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Does society value sahp's?

(39 Posts)
wildflowerfable Wed 24-May-17 15:25:12

Since becoming a sahm, I have sometimes felt that generally speaking many people don't value the role or understand why someone would choose it.

Every family makes different decisions, whether it be working full/part time, working because they have to, or working because they choose to (meaning they could financially cope having a parent at home). I really don't care about others decisions, as there is never one right way to do things, just what you believe is best for your family.

But so often, people make jibes about me staying at home. People have said "it just isn't what people do now", and implying it is wrong for me to be financially dependent on Dh. Also, if I worked we would be entitled to child tax credits even if Dh earnt twice his salary, but because I don't we don't get anything. We cope okay without child tax credits, I am just pointing it out. I feel as though so much of our society is geared towards both parents working (but then perhaps families where both parents work would say the opposite, I don't know).

Dh and I figured out that if I was to work part time and we put dd into nursery (we don't live near family), with the extra help we would get from the government we would actually be taking more money than I would give back in tax, as my previous job which is what I'm trained in isn't too well paid. So staying at home for us makes the most sense, as well as the fact I enjoy it.

Does anyone else feel the same, or perhaps have any insights?
Thank you.

Bluntness100 Wed 24-May-17 15:33:51

Surely the point is whether you and your husband value it? Why would society value it? I'm a project manager, no one I know seems to go wow,we really value project managers. Same for secretaries, or sales reps, or whatever. Look at all that tax you pay, creating child care jobs, go you.

If you socialise with people who make derogatory choices about how you chose to live. Then stop socialising with them. All that matters is you and your husband and your children value it.

InDubiousBattle Wed 24-May-17 15:34:38

Does society value sahp's?

No. I think 'society' values workers much more. It never even occurred to me I'd get stick for being a SAHM but I have. From friends and family it's upsetting but I couldn't really care less how 'society' views me.

wildflowerfable Wed 24-May-17 15:38:17

bluntness maybe 'value' isn't the right word here. I just mean that I often feel as though society is set up to help working parents more than sahp's, and that many people don't see how staying at home can be beneficial. It's also hard to not socialise with these people when they are my own family.

dubious I have felt the same. I didn't really think anyone would pass comment on it, but so many people do.

wildflowerfable Wed 24-May-17 15:40:36

I agree that perhaps I need to take less stock in others opinions. All that matters is we value it, and if other people think that's wrong it's their problem not ours.

Topsy44 Wed 24-May-17 15:59:29

I don't think society does value sahps. I do think people sometimes forget that a sahp is a job too and a blinkin difficult one at that.

pipnchops Wed 24-May-17 16:05:18

I chose not to go back to work after my first DD was born 2.5 years ago, I now have two DDs. I don't regret my decision and most people, especially other parents, seem to have as much respect for my decision to not go back to work as I do their decision to go back work. I'm sure some of my non parent friends think I just sit and watch Loose Women all day but then before I had children I would have probability wondered what you'd do all day at home with two kids. Oh how ignorant I was!!

I've had the odd comment such as "I had to go back to work to keep my brain active" which I admit makes me feel a bit rubbish. If I was employed as a nanny, paid to look after someone else's kids, would that mean I had no brain? Also I've had someone say "I'd feel guilty for not contributing to the household income" but I was in the same situation as you and even if I had gone back to work, after paying for childcare I wouldn't have had much salary left to contribute.

In terms of the economy (which might be what you mean by society?) SAHPs don't pay any tax and I suppose the government want as many people working as possible so they can rake in the ££££s. That's why the system favours working parents. And because some people have no choice but to both work and they need help.

StealthPolarBear Wed 24-May-17 16:11:13

I feel the opposite op. As a woman when you have children you stop work or go back very part time, unless you have a damn good justification for working

wildflowerfable Wed 24-May-17 16:17:48

It's interesting to see others feeling similarly to me.

I absolutely believe that households where both parents work should be supported, and I'm pleased that they are. My issue with working as I'm a lower earner, is that the government would give us tax credits and maybe financial help with childcare. Dh would also pay less tax than he does now. But as I wouldn't be paying much tax, we would actually be draining a lot more money than we are now if that makes sense. So I feel that in our situation, I'm actually helping by staying at home.

wildflowerfable Wed 24-May-17 16:19:15

stealth do you mean you wish it was easier to go back full time? It's interesting to hear a different perspective to mine.

StealthPolarBear Wed 24-May-17 16:21:40

No I mean I heard plenty of expectations that I wouldn't work, or that if I did I'd just do a couple of days. And plenty of people asked why I was working. They didn't ask dh.

StealthPolarBear Wed 24-May-17 16:22:45

So yes I suppose i do sorry. I'm still annoyed about the "little job" assumptions.

wildflowerfable Wed 24-May-17 16:25:17

stealth ah okay I was unsure. That's s good point actually, and there is definitely a double standard there too. I personally found that most people assumed I'd go back part-time, I'm not sure of the reaction if I decided to go back full-time. There are so many expectations from others I find.

LorLorr2 Wed 24-May-17 16:25:42

People like to compete over how hard working and busy they are, and they think SAHP's have taken the easy option. Not true of course but that's the impression I get. Especially with the wave of feminism, women are seen as submissive if they take on that traditional role.
Do what is right for you and don't take rubbish from anyone.

Pallisers Wed 24-May-17 16:25:57

Society values

1. Capital
2. Paid labour

It really doesn't value unpaid contributions much. That said, I think where I live in the US and where I used to live in Ireland values SAHPs far more than the slice of UK society I see revealed on MN.

StealthPolarBear Wed 24-May-17 16:26:37

Maybe that's it. Maybe it's less about the content and more about the fact that other people have such strong opinions that annoys us both. Starts when you're pregnant

GetAHaircutCarl Wed 24-May-17 16:27:24

Society is not set up to help women. Whether they work or not.

pipnchops Wed 24-May-17 16:27:37

Wildflower that is interesting, I didn't really look into what benefits we could get if I went back to work, I simply got the cost of putting DD in nursery and took it off the money I'd be earning and thought there's no point. I personally wouldn't feel comfortable claiming benefits to help with the cost of childcare if I didn't need it. But then I didn't really enjoy my job and would rather spend my time with my children and was lucky that it was possible for me. It seems ludicrous to me that you could actually take more than you pay back in to the economy.

wildflowerfable Wed 24-May-17 16:30:56

lor my sister once said to me "it's like feminism never happened with you", when in the past I said I'd love to be a sahm, so I see a lot of truth in that.

pallisers I totally agree. It's interesting how different countries view the role of a sahp as well.

MooMooCat Wed 24-May-17 16:32:11

You're damned if you do and damned if you don't.

pipnchops Wed 24-May-17 16:32:25

That last sentence sounds a bit harsh as I read it back. I don't mean I disagree with people claiming benefits. What I was trying to say was in your situation when you want to stay at home with your children but actually you'd be better off going back to work. That seems wrong.

wildflowerfable Wed 24-May-17 16:35:46

stealth I think that's totally right actually! For someone you will always be doing the 'wrong' thing.

I found it strange when we calculated that by me working I would actually be taking more than what I would contribute. I understand why these things have been put in place, as some families need both parents working or you may be a single parent. But for families like mine it makes no sense.

Kursk Wed 24-May-17 16:38:38

Society in this case is irrelevant, you should do what is best for the family.

It was a simple choice for DH and I, his salary was enough alone to support the family. I could have paid for childcare from my pay (and end up with nothing) or be a SAHM.

crunched Wed 24-May-17 16:51:01

You have asked about SAHP but the thread seems to have headed in the SAHM direction. I think it is an undervalued role in both cases but individuals need to be convinced they are doing what is best for their family and this will, eventually, be a benefit to society.
May I also add, I really value project managers grin Bluntness100

Batteriesallgone Wed 24-May-17 17:02:11

It depends. I find I encounter either obsequious individuals desperate to use my choice to SAH to make digs at their DW / DH / DIL / DD. Although they are making a big fuss about how much they apparently value SAH, it feels much more like a power play than my actual role in society being valued. If that makes any sense.

And then there are the defensive DW / DH / DILs / DDs (never come across a parent pressurising a son to SAH, have to say) who are keen to point out how undervalued my role is, how precarious my financial situation is etc etc etc.

I don't seem to come across many people who don't care either way tbh. I would like to stop being used as an example of either 'how parenting should be done' or a 'weak stupid woman who will come a cropper'.

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