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To think some people here make a big deal of stress of being financially responsible?

(135 Posts)
cantbearsed1 Mon 18-Mar-19 09:58:08

I often see on here someone making a comment about the horrendous pressure and stress a man feels if he is financially responsible for his family e.g. woman is a SAHM. I have been financially responsible for my family when my DP was not working for a year because of illness.
AIBU to think this is not a great pressure or very stressful?
I have had very stressful times, but this would not even rate in my top ten.

swindy Mon 18-Mar-19 10:01:24

I've never seen that comment made. But it completely depends on the circumstances!

SleepDeprivedCabbageBrain Mon 18-Mar-19 10:02:17

Depends if you like your job or not? It would be horrible to be trapped in a high-pressure role you didn't enjoy because everyone was relying on you.

Divgirl2 Mon 18-Mar-19 10:02:33

I think it depends on your lifestyle. I know people who live absolutely on the edge of their paychecks and if one of them were to lose their job it would cause huge stress.

Obviously losing half your family income will always be an adjustment but some people will definitely feel it more.

havingtochangeusernameagain Mon 18-Mar-19 10:03:12

Of course it is stressful. You could lose your job at any point, even if you are very good at it, due to any number of reasons.

AlexaShutUp Mon 18-Mar-19 10:06:04

It isn't stressful if you're in a secure job that you generally enjoy. It's massively stressful if you're in a job that you hate or if you feel that your job is at risk in some way. It all depends on circumstance.

I am the main breadwinner in our family, and have been the only one at times. The extent to which it is stressful or not depends entirely on the circumstances.

cantbearsed1 Mon 18-Mar-19 10:06:21

Sleepdeprived Most of us do our jobs for the money. I have according to your definition been "trapped" in work since I was 16. Some jobs I have enjoyed, some I have not. But all of them I have only done for the money.

cantbearsed1 Mon 18-Mar-19 10:08:15

And we have been in the situation of relying on both our incomes to pay basic bills. It would have been stressful if either of us had lost our job, as we would have lost our home. But then most people do go paycheck to paycheck.
I wonder if this is the mindset of more privileged people who are not used to having to depend on each paycheck?

MaidenMotherCrone Mon 18-Mar-19 10:08:55

You're judging others by your own experience. Others may have experience of situations you have found stressful and been fine.

Lweji Mon 18-Mar-19 10:15:58

I've seen it. It's usually used to excuse abusers or men who can't be arsed to do anything at home.

Unless the man (usually, for some reason women aren't allowed to feel that pressure) is in a really precarious job, living week to week, or suffers from anxiety (but then it wouldn't be an issue with being the single earner), it's bullshit.

Tomtontom Mon 18-Mar-19 10:16:29

Have you ever lost everything and not known how you're going to feed your kids OP, or been near that position? I hope it never happens to you, but it's the kind of thing that gives you the stress you describe, and that stays with you even with your situation gets better. Many of us live very close to the breadline.

I worry about supporting myself. I can't imagine how much more stressful it is knowing you've got 2+ more people reliant on your income as well.

Lweji Mon 18-Mar-19 10:19:00

The stress excuse is often used in threads where the male breadwinner has a good job, but works long hours (supposedly) and is often snappy or worse at his partner or occasionally "babysits" his children.

Snog Mon 18-Mar-19 10:20:16

Depends on the circumstances and on the individual's susceptibility to stress and triggers for stress.

If I had a financial cushion and income insurance and would find it easy to walk into another job this would be less stressful than the reverse. If I was a laid back personality it would be less of a big deal than for a naturally anxious person.

Ot is naive and simplistic to generalise from your own experience. YABU.

Asta19 Mon 18-Mar-19 10:22:22

I've seen this a lot too OP. I was a single parent so I had the "stress" of being the only wage earner, I carried all the "mental load" (another term thrown around here) on my own. Did all housework and childcare myself. Oh but us single parents can't say it's too stressful or we're told "well you need to support your family". But apparently these poor men can't manage that, it's too much "stress" for them hmm

PlainVanilla Mon 18-Mar-19 10:23:03

I recently read an interesting comment:
"there is no stress, just inefficiency"
this was in a workplace context, but could equally apply to the domestic scenario.
I don't think it is "stressful" to support a family, in the sense that you know it is going to happen, you have a good idea of the costs/budgets etc. involved.
I could see where it might become stressful if there is a sudden loss of earnings due to ill-health, accident, unemployment, but surely the majority of people budget?
Or maybe not?

EmpressJewel Mon 18-Mar-19 10:28:22

For many, work is no longer just about turning up to work, doing your hours and then going home. Employers are expecting more and more and that's what is stressful.

Frequent restructures and redundancies mean that people don't feel settled for long.

No matter how good you are at your job, how you play office politics can be a deciding factor in whether or not you survive.

In order to keep employable you often have to keep your skills up. I have been sent on lots of personal development courses to identify my strengths and weaknesses etc.

MRex Mon 18-Mar-19 10:28:28

My dad was made redundant several times when we were kids and mum's business wasn't doing well. They tried to keep it from us, but it was clear that he felt the added stress enormously. I find the pressures of work (though the work itself more than the pressure from being the primary earner) much harder than the "mental load" of looking after a house, but I can appreciate for some people that might be very difficult in comparison to any stress from jobs they've had. We're all going to struggle with different things in life, a bit of compassion rarely hurts.

thecatsthecats Mon 18-Mar-19 10:34:20

To be honest, I see a lot of threads on here where I feel third hand financial stress just reading them!

It all depends if someone has a saver mindset and another a spender. You see it on here from the woman's point of view 99% of the time, but I know plenty of male and female spenders and savers.

As a saver, it gives me palpitations just to read about someone saying they have a lease car and no pension plan but 'they can afford it, so what's the problem'...

BlueSkiesLies Mon 18-Mar-19 10:35:40

I find it more annoying when the non-working partner complains about the 'mental load' pffff

TheOrigFV45 Mon 18-Mar-19 10:37:52

I am a single parent. I feel the stress of my 2 children being entirely dependent on me.
Don't think I've ever mentioned it though, it goes without saying, doesn't it?

Fr3d Mon 18-Mar-19 10:44:39

I have had more than 1 male employee come to me quite worked up and over anxious looking for a raise...and it turned out there was a new baby on the way. So I do think it affects some people that way.

mrsm43s Mon 18-Mar-19 10:53:14

I bear the financial responsibility of the family, despite us both working, and DH in fact earning more.

But it is me who is expected to solve all financial issues, to make financial decisions and to take charge of finances.

We have a reasonably good income, but large outgoings.

It is me that has to find the money to fix the roof, pay for the holiday, pay the school fees. Me that has to jiggle to budget to find a bit extra for school trips, and me that is the bad guy when the money just can't be found and I have to say no to something that DH or the children want.

It causes me a massive amount of stress and sleepless nights. I do all the worrying for the family. Everyone relies on me.

rockingthelook Mon 18-Mar-19 10:53:33

It doesn't matter if the person is male or female, if the onus is on you to be the sole provider for your family, it can be very stressful. I believe a lot depends on how you were brought up to view finances, I have have friends who 'live for today', have new cars on finance, holidays, breaks away all the time, most things being put onto credit cards, they don't think about it, just have a great time,I however, would lose sleep if I had lots of debt on a credit card, just the way I was brought up, that nothing is yours unless it is fully paid for? I had a great job on a good salary, was made redundant, now working on a much lower salary, and yes, I find it stressful, when you are responsible for the wellbeing and providing a home for your family it's hard , but it's just important not to let it get to you and in the way of every day living and happiness

WarmCoffee Mon 18-Mar-19 10:55:51

I've seen it. It's usually used to excuse abusers or men who can't be arsed to do anything at home.

I agree. But I suppose everyone is different. I am the highest earner and have been the sole breadwinner at several points (I'm the wife/mother). I never found it overly stressful - I turn up for work 8hrs a day, work hard, the same amount of money is automatically transferred into our bank account each month. Job done. It's actually a break to be out of the house when the kids are young.

The stress of not having much money, I think, is a different beast, and affects both partners, regardless of who is actually working (having to cobble together a food shop at the end of the month, stressing about overdrafts and how to pay when the car breaks down, etc). It doesn't really make a difference who is the "breadwinner", it's stressful for everyone when money is tight.

I can see how working cash in hand or running your own business as a "family breadwinner" could be stressful, but also you have made a choice to do a less reliable kind of work.

keepforgettingmyusername Mon 18-Mar-19 10:55:54

I don't think you can really dismiss other people's experiences like that. Just because you think it's not that stressful doesn't mean that others won't feel the pressure. It's like coming along and saying 'all women are just claiming they're tired looking after kids all day because I did it, and I wasn't.'

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