudyR Fri 10-Jan-14 22:15:59

I think the majority of people do make choices though. They are individual choices though and not necessarily the choices others would make.

When we met It made no difference to me what my partner earns. What mattered was that he had principles and a good work ethic.

CalamitouslyWrong Fri 10-Jan-14 22:17:48

But did it matter to him that you had a good work ethic? If not, it's worth thinking about why.

Leavenheath Fri 10-Jan-14 22:20:52

I'm under no illusions that my choices were constrained to an extent so any that I made had a context and backdrop to them. DH has often said the same.

Yes, people make choices all the time. What I notice is how many people think they are free choices made without any constraints or restrictions, which is patently untrue for most of society.

MrsSchadenfreude Fri 10-Jan-14 22:22:21

I accompanied DH on a work trip once - I fancied a trip to Krakow - a city I spent quite a bit of time in, in my yoof. I wanted to revisit my old haunts, have lunch in a restaurant I remembered, speak Polish. One thing I categorically didn't want to do, was the fucking wives' programme (DH's female colleague was told her husband would not be welcome). I work full time, but don't think any CEO would find my conversation interesting, really.

DH has had periods of not working and being supported by me. It was not a happy period for either of us. And probably not helped by me acting the macho man and coming in and shouting "Where's my fucking dinner? FFS, what have you done all day? The place is an utter tip!" grin

RRudyR Fri 10-Jan-14 22:25:46

Of course. I was a full-time working single parent at the time.

I gave up work but that didn't make me a fanjolodger. You can have a good work ethic without actually going to work. We are a team and have adapted our lives over the years to benefit our family as best we can.

Puddles1234 Fri 10-Jan-14 22:33:42

NearTheWindmill in response to your earlier post Yes I do realise that woman are capable of working while planning wedding, organising some to decorate homes, have babies and running a household. I just choose NOT TOO.

If you and your husband's families are so ver wealthy why is his salary important to you though.

My Partners own personal wealth is important to me as I wouldn't want to be with someone who didn't bring to the table what I bring to the table in terms of trustfunds/familywealth. This may sound shockingly shallow to most people but not to us. Why would I marry someone with considerable less personal wealth than myself to then have to split it if something goes wrong? Rather cynical I know but extremely realistic.

Also why are your husbands paid earnings important to you but yours are not to him. That would concern me in the equality context and as the mother of a son and a daughter. I would be concerned for my son if he were to marry a girl like you and I can assure you that he'll be quite a catch. I hope he marries a girl with aspirations beyond his inheritance, his salary and her social life. I don't mean that to be harsh but to be realistic. I also think it very sad that you will have such limited experiences to share with your own daughters shoulkd you have them.

I don't think you understand I HAVE MY OWN MONEY, I don't need to have handouts from my husband.

Your social life is lovely now but in 20 years you will be a lady who lunches possibly on the odd macmillan committee. I know lots of ladies like that and there's a big difference to being a socialite at 26 and 56. When your DH is CEO of something or other wouldn't you prefer his clients to want to talk to you at a function because you are part of the real world rather than as a duty, stifling a yawn about the Summer Exhibition or a ball you are organising because you are the CEO's wife.

This is hilarious in its entirety, your seriously implying that to be remotely interesting a woman must have a career? Don't be absurd. I guarantee I have more wit and charm in my little finger then you will ever have. Having a career does not make one automatically interesting/clever/witty it all boils down to the individual.

My husband does not need to 'become more senior' it's a family firm.

Jealous? Of you? Hardly darling. You sound like a bitter older woman who thinks they need to impart their ill gotten wisdom on someone who is most likely half their age. As for looking 'imperiously' at me during a ball, you wouldn't be permitted to any balls or functions I personally attend.

I would like to reiterate one point. I do not under any circumstances think it's wise for a woman to be dependant on a man without any form of income if you do not have any personal wealth or savings which are separate from your partner.

GoshAnneGorilla Fri 10-Jan-14 22:34:20

Also, there are numerous threads on here when the husband works in the sort of hours or job role, that would be very difficult to achieve unless the wife was willing to be a SABMiller, so in my view, she is making an equal contribution to the household.

I also agree that making sure you have a career in order to be interesting company at hubby's work parties is utterly cringe worthy.

Neverending2012 Fri 10-Jan-14 22:36:07

This thread is a sad state of affairs.... To bang on about how much your other half earns and all this being 'kept'. Makes my blood boil. Since when do women define themselves by their partners salary... Circa thirty years ago at least. Has the world not moved on?

Lweji Fri 10-Jan-14 22:40:32

Gosh, of course.

I have nothing against women (or men) who decide to stay at home because it makes financial sense to take care of the children or to do work that enables their husbands to earn more than they would if both worked. This contribution is recognised for example in divorce proceedings.

I do have against people who are or consider themselves as being kept and do very little in the way of contribution. Men or women.

NearTheWindmill Fri 10-Jan-14 22:45:23

Who the heck do you think you are young lady?

I wish you well and hope you will be very happy.

maleview70 Fri 10-Jan-14 22:48:57

This sahm is interesting to me. My mum was one for 8 years and we didn't have a pot to piss in.

I can see the real benefit of being a SAHM for the years your children are still at home. After that it's not really a full time job is it?

I know a sahm who has a cleaner and both kids are at high school......surely it's better to just say I choose not to
work as I don't need to financially rather than trying to justify your contribution.

RRudyR Fri 10-Jan-14 22:49:01

Lweji - do people really do that though? Not many surely.

I do work, although I often feel guilty working tbh.

morethanpotatoprints Fri 10-Jan-14 22:49:27

Tbh the comment about being interesting for your dh company party is hilarious.
The most boring women I know are the ones with the career who are out of touch with reality and are sooooo boring yawn yawn. I think I'd have shot myself if all I had to look forward to was work for somebody else, day in day out. Nothing new just same old.

NearTheWindmill Fri 10-Jan-14 22:49:31

Wit and charm eh? Lovely, lots of money and very little class from the sound of it.

HappyMummyOfOne Fri 10-Jan-14 22:50:42

"fanjolodger
that's so offensive."

Its just the opposite of a term used for men all the time on here so acceptable for a male but not a female. Women are told not to stand for it so again double standards.

I cant think of any job the man can do where the women cannot work because of it. Its very easy for other person to get a normal hours job and use childcare. Millions of couples have two workinh adults i would imagine.

Its not a nice thought that our sons will purely be judged on their salary by some women so that they need not work. No wonder some MIL's dislike their DIL's.

morethanpotatoprints Fri 10-Jan-14 22:50:52

maleview

contribution to what?

maleview70 Fri 10-Jan-14 22:57:26

Contribution to the family. What is staying at home doing nothing achieving when the kids are 14 and 16 and out of the house from 8-5?

I have a friend who spends her days riding her horse! She admits that it is a lifestyle choice because her husband earns enough to run 5 households.

I am just saying there is no need to try and justify your role if your husband earns enough and you choose to
Stay at home. It's choice.

If my wife earned enough I would happily stay at home and wouldnt try to justify it.

RRudyR Fri 10-Jan-14 22:58:09

Absolutely HappyMumOfOne - it's piss easy with one, I did it.

Try it with 4

morethanpotatoprints Fri 10-Jan-14 23:03:23

Maleview

Thank you for the clarification, I wasn't sure what you meant.
Yes, we all make our own lifestyle choices. There are some though who think that only a chosen few get to make choices, I find this bizarre. grin

Lioninthesun Fri 10-Jan-14 23:22:46

Ah Male I love the simplistic 'no need to justify your role' - you haven't been on MN long, have you? grin

Anyone with sons, keep your knickers tangle free; we've previously discussed how you can also tell your boys they can be SAHD's and marry a high earning career driven lady (or one with inherited wealth) so they can also have a balanced choice.

LadyLapsang Fri 10-Jan-14 23:25:59

Interesting althought slightly depressing thred. Made me think of a discussion I had over Christmas - young man, soon to graduate and ambitious, just split up with his long-term girlfriend. GF's family, well-paid professional city man & SAH wife - both children at uni. GF saw that set up as normal, why wouldn't she, it's normal to her. But the young man and his friends, all with working professional mothers, saw the lack of work ethic /ambition / responsibility for being an equal (or fairly equal) financial partner in the young woman as a real turn-off.

morethanpotatoprints Fri 10-Jan-14 23:34:30

I don't think anybody should have to justify their choices to anyone, but agree with Lion sometimes there are some really horrible posts that ask or almost demand you do. I have fallen a few times for these, I don't engage now.

LadyLapsang

Good job they split when they did. incompatibility doesn't make for a good relationship.
I am a long term sahm however, I have plenty of ambition, work ethic and responsibility for being equal financially. you don't have to work to achieve these.

blueshoes Fri 10-Jan-14 23:38:06

Puddles, your last post to NeartheWindmill was deeply unpleasant. The only word you forgot to use was 'pleb'. Despite all your privilege, you are not that different from an alleycat when cornered.

Lweji Fri 10-Jan-14 23:40:16

Lweji - do people really do that though? Not many surely.

Do people do what?
Stay at home taking care of children?
Or stay at home and do very little?
There are people in both camps.

Who the heck do you think you are young lady?
Was that to me? Surely not, as I'm hardly a young lady. But thanks for thinking I'm young.

I'm mostly amused by the people who think "fangolodger" is directed at them.
If you think you are a target... then you probably are one.
If you think what you do at home is valuable, then why be upset and think it's aimed at you?

Lioninthesun Fri 10-Jan-14 23:42:40

<Wonders how many amazing men must have passed her by due to the fact she is a single mother with no obvious job> grin
Who am I kidding, I'm happy living alone and probably shouldn't have even commented on this thread without a DH!

NearTheWindmill Sat 11-Jan-14 00:02:19

No to Puddles lweji.

Noregrets78 Sat 11-Jan-14 00:08:48

am I too late to join in? and haven't read it all...
It didn't used to matter. But when now XH discovered that he could 'support me' in my career (ie sit on his arse and live off me) it did.

And it matters even more now that we're sorting finances and he's entitled to the bulk of what we've built up, even though I'm wholly responsible for DD.

Just saying.

znaika Sat 11-Jan-14 00:10:29

Whoever mentioned about the lovely brown envelope of cash you get when you first start working as a teen. How marvellous was it to get that? Thanks for stirring up that memory.

If I can chip I will say this: I was unexpectedly widowed when DD was an infant, thank goodness I was working and earning and through all the difficulties of becoming a young widow and rethinking how I thought my life might be- I never once had to consider money- or changing careers, or retraining etc. I knew I had enough skills, experience and savings...

Fast forward a few years and I dabbled in internet dating- I assumed that because I had a child and was of the age category where a lot of professionals are settling down for the first time, I wouldn't have much success as men my age wouldn't want a woman with a child already. Well I had lots of responses (modest!) and a lot of the responses were coming from guys that had said that they did not want a woman with children already. When I asked a couple of them about it, they said the same thing- from my profile I was obviously independent. It wasn't the children that was a problem for them it was not wanting to have to provide for a woman who clearly didn't have money of her own, but had expectations of a certain lifestyle. I think men feel the pressure more than a lot of women would care to admit.

brusslesprout Sat 11-Jan-14 00:14:41

NoRegrets78 did you work full time? Was your ex a SAHD?

Znaika... that must have been terribly hard for you but it sounds like you have provided a good life for your DD so much credit to you.

I remember my first pay packet I bought my Mum some flowers and my Dad a CD.. I was chuffed haha!

Lioninthesun Sat 11-Jan-14 00:18:20

Znaiker sorry to hear of your loss.
I've done internet dating too (reminds anyone in this situation not to post anything about having own house/independently wealthy etc, for safety purposes) but the men who are interested usually can't spell and use text speak, sadly. Now THAT I do mind in a potential DH wink Maybe I should have put my career as neuroscientist to get a speller hooked...<ponders>

Noregrets78 Sat 11-Jan-14 00:20:59

Brussels yes I've always worked FT apart from maternity leave. H refused jobs for every reason under the sun, while DD was in nursery, and did nothing around the house. I wouldn't describe him as a SAHD.

Have now read a bit more so hopefully I'm not in for a flaming...

Each to their own etc. but with the benefit of hindsight I wish I'd seen the warning signs earlier, and protected myself better.

Going forward - his attitude to work, and ability to be self sufficient will sadly be high on my priority list.

Ditavontitty Sat 11-Jan-14 00:24:53

Yes it does.One of the reasons I was attracted to my now dh was because a I thought he would look after me-flame away I could not give a fuck.Sadly dh is feckless with money and my life is shite.Hey ho.

Leavenheath Sat 11-Jan-14 00:30:34

Why on earth do you presume that people who work always do so for someone else morethanpotatoprints? Or that every day at work is the same old thing? confused

I think you may have misunderstood what posters are saying about choices. It's not just the 'chosen few' who have them, but few lifestyle choices aren't narrowed by other factors outside of our control.

So to use a gender neutral example, if you were born into poverty to parents who didn't value education and lived in a catchment for a failing school, your learning opportunities and choices are going to be much narrower than someone whose parents were comfortably off, lived near the best schools and who both had a passion for learning.

That's obvious isn't it?

rpitchfo Sat 11-Jan-14 00:41:14

So to use a gender neutral example, if you were born into poverty to parents who didn't value education and lived in a catchment for a failing school, your learning opportunities and choices are going to be much narrower than someone whose parents were comfortably off, lived near the best schools and who both had a passion for learning.

nail meet head.

TheZeeTeam Sat 11-Jan-14 00:57:23

Lweji Yes, that is sooooo right. Everyone who was mildly offended by the fanjolodger bit, in relation to women who stay at home after their children go to school, are all just really lazy arses. And quite dull. And definitely, 100% not feminists.

Or MAYBE, that part of this thread wasn't quite as amusing as you all thought and was actually denigrating a whole section of society. Again.

My point from the start of me posting on this has always been, how come a thread that was supposed to be about whether each of us, regardless of our working status, found our DH's earnings part of their attraction. And BOOM! It was handbags at dawn and all about working vs sahm parents (of school age children).

PurpleSprout Sat 11-Jan-14 01:13:22

Going back a little I realise, but having participated in both corporate and social functions involving the supposed 'elite', people do tend to flock towards and be enamoured of your 'wit and charm' (and of course, discount any negatives) if you have sufficient bank book, position, or social capital to make it worth their while.

I could give examples but that would probably break talk guidelines.