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AIBU…. Why do we not have more SAHDs?

(76 Posts)
LittleChickpea Thu 28-Mar-13 15:52:10

To be confused? Read a lot of articles on this and I was wondering what mumnetters think? If it's of any interest.

It seems there is a feeling that mums end up giving up their careers to stay at home with the DC (for whatever reason) and are treated unfairly for it.

So for those couples that are affected by this? Do men simply not want to stay home or does the idea of men staying home rather than the women have little appeal to families? Does this even get discussed when the decision is made as to who will be the primary care giver if one parent is to stay at home for a number of months/years. Do women with high flying careers think the idea of a SAHD is laughable or not? Would current SAHMs be happy to work full time and their DP be the full time SAHP (taking salary into account - if you earned his exact salary)? Is the growing number of SAHDs a side effect of the economy?

Really interested in hearing what people think.

squeakytoy Thu 28-Mar-13 15:55:08

considering it it the woman who has to carry the baby, give birth to it, and whose body has to recover after giving birth, as well as breastfeeding being the preferred method of feeding.. it is logical that more women than men will be the SAHP.

Cant see that changing until men get the ability to do any of the above..

EldritchCleavage Thu 28-Mar-13 15:55:17

I've got one (smug).

Really interested in hearing what people think

Is that code for 'journalist with looming deadline'?

Poppet48 Thu 28-Mar-13 15:56:05

Personal preference, If a Dad wanted to be a SAHD then he has every right to be one. If a Mum wanted to be a SAHM then she has the right to be one. If both parents wanted a career then childcare is available.

thebody Thu 28-Mar-13 15:57:06

What squeaky says and which paper do you work for?

Tee2072 Thu 28-Mar-13 15:59:20


StitchAteMyEasterEggs Thu 28-Mar-13 16:01:19

My DH was with dd1, we swapped over when I had dd2. Might swap back again at some point. We made the decision on the basis of what was best for our family at the time.

LittleChickpea Thu 28-Mar-13 16:03:35

ha ha ha ha I am not a journalist. On another forum someone mentioned that societies perceptions of SAHMs will only change when we have more SAHDs and it intrigued me.. I read a lot about SAHMs and how devalued society makes them feel but we never seem to discuss SAHDs. And how the choice is made following the initial stages who will be the long term SAHP…

Phineyj Thu 28-Mar-13 16:04:52

Because they can get stick for it and are usually giving up more money, so they'd have to really want to.

Tailtwister Thu 28-Mar-13 16:06:47

Maybe more women want to stay at home? I know that if we could afford one of us to be at home full-time, I would want it to be me. I suppose that it's a natural progression from giving birth, breastfeeding etc.

TooExtraImmatureCheddar Thu 28-Mar-13 16:10:45

Because only women can breastfeed. DH is longing to stay at home with the next one, but he can't because I want to bf. He might become a sahd at some point, though, depending on finances.

madonnawhore Thu 28-Mar-13 16:12:18

Because men have higher earning potential than women. Because the world is a shitty place.

Titsalinabumsquash Thu 28-Mar-13 16:14:17

I would go to a full I've job ad DP would stay at home with the kids in a heartbeat, sadly DP is worth a shed load more than me in terms of employment and wages.

ChestyLeRoux Thu 28-Mar-13 16:15:52

I saw a figure stating that 68% of mums work.Soon I am sure that figure will be a lot higher. Most people work nowadays.

FreyaSnow Thu 28-Mar-13 16:17:13

Most SAHPs are parents of young children. It makes sense for it to be the woman because for most of that time she is probably heavily pregnant, recovering from birth or breastfeeding, if she has multiple children.

FreyaSnow Thu 28-Mar-13 16:19:16

CLR, I think that is probably because almost all mothers of seventeen year olds work and a lot of mothers of young children don't.

badtasteflump Thu 28-Mar-13 16:20:02

Well for one thing DH couldn't breastfeed as well as I could - so that wrote the first year off for a start. And I wasn't giving up my extended skive maternity leave for no man grin

ChestyLeRoux Thu 28-Mar-13 16:27:46

With regards to long maternity not many woman in their right mind would let the dad have it as its a chance to doss about and have 7/8 months off work.

Squitten Thu 28-Mar-13 16:35:20

I would imagine that birth recovery and breastfeeding make it more convenient for the mothers. And I suppose men are generally still earning better than women in many cases.

It was natural for me to be the SAHM because I didn't have a career as such and my wages wouldn't have covered childcare, so I was happy to do it. One of DH's colleagues, however, has a SAHD and they're setting up a seperate office for her, at her request, so that once she comes back to work she can bring in the new baby and feed her. His business is generally very generous to all parents though, giving them extra paid paternity leave, etc, so it's rare.

Kazooblue Thu 28-Mar-13 16:38:23

I think women simply want it more.Most mums I know would be/are jealous of sahds.

nightowlmostly Thu 28-Mar-13 16:43:21

My DH is a sahd, well he works one day a week. It works for us as I earn more. I was able to take nearly a year off and then he went part time after that. He cooks better than me, and enjoys being at home more than me as we'll so it makes sense! The only tricky bit will be if we have another baby, him not earning much means we'll have to save a bit first.

I do get very frustrated with the sexism. Just because we carry the babies doesn't automatically mean that dads can't stay home. Things will get better for women and men when it becomes more acceptable for the roles withink the family to be more equally shared.

BlingLoving Thu 28-Mar-13 16:50:31

We should seperate initial maternity leave from SAHParents. I'm not sure I buy the argument that there are fewer SAHDs because of BF and post birth recovery issues. Women who are BF go back to work. Many others stop BF much earlier.

I think there are two main reasons. The first is that as a society, men are still paid more - they tend to take jobs in higher paying industries and of course, there's still the pay gap. As a result, in most families, it does not make financial sense for the man to stop working.

The second is that there is still a perception that childcare is a woman's work. While women's careers are hurt by taking time out to be full tmie carers, it's an accepted reality in some circles and a heavily contested one in others. For me, it's not even on the agenda so a man thinking about it does so knowing that he will probably struggle when he gets back into the workplace.

As a rule, I think women with "high flying careers" are the ones who are least likely to think the idea of a SAHD is laughable. They are the ones who understand the financial, mental and emotional issues from both sides best because they've probably been on both sides.

nightowlmostly Thu 28-Mar-13 16:57:08

Another reason I think that more women become sahps is that women tend to settle down with men who are a little bit older and therefore maybe more advanced in their careers. So if their partner already earns more than them and this is the reason they give up work, they're never given the opportunity to get that higher wage in the first place.

ICBINEG Thu 28-Mar-13 17:01:15

I have a SAH DH.

I think the big thing is the tendency of women to have relationships with men who are older than them.

This means when kids come along it is more often the woman with the lower paid less advanced career so her being the SAHP makes more sense.

DH and I are a few months apart in career got off to a slightly faster start and hence he is SAHP....

GrendelsMum Thu 28-Mar-13 17:05:59

I went to an interesting seminar last week where the speaker suggested in passing that there are a lot of cultural pressures that men and women have internalised by the time they have children - and that men feel their prime responsibility to their family is to get a promotion and earn more money. When we see women on Mumsnet worrying about breast feeding, supporting their children's reading, helping children navigate friendships, etc etc, the male equivalent is worrying about have you got far enough up the ladder to provide for your family, are you letting them down by lack of promotion, etc etc.

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