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Aibu to think being a sahm should mean you are an equal?

(136 Posts)
Babygiraffejungle Wed 08-Jun-16 17:27:20

So many times I hear people in rl and on here talking about marriages. The consensus often seems to be that if one partner (usually the man), is the sole earner, or the higher earner, that he should have a bigger entitlement to any assets. It's his money, he worked hard for it, the house is more his.

Surely the sahp is facilitating the other parents career? By providing childcare mainly and usually doing housework and cooking too.

I work part time and dh works full time. I earn 1/4 of what he earns. My basic salary is actually not much less but dh works a load more basic hours plus overtime.

I'm responsible for all of the school runs, if one of the dc are ill I have to take the day off, I also have to work my leisure time around dhs job. I sort all school stuff like sports day, parents evenings, assembly, and do all of the running around to clubs. I feel that I'm a capable person and that I could better myself but I'm restricted on what hours I can work.

Dh is out of the house 7.30-6.00 and often longer. He has to work weekends sometimes, he has to work on call, he has to work away. He couldn't do any of that if I wasn't doing the childcare, or he'd have to hire a live in nanny.

Taking all of that into account I don't understand why it isn't valued and seen as proper work.

branofthemist Wed 08-Jun-16 17:34:35

Some people think it's not valued.

I would say on here most think it is. I have been a sahm and wohm and my dh never treated me any different.

Remember people aren't going to post about partners that are decent.

gabsdot Wed 08-Jun-16 17:37:58

My situation is similar to yours OP. I know my DH values my contribution enormously. His life is so much easier because I'm at home to take care of the kids and the house.
It doesn't really bother me if others don't see my contribution as valuable. It's not something I've come across much.

BooAvenue Wed 08-Jun-16 17:40:34

I genuinely think some men aren't that fussed about having children and will go along with it because it's what their partner wants. They then see the child rearing as the woman's job as I think they subconsciously feel the kids were had for the woman's "benefit", which is why the essentially see themselves as a single entity with the old "ball and chain" of a wife and kids to pay for.

Men like this are total twunts.

Pagwatch Wed 08-Jun-16 17:41:26

I am equal to my partner.
It's our money, whoever earns it.
Anyone who thinks differently is an idiot.
<fact>

StealthPolarBear Wed 08-Jun-16 17:41:40

I genuinely don't tend to see that on here op.
In real life, oh yes.

DickCheese Wed 08-Jun-16 17:41:58

DH and I got married very young so we've always had the mentality that everything is shared. My sister is a SAHM with a husband working in London and he does seem to think that it's 'his' money. She wanted to come visit me (about 2 hours away) and he said he didn't want her to take the car because he pays for it! - well sorry but he wouldn't be able to work his job and swan home at 8pm if she wasn't there looking after the kids so she facilitates his earning power, like you said OP - so frustrating for people whose partners think like that

Babygiraffejungle Wed 08-Jun-16 17:43:16

I might be just looking into things too deeply.

It's not necessarily the partner that has this attitude though. I've seen it from outsiders looking in. That the sahp isn't contributing.

MoreGilmoreGirls Wed 08-Jun-16 17:43:52

Of course sahp are equals. I'm a sahm to a 2 yr old and 8 months pregnant with our second. It was not practical for me to keep up my job as involved long hours and commute and we both decided it was best for us for me to quit work for a while. DH's earnings are family money (in fact I have to make him spend anything on himself) and he values the contribution I make to our family. Unfortunately not all men are like this.

BooAvenue Wed 08-Jun-16 17:43:54

I think there are only two scenarios that work when it comes to raising kids:

1) both partners work, share finances equally and share childcare/housework proportional to hours worked

2) one partner doesn't work and does lions share of the housework/childcare, other partner provides an income which is shared equally along with all assets

StealthPolarBear Wed 08-Jun-16 17:44:54

Yes agree. The man's house. The man's car etc. As if the woman only lives on them or uses them because he's kind and lets her. Screw that

PurpleDaisies Wed 08-Jun-16 17:46:37

The consensus often seems to be that if one partner (usually the man), is the sole earner, or the higher earner, that he should have a bigger entitlement to any assets. It's his money, he worked hard for it, the house is more his.
I haven't seen that on here. I earn less than my dh but we have a single pot of family money.

BooAvenue Wed 08-Jun-16 17:46:50

Sadly, I think these dick head men often don't see it as "if my wife didn't look after the kids for me I wouldn't be able to put the extra hours in at work", I think they see it as "if I didn't have a wife I wouldn't have the kids so I could do what the fuck I like anyway".

sigmaFTlabarinth Wed 08-Jun-16 17:47:18

I'd like to think DW and I are equals. I've been a SAHP while she was a high earner and I considered SAH-parenting to be a full on support role. We've switched now with me being the worker and her being the SAHP we have a joint account so she has full access to our cash. I still do a lot of the cleaning I house and children stuff because that's the way I'm wired.
I could take the kids to and from school but I'd either have to be late for work or leave work early or pay for breakfast club or after school club to do that.

I guess I could pay for a housekeeper and a nanny and other personal services as well.

If your OH is physically not in the house or available to do stuff, then I can't see how your OH could do the things around the house. What is it you want him to do?

ilovesooty Wed 08-Jun-16 17:47:45

if one of the dc are ill I have to take the day off

Not very fair on your employer.

HedgeSchool Wed 08-Jun-16 17:48:24

I don't think people on here do undervalue SAHMs' work. It tends to arise often, though, in the context of Relationships threads about grossly unequal dynamics where the SAHM is economically vulnerable, so people frequently point out (me included) that it is worth seriously considering continuing to work for the longterm health of your career/keeping up skills and experience etc.

I'm all for women being SAHMs if they choose it freely, rather than feeling edged out of the workplace by childcare costs, and if they 'count' as a full partner, economically and practically, in the marriage, and not as some kind of under-appreciated support staff to allow their husband to blossom professionally.

It's clear from Mn that there's a spectrum of SAHMs, some with entirely equal economic and other power within the partnership, some absolutely not.

Babygiraffejungle Wed 08-Jun-16 17:49:04

Just for example dh and I were viewing houses. One was a divorce and the ex wife was living in the house until it sold. Fil made a comment that she'd probably turn down offer because she was getting to live there while the bloke paid for it.

This was bollox because she was working but I thought it was such an awful comment.

Glad to see you're all saying it is equal not not that sahp isn't contributing properly.

AyeAmarok Wed 08-Jun-16 17:50:06

You think that is the consensus on here? Really?

You can't have been here long or been on many threads as the general consensus here is the stark opposite.

branofthemist Wed 08-Jun-16 17:51:34

On the flip side, I know a few sahms who think wohm shouldn't have even had kids and don't class then as proper parents.

They think wohm are less of a parent than they are.

Personally I just think that some people like to judge others. Simply because they behave like a twat sometimes.

Rainbowzippy Wed 08-Jun-16 17:52:00

I suspect a LOT of people think this. I'm currently a SAHM and the working parents I know seem to think I'm a profligate WAG. The whole of society undervalues and disrespects SAHMs.

Babygiraffejungle Wed 08-Jun-16 17:53:09

Ilovesooty it's not but if dh took days off like that he'd lose his job it's the nature of the industry he's in. My employer are family friendly which is why I've stuck there.

Sigma I think you've completely misunderstood me. I don't want dh to do anything more. I'm just wondering whether society sees us as equal contributors.

LilacInn Wed 08-Jun-16 17:55:20

I think BooAvenue has nailed it. The people who say the husband wouldn't be able to further his career if the sahm didn't care for the kids are assuming the husband really, really wanted kids. As Boo points out, in my experience many men just go along with becoming a parent and then think they are doing the wife and children a favor by supporting them.

(Not agreeing with that sentiment at all, but in my life experience that is how the notion arises in a man that he holds more power. Because he feels he has magnanimously has granted the woman her wish to have children and stay home to rear them. I know of very few men who were truly, truly desperate to have offspring. Look how many of them abandon their kids without a backward glance compared to the number of mothers who do so.)

oldlaundbooth Wed 08-Jun-16 17:56:07

Of course it's proper work.

Imagine if you paid a full time housekeeper, nanny, gardener, butler and a cook. They ran the household completely. Did it all.

How much would you pay them per week?

More than your DH earns I bet.

Babygiraffejungle Wed 08-Jun-16 17:56:20

I should have put in the title financially equal.

AyeAmarok Wed 08-Jun-16 17:56:24

You are not equal financial contributors.

But you are equal contributors to the overall running of your house and family. And everything you have is shared. Therefore his money is no more his than your children are yours.

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