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to think children don't really care about 'work ethics' and would prefer to have a SAHP?

(608 Posts)
Mingnion Wed 20-Nov-13 23:13:53

Well aware I'm probably going to get mightily flamed for this but here goes...

I have a 6.5 year old and an 18 month old. My husband that supported us sadly died last year and I plan to stay at home and on benefits until my youngest is at school. I have a degree from Cambridge and will put in what I take out a hundred times over in the future no doubt. We do not have a lavish lifestyle but my children are adequately fed, dressed and are very happy which is more important IMO. Six months ago I found a part-time job and the impact on my children was massive. They were miserable at having to go to nursery and after school clubs and I was miserable as I missed them. Now they are inexplicably happy. I know it is a common opinion that single parents must work so as to teach their children about work ethics but realistically, do you really think children will care? I'd say most children would much rather have a SAHP and in retrospect I'd have preferred my mum to have been home so her work ethics obviously didn't rub off on me. AIBU to think this way and plan to stay at home with my children until my youngest is school age?

NoArmaniNoPunani Wed 20-Nov-13 23:34:24

I think this thread is a good reminder to take out life insurance.

Do what you want OP but you are coming across as very judgemental about what other people do.

mumofbeautys Wed 20-Nov-13 23:34:57

mingnion I honestly respect you for understanding what I meant then as I didn't mean it personally to you at all , and I am very sorry for your loss.

just I know if anyone had wrote it with out that they would be getting very different answers not about the stahm bit but about the working mothers bit.

mrsmalcolmreynolds Wed 20-Nov-13 23:38:05

mumof thanks! Thought you put it v well yourself and agree that people are being more gentle than might be the case on this topic usually. I think that's fine given the very sad circumstances OP is in, but that just strengthens the point that these decisions are personal and individual and that applying general judgements to them can't be right.

VelvetSpoon Wed 20-Nov-13 23:40:16

Most parents (whether LP or not) work because they could not manage financially otherwise. Not everyone has the choice not to work - if I didn't my mortage wouldn't be paid and we would lose our home.

I have always worked, even when my DC were small. Personally, choosing to live longterm on benefits when I am fit and able to work isn't something that would appeal to me, even if I wasn't risking our home by doing so.

mumofbeautys Wed 20-Nov-13 23:41:29

I totally agree with you , and believe that everyones circumstances are different. for what its worth OP im giving up work with my children aged 4 I have worked since they were babies but now taking some time off.
do what is right for your family and what will benefit you but always remember not to judge others one their choices with out knowing there circumstance just like you expect from others.

GoshAnneGorilla Wed 20-Nov-13 23:44:59

I just think you need to mind your own business, so YABU.

There are plenty of children with family circumstances that are a cause for concern, no need to worry about children with working parents.

Jinsei Wed 20-Nov-13 23:46:06

YANBU to do what you think is best for your family, but I sincerely wish that my mother had gone out to work instead of staying at home with DSis and me.

BlinkeyBlimey Wed 20-Nov-13 23:47:44

It's all about balance, isn't it, and doing what is right for an individual family. I think most psychologists would say it would be best for a child to be home in a functional family with happy parent, than at nursery 8-6pm daily. An unpopular opinion, I know. If parent is unable to be happy at home, then probably best that they work.

It sounds like it is working for you and it sounds as though you are doing a great job.

nulgirl Wed 20-Nov-13 23:49:20

My kids would probably prefer if I didn't work but they would also like to have sweets with every meal and not do their homework. I make decisions every day which they probably don't agree with. I do this because I am an adult and have got a better understanding of the big picture. I am the breadwinner so if I didn't work we would lose our home and live a pretty miserable life without any of the lovely things that my wages can buy. I am totally comfortable with the choices I make for our family. At the same time, I can understand why others make different choices.

mollymoo25 Wed 20-Nov-13 23:52:00

lol nulgirl I was thinking a minute ago that if I asked my kids what they would prefer they would probably say me being at home .. until they opened there xmas presents

monicalewinski Wed 20-Nov-13 23:53:02

Agree with mumof's comments all the way through.

I disagree with your thread title, I think work ethics are important (obviously not to v young children, but as they get to 5 or 6 they notice if mums/dads are working or not).

BUT, this does not mean that I think SAHP is wrong in any way - each to their own IMO.

In your situation I would probably be doing what you are tbh and taking time off with my kids until they are ready. Sorry about your husband flowers

Xmasbaby11 Wed 20-Nov-13 23:58:51

You sound a bit judgmental.

Re work ethic: I think it depends on the job. If you enjoy your work and get fulfilment from it, you are a happier person and this is an excellent example to set your children. You're right that they perhaps do not understand this at a very young age, but taking years out to look after DC makes it difficult to get that rewarding job when you reenter the job market.

Good childcare should keep children happy. DD is happy in nursery. That's not to say she wouldn't be happier at home, but she IS happy. Perhaps in your situation your children had been through a lot and they don't want to be separated from you. Of course, this doesn't apply to everyone.

In your situation I would not be happy about relying on the state for that long and not paying into a pension, especially as a lone parent. But it works for you, so it doesn't matter what others think.

caramelwaffle Thu 21-Nov-13 00:04:41

Imagine you, and your child(ren) are on a desert island; would they thrive, survive or die by your (personal) work ethic?

JoinYourPlayfellows Thu 21-Nov-13 00:09:50

Hmmm, I share your scepticism about the "work ethic" argument.

I think our society at the moment is obsessed with the supposedly improving qualities of paid (or coerced) work.

When I hear people saying that by having a job they are providing a brilliant example to their children, I'm always a bit hmm

There are all kinds of good examples parents can set to their children. That argument can be used to justify almost anything.

It's just as true that a SAHP provides a good work ethic for their children who see them working all day to support the family, rather than just seeing them leave in the morning and come back in the evening.

For all the kid knows the parent who is out all day is sitting on their arse watching TV. (In my case, that is sometimes very close to the truth grin)

However, I have as little patience for the "kids want their Mummies around" argument.

Not all kids are the same. Not all kids like being poor and missing out on treats or cool holidays or interesting after school clubs.

I know I didn't. Although I guess I liked having my mother at home, I didn't choose to be a SAHM. And neither did my sister. My brother also works.

So either she gave us a great example of work ethic, or we didn't prefer her being at home all day to her working and us having more money.

Maybe you could try extending the same lack of judgment to parents who work that you want other people to extend to you?

Personally I think there should be financial support for single parents (or widows) to be SAHPs if they want to be. I think it is one of the good options for bringing up children.

I think, given that your children recently lost their father, that it is right that you should do what you think gives them (and you) the most stability at the moment.

I'm very sorry for your loss.

MrsTerryPratchett Thu 21-Nov-13 00:09:52

My child likes preschool <shrugs>. I wouldn't judge you for lack of work ethics and I wouldn't expect you to judge me for working when I do.

StrictlySazz Thu 21-Nov-13 00:10:01

My mum worked (had to as no money) and I was never bothered by it. It was all pt so not too much external childcare although dad commuted to town so none dome by him.I do remember as a teenager being thankful mum wasn't home so I could just get on with my homework without being badgered like my friend was by her mum.

Also my mum's wages paid my rent and bills though Uni (most of her wages tbh) so I am forever grateful she worked. Dsis and i have always both studied and worked before and after DC.

FetchezLaVache Thu 21-Nov-13 00:39:26

Why do you assume that the main purpose of working for single parents (or indeed any parents) is to "teach their children about work ethics"? I'm a single mum, my ex contributes nothing and the main reason I work is to keep a roof over our heads...

Caitlin17 Thu 21-Nov-13 00:55:36

You are very judgemental.

I'm not sure why you think you should have the right to a lifestyle choice to stay on benefits . You might like to consider the fact your choice will at least be partly paid by tax paid by working mothers.

tabulahrasa Thu 21-Nov-13 01:38:09

YANBU to decide that it's better for you to be at home - especially after your and their loss, but...

Most children don't care about lots of things, like eating vegetables and the importance of enough sleep - they'd be much happier to eat sweets and stay up till they felt like sleeping.

Whether children see the benefit of something isn't really a valid reason to choose whether to do it or not, it's about what works and us best for each family's situation.

Caitlin17 Thu 21-Nov-13 01:48:14

You are free to make your choice, but not sure why you think other people should pay for it. Especially given the veiled criticism of other working mothers.

K8Middleton Thu 21-Nov-13 01:51:42

I think children don't understand economics or financial responsibility. Luckily they have parents to think about all that stuff so they can spend their time being children and seeing things in simple terms.

YANBU to make your choice and I am sorry for your loss.

Yabu to think your way is the right way for anyone other than you.

All we can do is do our best for our own unique circumstances, whatever they may be.

MoominsYonisAreScary Thu 21-Nov-13 04:36:10

Well my older 2were always happy in nursery/after school club. I did live on benefit s for 6 months after my marriage ended while I finished college. The money was shite, and I much preferred working and having enough money to keep the heating on. Children are not happy in cold houses.

janey68 Thu 21-Nov-13 06:15:19

I am quite sure young children don't consciously think about work ethics at all! There are many, many reasons why parents work.

You sound very judgemental. Clearly you and your children have suffered a terrible loss but that doesn't justify your judginess towards others. In fact often people who have been through a really hard time discover an empathy with others.

If you had posted saying that in your particular circumstance, your children have turned out to be unhappy and insecure when they are apart from you, and therefore you feel it right to stop work and live on benefits, I'm sure people would be hugely sympathetic and would understand that your children have already suffered trauma and that you are doing what's best for your family.

Your mistake is in trying to turn your sad situation into an attack on WOHP by saying that all children would prefer to have a SAHP. If simply isn't true. Many of us have much older teenage children and we have the first hand experience of having raised happy emotionally well adjusted children while maintaining our work life. And my older colleagues have adult children who have gone to top universities, formed good relationships etc while being raised by WOHP.

I would never be so judgemental as to suggest that it's 'better' to be a WOHP. All I can say is that it's been absolutely right for our family and our children are testament to that. So please don't fall into the trap of thinking that what is right for your family must be right for others

I think it goes without saying we're all sorry for your loss, but honestly, I expect we'll now see various posters predictably jumping on the bad wagon and agreeing that everyone else's children really want a SAHM, just because that's what they've chosen to be !

janey68 Thu 21-Nov-13 06:16:52

Lol band wagon- Freudian slip there!

StealthPolarBear Thu 21-Nov-13 06:22:35

Good luck with what you choose to do op. I am a little shocked you said

l. I have a degree from Cambridge and will put in what I take out a hundred times over in the future no doubt.

I wonder whether you might be in for a rude awakening.

No sure whether my dc would prefer me to sah or not. But I prefer to work and I am a member of this family too.

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