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Spinoff: A frum family needs two incomes?
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amother




OP


Post  Thu, Nov 14 2019, 1:57 pm
Whenever I see this topic posted--and I see it over and over--it makes me want to scream.

Why didn't your parents educate you about the harsh, cold realities of life? Yes, most of us need two incomes to get by. Especially if we want kids and a roof over our heads in a Jewish community.

And so, for many of us, that means going to college. Getting a degree. Or learning a trade. And then starting a career. And maybe this should happen before we get married so we can have some savings in the bank when we start our new lives with our spouses. Our spouses who hopefully also started a career. Because marriage is a two-way street, and you both need to support each other. In all things.

If you're lucky enough to marry a man who makes enough money to support you while your children are little, great! Take time off to care for the kids. But remember: Getting back into the workforce is going to be tough. Will you be ready for that? Tough enough to face rejection until maybe, just maybe you can find a satisfying job?

There are so many unrealistic expectations that I see so many people have, and I worry for our future generations. What are we teaching our kids?

(Posting as amother because I know the opinions I expressed are not popular with so many on this board, and I'm going to get slammed with angry responses. And I'm going to be outed as being MO. Which I am. No surprises there.)
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amother




Mistyrose


Post  Thu, Nov 14 2019, 2:04 pm
I'm the OP of the other thread.

Nobody I know has two full time working parents unless they have a nanny.

So it's obviously NOT the reality for the vast majority of frum people.
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amother




Green


Post  Thu, Nov 14 2019, 2:07 pm
I hear you. I also suppose it depends on your standards. I happen to live in an obscenely affluent neighborhood. The high schoolers that park on my block all drive custom BMW and Mercedes with matte finish paint... Etc and we have a beat up minivan. Do our own yardwork. Wear hand me downs and take everything a day at a time.
Some of these rich kids have shomer shabbos homes but see no need to spend money on yeshiva education when the public schools in our community are so good.
My husband business has it's ups and downs ... Yet I still chose to stop working and just take things one day at a time while I have small kids.
I see a little of dual income families buried in student debt ... Their careers are lucrative but they still can't keep up with student loans, mortgage and yeshiva bills...

Then there are people like me. One income that isn't steady but BH no debt so far

I am not really expressing this in such an organized fashion however, I guess at the end of the day we all do the hishtadlut that we think is appropriate and whether we believe it or not HKBH does the rest
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sarahmalka




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Nov 14 2019, 2:07 pm
Almost everybody I know in the frum community has two working parents. I literally can only think of 4 families where the mom stays home, and 3 of them homeschool so aren't dealing with tuition. My community is a mix of MO, yeshiva, and Lubavitch.
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watergirl




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Nov 14 2019, 2:10 pm
amother [ Mistyrose ] wrote:
I'm the OP of the other thread.

Nobody I know has two full time working parents unless they have a nanny.

So it's obviously NOT the reality for the vast majority of frum people.

No. Its not the reality for the frum people who you know. It IS the reality for the vast majority of the frum people who I know. I literally know not a single person with a nanny. I know many many people with two full time working parents. But I would never come to a conclusion for the vast majority of the frum population based on the people that I know... Do you see the error in your logic and your deduction?
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tigerwife




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Nov 14 2019, 2:11 pm
Well, growing up, many of my friends came from single income homes and nobody was noticeably poor.

Currently, most of these friends still work while their husbands work as well.
I think times have changed.
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amother




OP


Post  Thu, Nov 14 2019, 2:11 pm
amother [ Mistyrose ] wrote:
I'm the OP of the other thread.

Nobody I know has two full time working parents unless they have a nanny.

So it's obviously NOT the reality for the vast majority of frum people.


My point is that maybe it should become the reality for the vast majority. Because so many families are struggling to make ends meet.
Having two jobs doesn't guarantee success, but it certainly improves the odds of succeeding.
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amother




Bisque


Post  Thu, Nov 14 2019, 2:15 pm
In my community I can only think of two SAHMs ( and I’m one of them). Almost everyone has two full time working parents. People have nannies, nanny shares, babysitters, Daycares and/or au pairs
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amother




Mistyrose


Post  Thu, Nov 14 2019, 2:15 pm
watergirl wrote:
No. Its not the reality for the frum people who you know. It IS the reality for the vast majority of the frum people who I know. I literally know not a single person with a nanny. I know many many people with two full time working parents. But I would never come to a conclusion for the vast majority of the frum population based on the people that I know... Do you see the error in your logic and your deduction?


I'm in a community of close to 100,000 frum people. And I've spoken to people in other large communities (such as New York) as well.

I have friends in almost every frum community, and this is what they tell me as well. I've polled basically EVERY frum community (there are obviously exceptions, and your community might be one of them, but I stand by my claim that the vast majority of frum families do not have two full time working parents without nannies.
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amother




OP


Post  Thu, Nov 14 2019, 2:15 pm
tigerwife wrote:
Well, growing up, many of my friends came from single income homes and nobody was noticeably poor.


Very true. Both my parents worked, but I had many friends whose mothers didn't.
You can't equate yesterday's dollars to today.

The $40,000 house my parents bought in a NYC suburb 45 years ago is now worth almost $1 million.

The $2000/year high school tuition they paid for me is now up to $30,000.

But my income and my husband's is not 15 times what they earned.

Our parents made less but were able to buy more.
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Chayalle




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Nov 14 2019, 2:16 pm
amother [ OP ] wrote:
My point is that maybe it should become the reality for the vast majority. Because so many families are struggling to make ends meet.
Having two jobs doesn't guarantee success, but it certainly improves the odds of succeeding.


Some people feel that it just escalates the standard of living.

I grew up with a working father and a SAHM mother, but we lived WAY more simply than most people are willing to live nowadays.

Perhaps the need for two income reflects the increased standard of living that many people expect today.
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amother




Saddlebrown


Post  Thu, Nov 14 2019, 2:17 pm
Most families I know have two working parents but I also don’t know a single family where both work FULL TIME.
Working 9-3 is not full time , working full time is 36+ hours a week (definitions vary but 36 minimum )
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mig100




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Nov 14 2019, 2:21 pm
tigerwife wrote:
Well, growing up, many of my friends came from single income homes and nobody was noticeably poor.

Currently, most of these friends still work while their husbands work as well.
I think times have changed.


Yep.times have changed. Rxactly
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tigerwife




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Nov 14 2019, 2:21 pm
amother [ OP ] wrote:
Very true. Both my parents worked, but I had many friends whose mothers didn't.
You can't equate yesterday's dollars to today.

The $40,000 house my parents bought in a NYC suburb 45 years ago is now worth almost $1 million.

The $2000/year high school tuition they paid for me is now up to $30,000.

But my income and my husband's is not 15 times what they earned.

Our parents made less but were able to buy more.


My point was that times have changed. Most of our parents did not have degrees, did reasonably well and our mothers were able to stay home. Why would they raise us to get degrees by default because we would never earn enough on one income? That’s not what happened by them.

I agree that questions like “how can people afford xyz” are pointless. It didn’t take much for me to figure out that I can’t afford to be a SAHM right now, or that some people just have better mazal than others and are very financially succeful.
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amother




Lavender


Post  Thu, Nov 14 2019, 2:23 pm
amother [ OP ] wrote:
Very true. Both my parents worked, but I had many friends whose mothers didn't.
You can't equate yesterday's dollars to today.

The $40,000 house my parents bought in a NYC suburb 45 years ago is now worth almost $1 million.

The $2000/year high school tuition they paid for me is now up to $30,000.

But my income and my husband's is not 15 times what they earned.

Our parents made less but were able to buy more.


Yes and no. It's true that 40k 45 years ago is about 218k today. Housing and tuition were much less in both absolute and relative terms. Many families could manage on a single income.

But standards of living were much lower. Houses were smaller. Almost no one had two cars. Kids took fewer extracurriculars, clothes were simpler, and a lot of the little luxuries (like fancy coffee) were unheard of.

And outside of the chassidishe communities, families were smaller.
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Chayalle




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Nov 14 2019, 2:24 pm
tigerwife wrote:
My point was that times have changed. Most of our parents did not have degrees, did reasonably well and our mothers were able to stay home. Why would they raise us to get degrees by default because we would never earn enough on one income? That’s not what happened by them.

I agree that questions like “how can people afford xyz” are pointless. It didn’t take much for me to figure out that I can’t afford to be a SAHM right now, or that some people just have better mazal than others and are very financially succeful.


What makes you say that? (both of my parents had college degrees)

It used to be pretty common for Yeshiva guys to go to college. My mother sat in the same class as a prominent yeshivish Rav of today (who would likely never publicize the fact). He sat in the back with a Sefer, and copied her notes before the exams.
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watergirl




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Nov 14 2019, 2:34 pm
amother [ Mistyrose ] wrote:
I'm in a community of close to 100,000 frum people. And I've spoken to people in other large communities (such as New York) as well.

I have friends in almost every frum community, and this is what they tell me as well. I've polled basically EVERY frum community (there are obviously exceptions, and your community might be one of them, but I stand by my claim that the vast majority of frum families do not have two full time working parents without nannies.


Sociology 101. You did not poll 100,000 people. You spoke to your friends in your community and in other communities. The people we chose to be friends with are just like us, so naturally, we will get results of non-scientific threads that are skewed based on who we ask. This is actually a thing in psychological/sociological studies. Its called population bias, aka social desirability bias. Its not a poll that is representative of all walks of frum life - just your walk. I have friends in other communities as well, people with 2 full time working parents, no nanny.

I stand by my claim that the people who YOU KNOW do what you say. The people who I know do not. So you can not claim anything for a vast majority of any group. Just for the vast majority of the people who you know.
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amother




Vermilion


Post  Thu, Nov 14 2019, 2:36 pm
Due to advancements in technology and the concept of a flexible workplace, working full time no longer means being out of the house from 9-5. There are therefore many mothers, including myself, who work 36+ hours a week but still manage just fine without a nanny or even an after school babysitter. My boss has no problem with me leaving the office at 3 everyday so I can be home before my kids. I more than make up the hours at night after they go to bed, until whatever needs to be handled is done, and this type of arrangement is common outside the frum world. I know other mothers who mostly work from home and only go into the office 1 or 2 days a week. There are many options out there for both parents to work full time and make it work without a nanny.
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little neshamala




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Nov 14 2019, 2:44 pm
Chayalle wrote:
Some people feel that it just escalates the standard of living.

I grew up with a working father and a SAHM mother, but we lived WAY more simply than most people are willing to live nowadays.

Perhaps the need for two income reflects the increased standard of living that many people expect today.


I dont think thats it. My husband and I both work full time because otherwise we wouldnt be able to pay tuition, mortgage etc and we are definitely not living on a high standard.

We have no cleaning help.
We bought a 4 bedroom hi ranch for 450,000.
I drive a 13 year old car.
I dont buy pre-packaged snacks. I re-use ziplock baggies.
Clothing for my children comes 80% from hamd me downs, and 20% from walmart, carters and the like.
I wash and set my own sheitels even though I dont do such a great job.

Im not living on a high standard, but the cost of living for a frum lifestyle does necessitate that both my husband and myself work full time. This does allow us to save up money for weddings and a some treats for kids like lessons and things etc, (but the savings dont allow us to get a tuition break....)

Either way....id say 95% of my aquaintances work either full time or close to it. I live in monsey. If youre going to choose not to work much, then I dont see how you would do it unless your husband makes a very nice income.
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amother




Orchid


Post  Thu, Nov 14 2019, 2:48 pm
amother [ OP ] wrote:
....

There are so many unrealistic expectations that I see so many people have, and I worry for our future generations. What are we teaching our kids?

(Posting as amother because I know the opinions I expressed are not popular with so many on this board, and I'm going to get slammed with angry responses. And I'm going to be outed as being MO. Which I am. No surprises there.)


I know your question was rhetorical, but I'll answer anyways. This is what my community taught me and is still teaching today.

"You don't need to worry about these things now. You get married, have babies, and you'll figure it out as you go along. Hashem will help."

Hasn't worked for me and many many others. But they're still spouting the same lines, and turning a blind eye to all the hardships it incurs.
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