Stay at Home Wife Stigma?

Online Users: 1,283 guest(s), 0 user(s). Replies: 97


starfish701 Posts : 465 Registered: 12/10/08
Re: Stay at Home Wife Stigma?
Posted: Mar 26, 2010 10:35 AM Go to message in response to: CheetahAngel

Having a back up plan is not just for SAHW/SAHM. Everyone should have a 'what if' plan. For example, FH and I have enough money in the bank to pay all of our bills for a little over 7 months if we both lost our job. We have health insurance through work, we have AFLAC just in case. We know where we would go in case of an emergency. We have plans!

So for hhhhhhh or HHHHHHH or hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh and all the other women who are getting cranky pants about being told they should have a plan understand that its something EVERYONE needs (even us uppity feminist). You should have one, if you don't make one! Its just insane not to.

I agree with the others that house work, to me, is not fulfilling (though I do love cooking most nights for my FH). However, some of the things I find fulfilling others may say 'uck how can you be happy just doing that' about. Some people do not fell fulfilled until they are at they are CEO of a multi million dollar company, some are fulfilled working for a non profit thier whole live, others are fulfilled by doing part time volunteer work. Some people are happy to be administrative assistants while others would be miserable doing that type of work either whole lives. So while I cannot imagine being fulfilled staying at home and spending all of my time taking care of my husband, does not mean that no one can find fulfillment in that.


wedding tickers

Reply


Moderator Posts : 211 Registered: 3/31/06
Re: Stay at Home Wife Stigma?
Posted: Mar 26, 2010 10:50 AM Go to message in response to: Agape14

I will lock this thread if there are any further attacks regarding the personal choices of the members here.

Please remember to keep your posts positive, respectful and allow for differences of opinion. We'd like to keep our community a place where future brides and past brides can share ideas, advice and have fun.

Reply


agd1017 Posts : 464 Registered: 9/14/09
Re: Stay at Home Wife Stigma?
Posted: Mar 26, 2010 10:54 AM Go to message in response to: starfish701

I have to comment on this, even though I'm going to purposefully stay out of part of the discussion. There have been many comments as to "what would I do all day" as a stay at home wife. Being a stay at home mom is a job all in itself. But a stay at home wife, to some, would be a boring job.

I was married once before, in my early 20's. We lived in Oregon, just the two of us. His family was in Tennessee, mine in Iowa. We had no kids. I was a stay at home wife. Why? Because my then-husband made more money than we knew what to do with, and there were many things that I could do with my time that, at the time, made more sense than me working.

First, he worked for a Japanese-owned company. All the men there had wives back in Japan. The wives would come to the States to visit every so often, and of course not all at once. I was on a "committee" through the company to be a hostess- when the wives would arrive, I picked them up at the airport, took them to their husband's State-side home, helped them socialize with other (local) wives of the company, etc. There was always an interpreter along. I did this about once or twice a month, usually for 7-10 days at a time. My then-husband was INCREDIBLY grateful that I donated my time to the company in that way.

I also belonged to several local groups, one was a scrapbooking group. Another was a "friends of the zoo" group. I did fundraising, promoting, organizing, etc for the zoo group. Once or twice a month I visited with a particular senior at a nursing home, and the nurses often told me that my visits were the highlight of this old lady's life (which is kinda sad but that's what happens I guess).

Yes there were times when I sat around the house, watched TV, cleaned house, cooked meals, etc. Those times were less than one might imagine. I still managed to get housework done, and my then-husband did his share as well.

There were very few times when I could honestly say I was bored with staying at home. Never did I wish I had a "real job."

I know not very many people have this kind of experience as a stay at home wife. But I just wanted to point out that there ARE other things a woman can do with her time besides cook and clean. It's incredibly honorable to donate one's time to various causes, when one can, given schedule and finances.

Amanda and Eric
10/10/10

Amanda and Eric

 

Reply


kennysoldwife Posts : 3,859 Registered: 4/28/07
Re: Stay at Home Wife Stigma?
Posted: Mar 26, 2010 12:13 PM Go to message in response to: agd1017

I think that was generous and as you say you were busy. You actually were working you just didn't receive a paycheck. I think volunteering for some cause or other is honorable whether you work outside of the home or not.

I don't see any problem with a person being a stay at home spouse if that is what works for the couple. I will keep stressing that a back up plan is necessary. To not have one especially at this time in our history is just dangerous. It is not a good idea if you are just a couple and it gets even worse once you bring a child into the mix.

If it is your calling fine enjoy, it's your life live it the way you want. I would just like to point out something here to a couple of people. agd1017 says she was a stay at home wife, agd1017 what happened to your then-husband? Did you divorce or become widowed? How did you make the transition? I am asking because it was stated that the divorce rate is high amongst the marriages of working couples with an inference that marriages where the wife stays home are more likely to succeed.

 

 

 

Kenny and me perfect together, 10 years and counting

Sucks to be you, So glad I am me

Proud Member of P.O.O.P,  People Offended by Offended People

wedding websites

Reply


MsDenuninani Posts : 3,962 Registered: 3/16/07
Re: Stay at Home Wife Stigma?
Posted: Mar 26, 2010 1:38 PM Go to message in response to: kennysoldwife

AOTB,

Staying at home or working outside the home or working for pay in the home is a CHOICE. . . You make choices that are best for you and your life. Other people make choices that are best for them and their lives.

Not a single person has suggested anything otherwise -- not on the stay-at-home side, nor on the go-to-work side.


But I think it's completely fair to point out that your choices have effects on people outside your home. Because when a woman chooses not to work, she removes her personal interest in the fight for woman to be treated equally in the workforce -- leaving work women to do it alone. And we need the presence of other women in the workforce -- that is how that choice affects us.

While it is completely fair for someone to not care about that, it is also completely fair for me to point it out.

Anyways, I totally support the ability of a woman to choose the life she wants to live. The only people on here I have any issue with are those that use the term "feminist" pejoratively -- forgetting that if it weren't for feminism, staying at home would not be a "choice" at all.

By the way, I don't think it's an argument about choices anyone is having here -- I think it's one about values. And values are always, always up for discussion and debate.

To the OP -- When someone is a stay-at-home wife (rather than a mom) I don't really understand what it is they do. And, I think, you'll find more sympathy and understanding from others if you can explain the value. In my mind, you contribute to the world by working (paid or unpaid), and the better I understand your contribution, the less likely I am, personally, to stigmatize.

Just being honest, here.


__________________________________________

"I'd hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, or insanity, but they've always worked for me." Hunter S. Thompson

Reply


cyndi33 Posts : 2,585 Registered: 1/3/07
Re: Stay at Home Wife Stigma?
Posted: Mar 26, 2010 2:20 PM Go to message in response to: MsDenuninani

"But I think it's completely fair to point out that your choices have
effects on people outside your home. Because when a woman chooses not
to work, she removes her personal interest in the fight for woman to be
treated equally in the workforce -- leaving work women to do it alone.
And we need the presence of other women in the workforce -- that is how
that choice affects us.

While it is completely fair for someone to not care about that, it is
also completely fair for me to point it out."

Agree, and well written.

"Anyways, I totally support the ability of a woman to choose the life she
wants to live. The only people on here I have any issue with are those
that use the term "feminist" pejoratively -- forgetting that if it
weren't for feminism, staying at home would not be a "choice" at all."

Agree, and also well written.


Proud Member of P.O.O.P., People Offended by Offended People

Reply


agd1017 Posts : 464 Registered: 9/14/09
Re: Stay at Home Wife Stigma?
Posted: Mar 27, 2010 1:32 PM Go to message in response to: kennysoldwife

kennys- We divorced. However, throughout the course of my marriage, my then-husband put money each payday into two savings accounts- one for him and one for me. We also had a joint checking. By the time we divorced, my savings account was high enough that I could live on it while in transition and looking for other work. The savings account was in my name, and my name only, so I was free to take it.

I know not everybody has this situation, but I just wanted to point out that it's possible to be a stay at home wife and not be bored silly.

Amanda and Eric
10/10/10

Amanda and Eric

 

Reply


CatStandish Posts : 2,766 Registered: 6/20/08
Re: Stay at Home Wife Stigma?
Posted: Mar 27, 2010 3:11 PM Go to message in response to: agd1017

It sounds like you were in a good situation... hubby who made enough money to allow you to volunteer for organizations you found worthy, rather than work at a job you loathed.

And you had a plan for emergency, in the form of the savings accounts, which he did not stint on putting money for you into--afterall, you supported his career by doing what you did for the company (with the spousal welcoming). That was something that allowed him advancement, I am sure. He recognized your contribution, and the two of you actually had a safety net.

It seems to me that that is the situation everyone has been asking of those who plan to stay at home.

If I were to be a parent, I would rather one of us actually raise our child rather than the day care workers (this is the ideal). It is what my mom did. She worked during school hours and was always home when I got home -- so she had part time jobs. She was also available to chaperone field trips and be a Girl Scout leader. Raising me was the job she considered most important. I would want that for my child. I also recognize that most of us do not have that luxury. Most of us do not have the golden parachute job that pays sufficient to support an entire family.

I recently had the company I worked for get shut down by the government (banking). It was a small one, so they didn't give a darn about keeping it afloat. Our regional manager worked his tuckus off to take care of his people and find us jobs. I was one of the lucky ones. December 3 I worked for one company, December 4, I worked for another. No gap in job, no gap in healt coverage. HOWEVER, my pay went down. I made good bonuses at the other company. We are just now getting to the point where bonuses are starting to come through. Benefits cost more at the new one. In effect, I took an over $1,000 month pay hit. And it's not like I make a lot of money anyway. At my salary level...that's enough to knock me down a tax bracket.

Attempting to pay all my bills and not get behind has nearly depleted my savings. I'm refinancing my home to take care of some bills, and refinancing my car to take care of others. This is what I'm having to do to reduce expenses because of the lost income. And no, there will be no raises until December....that will be my new anniversary. My previous anniversary was April (so the evaluations should have been coming up) Last year, the company I was with in April had a salary freeze imposed by the government--so I didn't get a raise. This year, no potential of one for another 9 months.

My back up plans are in full swing, but it is hurting....and this is for someone who was NOT out of work....I just had to transfer to a new company....unwillingly. Imagine how it must be for those who became unemployed through no fault of their own....and did not have the awesome regional manager who LITERALLY got fired trying to insure that we were all employed when the Fit hit the Shan. The new company hired us on at our previous salary. The loss in pay comes from the cost of benefits. He did the best he could. And a company that absorbs as many as mine did...well, they can't exactly offer everyone raises or signing bonuses. They don't know how this is going to work out. We're a risk to them. And they were our life boat--that was our "signing bonus"...we have a job.

Again, imagine how it must be when there is no safety net waiting, no job (albeit at a slightly lower pay), no savings....nothing.

Scares the heck out of me.

Misty

Reply


BrighterThanSun... Posts : 853 Registered: 10/17/08
Re: Stay at Home Wife Stigma?
Posted: Mar 29, 2010 11:47 AM Go to message in response to: Sunnijoy

I didn't read the entire discussion--it sure is interesting but it sure is long as well!

I just want to tell the story of my Mom.

My Mom was never extremely career driven. She married my father who was very successful--they met at the workplace actually. My father is a lawyer and my mother was a legal secretary. She went to college and got her diploma. She worked their for years and enjoyed herself but she always wanted to be a wife and a mother. They got married and she continued to work but when she had me (her first child, my sister was born 3 years later) she became a stay-at-home Mom. We really did love having her around and her being accessible to us. She was the present parent-figure in our life and while I love my Dad to pieces, I don't remember him raising us like I remember my Mom. My Dad coached soccer but he wasn't there for dinner or to pick us up from school. I was always happy to have a stay-at-home Mom. As we grew up (probably when I was around 8 and my sister was around 5) my parent's were having some money issues. My Dad suggested the idea of my Mom going back to work. My Mom looked into it and from her 8 years absence from the workforce, her previous job had completely changed. Qualifications were different, responsibilities were different--she was no longer appealing to that job position. So she went to school. She went back and did an undergrad partime for the first '3 years' (took 6) and fulltime for the last year. It took her 7 years to abtain her undergrad. She then went back to work as a Social Worker but with only an undergrad and little work experience, she had tons of hours and responsibilities and a pretty low salary. My Dad urged her to get her Masters so that her salary would increase and she would be more marketable to potential employers. My Dad resented her because she had not contributed to their income for years and then in turn, about $30 000 had to be spent on her later education. During those years she wasn't the stay-at-home Mom she wanted to be--she was busy in her office working on essays and abtaining the A+ grades she desired to receive scholarships that offered small monetary awards.

Basically--she was not the stay-at-home Mom she wanted to be and she didn't contribute to income either.

It turned out that my Dad was having an affair that begun the year she started working, inbetween her undergrad and her masters. While my Mom was doing her Masters he was found out and while they tried to make it work, my Mom ended up telling him to go be with his mistress, which he did.

Now my Mom has no retirement savings and is making a small salary. My family in in extreme debt and my Mom will be getting very little from the divorce. My Dad has been removing money from their retirement savings to pay for his personal debts which my Mom didn't know about and now she will be getting very little, if anything from that account. She is 47.

How could this have been avoided? She could have been working.

Some women think it's great to play 1950's and have a hot dinner waiting for their husband and you think it's going to be like I Love Lucy. Guess what? Divorces happen. Deaths happen. Being let go from jobs happen. Then what do you do? It takes years to get back on your feet again.

I never have wanted to be a stay-at-home Wife. I'm sorry but I didn't realize that women chose this path regularly. I think it's fiscally irresponsible. I had considered being a stay-at-home Mom but I am going to learn from my Mom's mistake. While I may take a slightly longer maternity leave than necessary--maybe up to 6 months--maybe--I will continue to generate my own income and contribute to my own savings.

Sorry for the ramble. Just seeing my Mother right now, so lost and financially ignorant is upsetting.

Reply


anne11235813 Posts : 58 Registered: 11/15/08
Re: Stay at Home Wife Stigma?
Posted: Mar 29, 2010 3:18 PM Go to message in response to: BrighterThanSun...

What I personally would hate the most about being a stay at home wife is to be financially dependent on my husband.

On Saturday I was on the birthday party of my husband's aunt's parents. They both turned 70. She was a stay at home wife their entire marriage and they are well off since he was an engineer. A slide show was presented with photos of their life together, which was really nice. It included their travels and one picture was of her in Istanbul on a bazaar, where they sold jewellery. His comment? "Oh I had to spend my money on jewellery for her". It sounded like she had no money of her own and no right to spend any as she chose because she didn't earn it. He did. And he is a complete patriarch, his word is law in his house. For me (personally!!) there is a connection between a non-equal partnership and a non-equal contribution to the income (by which I don't mean that both have to have the same salary, but both should have an income). We both work and we both help keeping the apartment in order.

Now let me add that my mother was a stay at home mom when we kids were little, because my father was a sales agent and had to be away a lot. But my mother has a master's degree. And later my parents founded their own business where she contributed a lot of work. Now my father is retired and my mother is still working in this business, making her own money which goes towards her own retirement. Which is really important because my father is 16 years her senior. She might therefore be - heaven forbid - a young widow. But they are prepared.


Which brings me to another point: I am absolutely disgusted by men who get a divorce and have no scruples to leave their ex-wife in poverty. And it happens a lot.


I am for equality, for equal pay for equal work, I want a true partnership with my husband (which we have :o)) and I think that it is a myth that a baby can only be with the mother. Especially here in Germany there is still this belief in the "Uber-mother" which was created in our minds a long time ago. In the third reich actually - the origin is mostly forgotten, but the result is that in Germany, society regards a working mother as a bad mother. A "raven mother". And this is only slowly changing. It's pretty depressing.

I really don't want to come off as harsh. If it is a woman's or a man's wish to stay at home - either with kids or without - it must absolutely be respected by society. It's all about personal choice (of the couple). Even if it affects society. 50 years ago the discussion was the same, just the other way around.

Edited by: anne11235813 on Mar 29, 2010 3:37 PM

Edited by: anne11235813 on Mar 29, 2010 3:56 PM

Reply


Sunnijoy Posts : 32 Registered: 3/19/10
Re: Stay at Home Wife Stigma?
Posted: Apr 1, 2010 9:17 AM Go to message in response to: Sunnijoy

Update:


Today is my last day at my job. I have been busy this week training my replacement, tying up loose ends, and saying goodbye to my co-workers.


I am excited to begin this new phase of my life and marriage.




"Man's chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever." ~Westminister Catechism

I try to spread my message to the world the best way that I can give it
We can make it, always be optimistic
If you don’t listen, gotta live my life the best way that I can live it
With the faith of a mustard seed, you can move mountains
And only the heavenly father can ease the hurt
Just let it go and keep prayin’ on your knees in church (Let’s go)
And be hopeful, hopeful, and He’ll make a way
I know it ain’t easy but - that’s okay
Cause we hopeful -"Hope" by Twista and Faith Evans

Reply


agd1017 Posts : 464 Registered: 9/14/09
Re: Stay at Home Wife Stigma?
Posted: Apr 1, 2010 10:30 AM Go to message in response to: Sunnijoy

Good luck! :)

Amanda and Eric
10/10/10

Amanda and Eric

 

Reply


BirdLover Posts : 2,834 Registered: 3/30/06
Re: Stay at Home Wife Stigma?
Posted: Apr 2, 2010 12:15 AM Go to message in response to: agd1017

Wow, this whole thread has basically made me realize how badly I suck at being a human being.

I can NOT handle working even PART TIME and caring for my child and helping with the household responsibilities. I have daily meltdowns. I would die if I had to work full time.

I'd love to stay at home and not work, or maybe work once or twice a week just for some adult conversation. But really, I can't handle this"working mother" thing well at all.


Lilypie 1st Birthday Ticker

Reply


anne11235813 Posts : 58 Registered: 11/15/08
Re: Stay at Home Wife Stigma?
Posted: Apr 2, 2010 9:06 AM Go to message in response to: BirdLover

Sunnijoy, good luck to you. I hope you will like your life as stay at home wife.

BirdLover, it is all about choice really. If you love staying at home and if you can do it financially, then be happy and stay at home. If you want to work a little, then do it. I am happy for you if you can do what you enjoy.

What I resent is if society in general gives out rules what a woman can or can't do. In my country, women are supposed to stay at home as soon as they have children.

I know from my future sister in law, who is Polish, that her family basically forced her to work even though she would have preferred to stay at home. And the family is rich, it was not about money. But a woman who doesn't work is considered lazy, even if she has kids. And my FSIL has two. So in Poland it's the other way around and equally stupid: Everyone is trying to tell you what you have to do.

So be smart, know your options, have a back-up plan and then CHOOSE WHAT IS BEST FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY.

Reply


BirdLover Posts : 2,834 Registered: 3/30/06
Re: Stay at Home Wife Stigma?
Posted: Apr 6, 2010 2:00 PM Go to message in response to: anne11235813

Yup, I wish I could afford to stay at home . Or work just one or two days a week in a job I really liked.

Right now, I work 3 days a week and I like the job, but we cannot afford to live like this forever with how little it pays.

By the way, when I say that I wish I could "afford" to stay at home, part of the "afford" would be for me to be putting away money into my own retirement savings. That just seems smart.

What is a 401(k), by the way? I'm assuming it's an American thing to help save for retirement. How does it work? Does someone like Sunny have the option of putting money into a 401(k) if she isn't working?
Lilypie 1st Birthday Ticker

Reply
RSS

Thank You
for Signing Up!

Check your e-mail inbox for the latest updates from brides.com

Give a Subscription to Brides Magazine as a Gift
Subscribe to Brides magazine