This is why you need to work
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Post Thu, Oct 14 2021, 8:48 pm
Speaking as one who has worked full time, part time, and been SAHM, and has lived both out of town (read:no family to help) and in town (read : near family ), and with a husband who helped, and then as his school/career became too demanding could not help in the house at all: please realize that each woman /family is in its own situation. And a woman’s/family’s situation can and often does change at different times in life. With all that being said , throughout all my experiences I have seen that SAHMs are less respected by society , even in our frum communities. To me, that is sad. And undeserved. While each case is different (see above each woman/family is it’s own situation) , many many SAHMs work extremely hard at home, especially those with large families , especially those whose husbands can’t help, especially those who don’t live near family. And they don’t get the respect/appreciation/acknowledgment that a working woman receives. All of us women here are trying to do the best we can in our lives , please let’s respect each other - and ourselves !- for our efforts whether we are working out of the house or for our families. May Hashem give us all koach and simcha !!
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Post Thu, Oct 14 2021, 8:51 pm
Zehava wrote:
You spent 20 years on your kids who only have you as their mom, as opposed to on a career where you’re easily replaceable. For 20 years instead of running yourself ragged and juggling multiple balls you instead devoted yourself fully to your family. I can’t think of a better way to have spent those years.
Now, if you’re feeling unfulfilled, you can start looking into your options.
But to work for 20 years only because then you’ll have more credentials 20 years down the line? That just seems silly. Besides which, there are no guarantees. People have worked hard for years and then been laid off and left with nothing. But your kids will forever be better off for the time you invested in them.

I need to print this out, frame it, and hang it in every room of my house.
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Post Thu, Oct 14 2021, 8:54 pm
amother [ OP ] wrote:
Maybe when you start working you are making not very much and most of your income goes to childcare or taxes but you are putting in the years so that your income grows and your expertise grows.
Or you can be like me. Zero skills. Zero degree. SAHM for years and now that my youngest is in school full time I have no career or work options to fall back on.
Even if I had no degree but was working in a field for the past 20 years I would be worth something.
If I had the chance to reverse it this is one thing I would change. I would work.

Sorry if I'm being repetitive. I haven't read the many pages of responses.

You did something amazing for your kids that benefited them greatly in their most formative years. That is not worthless. It's priceless.

Aside from that, you do have skills. Running a household is hard work. You might have to get more creative, but think hard about the skills and talents you do possess and maybe you can find a career that will bring you joy. If you've gotten by all this time on one salary, then I will assume you can still get by on one salary and therefore you can focus on finding work that is enjoyable and meaningful to you rather than looking for that which pays best.
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Post Thu, Oct 14 2021, 9:09 pm
amother [ Emerald ] wrote:
This. I am around age 50. My mother worked. Both my grandmothers worked. Like many women, they had to, in order to survive.

Most women throughout the ages either worked for wages. Those who stayed home worked incredibly hard in the house. There were no laundry machines, supermarkets or running water - someone needed to stay home.

Women stayed home to look after the needs of all the household, not of little babies. In fact, in many of these communities babies were not given that much attention, and left to fend for themselves at an early age.

The whole idea of a woman staying home to spend quality time with her two year old is new and modern. I'm not saying it's wrong, but it's not something that was done throughout the ages. Women stayed home to cook and clean in suboptimal conditions - things that can be done today much faster with a dh's help and modern technology.

Exactly! If anything, women stayed home to take care of the elderly parents/grandparents

It's interesting on this site to see how people respond to women who have tough elderly parents. They are advised to hire other caretakers or put them in a home. No one says things like you'll never get these years back with your mother! Or you must stay home with them because you'll lose all that income to the nursing home!

Women didn't used to stay home to play loving games with little toddlers while throwing a load in a washing machine and buying prepared chicken and meat from the butcher store. Most of the way we parent is a completely modern invention - most women used to strap the kid to their backs and go back out to the field.
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Post Fri, Oct 15 2021, 2:15 pm
amother [ Cinnamon ] wrote:
Exactly! If anything, women stayed home to take care of the elderly parents/grandparents

Not so much. Life expectancy was much shorter just two generations ago. Far fewer people lived long enough to require home care. Most died a lot sooner than that, usually carried off by infectious diseases if nothing else. Go to any long-standing shul and look at the memorial plaques from the late 1800s to the middle 1900s to see how few people lived much past 60.

One interesting thing I observed was that in shuls that were mostly well-to-do, the memorial plaques show dramatically longer lifespans. More people living into their 70s and 80s, fewer people dying younger than 50. No great surprise there. Better nutrition, less crowding, better access to both routine healthcare and lifesaving treatment, less wear-and-tear in general means a longer life expectancy.
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