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For thinking SAHMs are making themselves financially vulnerable

655 replies

PeasOff · 24/07/2022 18:25

Would or do you depend on your partner financially?

Do you have a backup in place in case of breakup or for your retirement?

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Snoredoeurve · 28/07/2022 19:08

howmanypets · 28/07/2022 19:00

Snoredoeurve - you sound very angry. What page are your grim statistics on please?

Im fucking furious!
About the inequality, and misery that many women will face in their later years.
So?
Or are you implying that I should stop being angry as its not nice or its not becoming?🙄

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Manzi · 28/07/2022 19:13

I did depend on my husband financially.

When we divorced 20 years later, I was unemployable as I'd been a SAHM for so long.

I do regret this, but I don't regret a single second of the time I have spent with the children from birth until now (youngest is about to go to university). My ex husband didn't want to be an 'equal parent' in the way that it's meant on here any more than I wanted him to be one. I wanted him to bugger off to work and let me get on with doing what I was good at and enjoyed.

I have no idea what the 'right' answer to any of this is, as I'd have walked over hot coals not to go back to work when they were little, and think I was fortunate not to have to do so. But it would be useful and possibly pleasant to be employable now, as I still have 20 or so years of working life left in me. I had a career type job which I couldn't return to now as things have moved on too much and too fast, so I'd be looking at jobs which would just be filling time, not jobs I'd find interesting.

So, yes, you are vulnerable if you rely on a man - though I'm still better off as a middle aged divorced woman than loads of women I know who kept their jobs when they had children. As I say, no easy one-size-fits-all answer to this. But the people who are really seriously vulnerable are those who are unmarried SAHPs.

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howmanypets · 28/07/2022 19:21

"Its about realising that the financial and physical burden of childcare has to be borne by men as much as it is women or nothing will ever change."

But, even on a societal level, you have to accept that, where children are concerned, families will do what they want, depending in their personalities and abilities. You can't straight-jacket them.

You could offer fantastic free childcare available to all, Great. But still, many families just won't want that for their children. What are you going to do - berate them for that? It's none of your business to dictate how people should feel about their own children.

If one partner is a much higher earner than the other, what is the point of limiting the higher earner? Eg. My friend's DH is a particular type of surgeon and can't always predict his working patterns or when he'll get home. If she announced she sound be working a 35 hour week and he would have to do the same to be an "equal parent", then that would be one less surgeon. It's just not realistic.

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Topgub · 28/07/2022 19:24

@howmanypets

Youre not reading what I'm saying.

Its getting a bit odd now.

Although interestingly scandi countries that have heavily subsidised childcare have a majority uptake and much more equality than we do

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howmanypets · 28/07/2022 19:36

I am reading what you're saying. You seem all over the place, to be fair.

One minute you're saying it's patriarchal attitudes and lack of affordable childcare that are the reason more women SAH than men. But then you are simultaneously arguing that women SAH because they themselves are determined to and they won't give up that 'control.'

One minute you are saying that DHs with SAHWs cannot be "equal parents' because they are physically with the children for less time than their wives. But then you are arguing that where women go to work, it has no impact on their parenting (which I agree with incidentally).

So basically, you just say whatever to fit your odd agenda.

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Topgub · 28/07/2022 19:41

@howmanypets

I'm not all over the place.

You just appear to be reading what you want rather than what is being said

Your last paragraph for example, I havent said that. Although I do think there is a difference between the equality of 2 parents sharing care and having a sahm. Most wm don't have a sahp or even a part at home time parent.

The first paragraph I think both are true.

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howmanypets · 28/07/2022 19:47

I have seen you argue that mums who work full time do everything SAHMs do. I kind of agree fwiw, because obviously good parenting is about quality, not quantity (of hours).
So surely the same applies to husbands who may work longer hours than their wives or who have wives who work PT or SAHWs? Quality rather than quantity?

Anyway, going out now.

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Topgub · 28/07/2022 19:50

@howmanypets

It can do

But I dont think it always does.

Cause, ya know. Sexism and childcare is the womans job.

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MrsBwced · 28/07/2022 20:51

Although I do think there is a difference between the equality of 2 parents sharing care and having a sahm. Most wm don't have a sahp or even a part at home time parent.
I think any difference is likely to be due to the feelings of those involved rather than just because one stays at home.
I've done both and I don't think DH's attitude changed when I stopped working.

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Topgub · 28/07/2022 21:43

@MrsBwced

Well yes.

That's what I said.

Feeling like the childcare is the womans job.

More likely to be the case if it literally is

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howmanypets · 28/07/2022 23:54

You could consider your internalised misogyny TopGub. Not all men think like you. They don't equate caring work by SAHMs as 'lesser' just because it's traditionally 'woman's work.' On the contrary, they see it as vital and more important than the paid work they are doing. Which is kind of the whole point...

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MsTSwift · 29/07/2022 05:57

Yes we get it you and your arrangements are “right” and anyone that structures their lives differently is “wrong” propping up the patriarchy and generally letting the side down. We will end up crying in the gutter after our husbands run off and wishing that we too had done it your way- Is that what you are after?!

Hence why you can’t bear to hear that some of us take a few years out to be with babies and pre schoolers and then shock horror go back to work and pick up decent careers.Literally the majority of the women I know have done this. We wanted to do it. That’s the Inconvenient truth.

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Topgub · 29/07/2022 06:11

@howmanypets

Not enough to do it themselves though, eh?

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BalloonsAndWhistles · 29/07/2022 06:13

Working is about far more than the money you get right now. It’s about building up a pension pot for the future. I was auto-enrolled at 18 into a civil service pension and, bar three years at uni in my 20s, I now have 18 years of a public sector pension (civil service and NHS) Point it, had I just decided, fuck it, I’m staying at home I wouldn’t have that.

My early pension years are lower because I worked part time until 2012 but still got contributions and, most importantly, kept up with tech and new developments at work. I was able to progress even if I was only there part time. You can’t progress at all if you aren’t even there!

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CashmereMutt · 29/07/2022 08:22

BalloonsAndWhistles · 29/07/2022 06:13

Working is about far more than the money you get right now. It’s about building up a pension pot for the future. I was auto-enrolled at 18 into a civil service pension and, bar three years at uni in my 20s, I now have 18 years of a public sector pension (civil service and NHS) Point it, had I just decided, fuck it, I’m staying at home I wouldn’t have that.

My early pension years are lower because I worked part time until 2012 but still got contributions and, most importantly, kept up with tech and new developments at work. I was able to progress even if I was only there part time. You can’t progress at all if you aren’t even there!

When I decided “fuck it I’m staying at home” there were no options to pay into a pension if you weren’t working. There are now, as a non earner you can receive £2880 a year into your pension tax free from you dh (or anyone else who wants to pay). On return to work I paid my full salary up to £40k a year into my pension to catch up still do! We should encourage pension arrangements to be part of the conversation between parents on who if anyone SAH - there are options. Pensions can be part of the dovorce settlement too - so there’s no need for mass panic, there are options.
What tech are people keeping up with? Are we talking Microsoft packages or something more specialised? - software packages change all the time - it’s a very easy update, if you struggle to learn new skills that are designed to be a piece of piss to use that might be your problem. More importantly are your skills in dealing with people, resolving issues, and your attitude and these don’t tend to change with a career break to look after kids.
Employers have become more open minded, employing people on a wide range of skills, that are not just developed in the work place, rejecting a talented candidate because they took a career break to look after kids is not a conversation you will often hear not and I think banging on about this perpetrates the myth that women returning from a career break are not welcome back because they have lost their skills - it is simply not true! There seems to be a need on this thread to punish these women for letting the side down, keep telling them they are not worthy and they’ll start to believe it - the misogynistic’s work has been done!

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TartanGirl1 · 29/07/2022 08:33

I don't think some people on this thread understand what misogyny is...

Clearly there are a lot of people on MN that cannot see or do not care about the bigger picture. If it ain't my bubble it doesn't exist.

The most frustrating thing about these conversations is it is not about you the individual but it just be one's me me me I I I.

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MrsBwced · 29/07/2022 09:01

TartanGirl1 · 29/07/2022 08:33

I don't think some people on this thread understand what misogyny is...

Clearly there are a lot of people on MN that cannot see or do not care about the bigger picture. If it ain't my bubble it doesn't exist.

The most frustrating thing about these conversations is it is not about you the individual but it just be one's me me me I I I.

In this case OP has asked questions inviting people to respond, so it's obvious they are going to respond with personal experiences.
Despite lots of posters seeming to want a wider debate none of them ever seems to start a thread saying let's have a discussion about why women are in general more vulnerable financially. It's always SAHM are... or similar which seems to set the tone.

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Snoredoeurve · 29/07/2022 09:21

TartanGirl1 · 29/07/2022 08:33

I don't think some people on this thread understand what misogyny is...

Clearly there are a lot of people on MN that cannot see or do not care about the bigger picture. If it ain't my bubble it doesn't exist.

The most frustrating thing about these conversations is it is not about you the individual but it just be one's me me me I I I.

Totally agree.
I always find it interesting that certain SAHM always accuse others of misogyny, calling them xyz,
lazy etc letting the side down and when you read back not one WOHM has said anything like it.
I brought this up politely on another thread and actually the SAHM then contacted me to apologize because I highlighted that she was the ONLY one using unpleasant language about SAHMs.
I think many men do value child rearing and domestic chores but mostly if it is done by another to benefit them to be free to do as they wish.
They see it as womens work not theirs.
Of course some men agree to compensate the partner by way of pension contributions/ property etc but I am wholly in favour of better protection in law for women/ men who do this .
The facts regarding womens finances in later life are grim.
Women statistically will have 2/3 less pension pot than men at retirement age.
Not scaremongering or misogyny to quote this.
Coming back with"but Im fine" doesnt open debate and quoting these stats isnt about punishing women.
Also WOHP do value childrearing -repeatedly both @Topgub and I have talked about the value of men as well as women parenting, we both had the best of both worlds.

Great career, children cared for by both partners, no long hours in CC, both having pensions and supporting each other.

I think that puts a few noses out of joint and so the barracking about misogyny begins!
If asking why men arent parenting is misogyny then they clearly think parenting is only for women.
So actual internalised misogyny with a touch of misandry right there !

All the best everyone.
I think this will be one of those threads where the same characters carry on sniping at anyone who tries to have an interesting discussion and its pretty pointless really.

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vivainsomnia · 29/07/2022 09:40

@Manzi, thank you for your very honest account. Your experience is very much what I am familiar with. All the sahms that I got to know we're so because that's what they wanted more than anything. They were delighted to leave the workforce and to be married to a good earner that facilitated it.

Yet on Mumsnet, were meant to believe that all SAHMs have sacrificed a very rewarding career to facilitate their husband career, rather than because being a sahm is what they wanted to be primarily.

I think we are undermining women by pretending that they don't have a voice. I think they actually have much more a say than men. Those who really want to work and bud a career find ways to get their oh to do their share, or alternatively, employ someone to help.

Those who really want to be sahm, when it can be afforded, will in the vast majority become so, even if it isn't their oh' preference, usually by promises they will go back in X years.

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tiggergoesbounce · 29/07/2022 09:49

Oh @howmanypets i see this is still going 🤣🤣please try to see this for what it is, they dont want discussion.
Its strange how this is only the OPs 2nd post, they want no advice, have very clear views which align exactly to the main posters on here who are now using the thread as their own sounding board again

You are complete correct in your observations about PP, Please view other threads relating to SAHMs it is the same roubdabout all the times and the key people do this constantly just to keep people engaging with them.

Its a shame that people cant accept its a womans right to choose how she lives her life, as it is for a man (providing they cause no harm to anyone)

Its easier and lazy for women to blame other women rather than looking at the bigger picture and the reasons why more women stay at home and demanding change from that direction.

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Manzi · 29/07/2022 11:25

vivainsomnia · 29/07/2022 09:40

@Manzi, thank you for your very honest account. Your experience is very much what I am familiar with. All the sahms that I got to know we're so because that's what they wanted more than anything. They were delighted to leave the workforce and to be married to a good earner that facilitated it.

Yet on Mumsnet, were meant to believe that all SAHMs have sacrificed a very rewarding career to facilitate their husband career, rather than because being a sahm is what they wanted to be primarily.

I think we are undermining women by pretending that they don't have a voice. I think they actually have much more a say than men. Those who really want to work and bud a career find ways to get their oh to do their share, or alternatively, employ someone to help.

Those who really want to be sahm, when it can be afforded, will in the vast majority become so, even if it isn't their oh' preference, usually by promises they will go back in X years.

@vivainsomnia I think you're right. I knew a lot of SAHMs when my DC were little (we all spent a lot of time together!) Some were 'accidental' SAHMs (in that it had just worked out that way due to the man being offered a fantastic career move which meant relocating etc), but the majority had chosen it because that's what they wanted to do and that's what made them feel fulfilled and happy.

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CashmereMutt · 29/07/2022 11:53

All this concern for women facing poverty in later years and no one mentions the menopause and its affect.
Menopause and Workplace Report published yesterday found the main reasons that women experiencing menopause gave for choosing to leave the workplace included stigma, lack of support and discrimination.
Where’s the outcry about this on a thread focused on women’s financial future?

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howmanypets · 29/07/2022 11:57

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

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TartanGirl1 · 29/07/2022 12:46

CashmereMutt · 29/07/2022 11:53

All this concern for women facing poverty in later years and no one mentions the menopause and its affect.
Menopause and Workplace Report published yesterday found the main reasons that women experiencing menopause gave for choosing to leave the workplace included stigma, lack of support and discrimination.
Where’s the outcry about this on a thread focused on women’s financial future?

Well this thread is about SAHMs but why not start one about that, great idea!

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RibenaMonsoon · 29/07/2022 13:18

My husband is self employed and has a limited company. I've worked in it here and there but as a mostly SAHM now I'm mainly just focusing on the children. DH made me a director of the company and we have Insurance in case one of us passes away as neither of us could cope doing both.
I think it is possible, if you are with the right person and you put measures in place to protect each other should anything happen to the marriage or each of you, then it's absolutely doable.

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