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amother




Emerald
 

Post Thu, Oct 14 2021, 2:18 am
Zehava wrote:
Are you maybe sending the wrong value to your boys by doing everything in the house? Isn’t it crippling to them that they’ll always need to rely on someone else to do the laundry and cooking? Isn’t that a privilege? Who says they’ll always have a woman in their life to do these things for them? Why don’t you make your husband cook dinner some days just so your boys aren’t denied the ability to do housework?


I agree with you totally (although I realize you may have been sarcastic). I don't think women should automatically be SAHMs, and I definitely definitely don't think men should be excused from domestic work.

My dh shares the cooking and cleaning. We split the chores according to preference - for example, he cooks a lot more than me, while I do more cleaning and all laundry. But I don't like housework at all and see no reason why that should be my job just because I am female.

Plus, there is the whole issue of independence. If I am gone for a day or two, my dh can handle the whole house on his own.
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amother




Emerald
 

Post Thu, Oct 14 2021, 2:20 am
Zehava wrote:
Great. Good for you. That doesn’t make a SAHM any less of an adult for not doing what you’re doing.
If he was making enough on his own to support the family wouldn’t you stay home with the kids?


I wouldn't stay home with the kids past a certain age. I really see no plus or benefit to staying home with the kids once they are past age three. I mean, they are at school!!!

If I always had a baby at home, and we were rich, I would stay home for the baby/toddler years.
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amother




Emerald
 

Post Thu, Oct 14 2021, 2:27 am
amother [ Cinnamon ] wrote:
It’s the luxurious choice.

Everything else you’ve said is completely devoid of knowledge of world history. The industrial revolution changed the household, but only for a brief bubble before it burst and expenses caught back up. For the majority of life, women worked extremely hard to maintain a household (without machines it was hard labor, not including farm life and sewing clothing) and often the household functioned by sending children out to work as well. My grandmothers helped out in the family business back in the heim, as did their mothers.

I’d like to see where the world promised you a rose garden, where you stayed home all day and played children’s games for optimal child development and this was somehow the blueprint for generations.


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.
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amother




Emerald
 

Post Thu, Oct 14 2021, 2:31 am
amother [ Calendula ] wrote:
I think it's a terrible value to send our daughters that they are shmattes. If they work plus do all the housework and childcare and shopping etc. (not to mention pregnancies and childbirth) then that's what they are.



Why should a woman do all the housework if she is working?
If a woman is doing some of the breadwinning, then obviously her dh should be doing some of the housework.

I do think that in some frum circles women tend to run themselves ragged. Having many children, working f/t, not expecting dh to do his fair share of housework. Men and women in these circles need to be reeducated that a woman is not, as you say, a schmatte.
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tree of life




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Oct 14 2021, 2:36 am
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.

Thank you for this I to dedicated 20 years for my kids I'm so grateful it was tough 7 years ago when I turned 49 and my youngest was in school as I had nothing to fall back on I recommended my kids to get a degree that they can be work in professional around there children schedule to leave short time and can go back or take a break if they chose to be sahm
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amother




Emerald
 

Post Thu, Oct 14 2021, 2:36 am
amother [ Wine ] wrote:
Emerald I was referring to a mom who’s still having babies every couple of years and running a household. I assume that’s what OP is talking about.
Unless she prefers to work, staying home is the optimal choice!
I work but I take other shortcuts and DH does more than he would have if I’d be a SAHM. I’m no superwoman and need to make sure I don’t run myself ragged.
I’m bowing out of this discussion now. Good luck to all.


It is the optimal SHORT TERM choice. It's not always the optimal choice in the longer term, in the big picture.

I am a strong believer of women keeping up even a minimal involvement in the workforce, so they will have options down the line.

I guess if someone chooses to have twelve children, then that changes the equation. Yes she will be extremely dependent and vulnerable at age 45 with no work experience and no income, but on the other hand it's very hard to work at a proper job while raising twelve kids.
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amother




Emerald
 

Post Thu, Oct 14 2021, 2:42 am
Zehava wrote:
Are you maybe sending the wrong value to your boys by doing everything in the house? Isn’t it crippling to them that they’ll always need to rely on someone else to do the laundry and cooking? Isn’t that a privilege? Who says they’ll always have a woman in their life to do these things for them? Why don’t you make your husband cook dinner some days just so your boys aren’t denied the ability to do housework?


I just want to add that the comparison here is wrong.

A SAHM who never worked is very dependent and limited in life options at the age of 50.

A man who was denied the opportunity of learning how to cook a meal or do laundry is really not that 'crippled' by it, unless he wants to be. He can learn how to do these within a couple of weeks (that's what I did, in my twenties. In fact, learning how to do laundry took all of two days. This isn't rocket science. He won't be a master cook, but he can quickly learn how to make good food).

Or he can hire someone to do them for him.

I do think it's a good life skill to learn how to cook and do laundry. But it's not like a grown man can't learn how to do them easily. Whereas a 50 year old woman who has spent the last few decades cooking and cleaning can't just get a normal job easily.
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LovesHashem




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Oct 14 2021, 2:44 am
amother [ Calendula ] wrote:
I think it's a terrible value to send our daughters that they are shmattes. If they work plus do all the housework and childcare and shopping etc. (not to mention pregnancies and childbirth) then that's what they are.

I also dont agree with amother above that it is optimal for mothers to stay home. It's very individual, but for many of us we are better mothers if we are able to get a break during the day, make some income that is ours. It's really not black and white at all.


I think the message we should really be sending is to the men:

YOUR CHILDREN ARE YOUR CHILDREN - and you can do childcare, cooking and cleaning!

I think childcare and housework should be split based on who has more hours to be at home. Obviously factors should include pregnancy, people being sick, mental illness, and other needs that arise.
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Zehava




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Oct 14 2021, 7:49 am
Lemme touch upon another aspect here since until now I’ve only talked about the effect on kids and on not taking on both gender roles.
Many people here seem to think they’re immortal, and their biggest fear seems to be hitting 50 and being bored, unfulfilled, and without purpose. To that end they would much rather devote their 20s, 30s, and 40s in survival mode, so they have something to do when they’re 50…
I’ve seen people die before 50. Do you think the workforce cared an itty bit? If they never stopped to proverbially smell the roses, do you think they even lived?
Life is a temporary gift. And my biggest fear is to not live it. I’m certain I will find something to do when my kids are grown. I also know if I spend 30 of the most energetic years of my life in survival mode I will never get that time back.
I guess my worldview is more rare than I thought.
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amother




Nemesia
 

Post Thu, Oct 14 2021, 8:54 am
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.


When my youngest (of 8) went to school, I went back as well. I took an accelerated 3 year nursing program. Worked crazy hard, earned a scholarship so I have no loans and now I earn over 100K plus benefits. It's possible! I dont regret quitting my job as an office manager to stay home for 11 years and raise my children. Being a SAHM is the best job in the world. My career may never catch up salary wise since I started so late, but I don't feel that the time home raising my large family was wasted.
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amother




Black
 

Post Thu, Oct 14 2021, 9:04 am
I am divorced with several children. Got my first job at the start of the divorce. I now earn $65 thousand a year with five children and no support. I pay their tuition.

Build a career.
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amother




Emerald
 

Post Thu, Oct 14 2021, 9:09 am
Zehava wrote:
Lemme touch upon another aspect here since until now I’ve only talked about the effect on kids and on not taking on both gender roles.
Many people here seem to think they’re immortal, and their biggest fear seems to be hitting 50 and being bored, unfulfilled, and without purpose. To that end they would much rather devote their 20s, 30s, and 40s in survival mode, so they have something to do when they’re 50…
I’ve seen people die before 50. Do you think the workforce cared an itty bit? If they never stopped to proverbially smell the roses, do you think they even lived?
Life is a temporary gift. And my biggest fear is to not live it. I’m certain I will find something to do when my kids are grown. I also know if I spend 30 of the most energetic years of my life in survival mode I will never get that time back.
I guess my worldview is more rare than I thought.


I don't think you quite understand.
Women aren't working because they think the workforce cares about them, or because they want something to 'do' when they are fifty. They are working for financial security, now and when they are fifty. And for everything financial security brings with it - independence, power, options, possibilities.

Life doesn't end at fifty and time goes by faster than you think. And many, many women are finished the baby stage long before fifty.

Many people sacrifice their time and energy in their 20s and 30s so they can be more stable and have more options when they are 40 or 50. What do you think retirement funds are? Or investments? Maybe men shouldn't set aside money for retirement, because it requires them to work too hard when they are 30, and after all you only live once. But of course we don't think that way - we encourage people to build a retirement fund even if they need to work extremely hard to do so.

Young mothers working in their 20s and 30s (even part time) is a similar dynamic. Sometimes you need to work harder in the present in order to enjoy more options in the future.

As an aside, I don't think SAHMs are all relaxed people with time to smell the roses, and working moms are all running around like chickens without heads. There are LOTS of harried SAHMs out there. In fact, I'm not sure that in general SAHMs have more peaceful lives or households. Maybe it's because they ultimately work just as hard as their working peers. A SAHM's dh will usually help far less, so she needs to do the bulk of the housework. She will have less money for shortcuts or hired help. She may decide to have more children, because she's at home anyway.

I do think a lot of SAHMs are in survival mode just like working moms. At least on this site. It's a different story if we are talking about upper class SAHMs with only 2 kids, both in school, lots of cleaning help, a supportive helpful dh, with time for hobbies and gym class and lunch with friends. I have the feeling that's not the majority of SAHMs here though.
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amother




Moonstone
 

Post Thu, Oct 14 2021, 9:20 am
Zehava wrote:
Lemme touch upon another aspect here since until now I’ve only talked about the effect on kids and on not taking on both gender roles.
Many people here seem to think they’re immortal, and their biggest fear seems to be hitting 50 and being bored, unfulfilled, and without purpose. To that end they would much rather devote their 20s, 30s, and 40s in survival mode, so they have something to do when they’re 50…
I’ve seen people die before 50. Do you think the workforce cared an itty bit? If they never stopped to proverbially smell the roses, do you think they even lived?
Life is a temporary gift. And my biggest fear is to not live it. I’m certain I will find something to do when my kids are grown. I also know if I spend 30 of the most energetic years of my life in survival mode I will never get that time back.
I guess my worldview is more rare than I thought.

But what if someone's husband is working really hard to support the family on his income alone and HE doesn't have time to 'smell the roses'.
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zaq




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Oct 14 2021, 9:29 am
And for some women not working isn’t even an option. They work to keep a roof over their head and food on the table. still having a job when they’re fifty or a pension when they’re seventy may be comforting pluses in the back of their mind but the reality right now is work or starve.
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ora_43




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Oct 14 2021, 9:32 am
OP, I've always kept at least one foot in the workforce, in part because of that fear of not having options down the line.

(to be fair, also for other, even more pressing reasons.)

But - don't be too quick to decide you made a mistake! Yes, being out of the workforce for that long is limiting. For that matter, even the whole freelancing/part-time/'one foot in' thing is limiting.

But it's not like you spent 20 years sitting and staring at the wall. You were doing really important things. Working would have meant giving up something else. It's easy to say in retrospect 'oh, I should have done more,' but what should you have done less of?

And you still might find a decent job, even a decent career. Yeah, it might take a few months to catch up on the skills you need. Yeah, getting that first job might be hard. But after that? For a lot of employers there's not going to be a huge difference between someone with 5 years of experience or 25 years, as long as your knowledge is up-to-date and you have good recommendations.
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amother




Cognac
 

Post Thu, Oct 14 2021, 9:38 am
Obviously not everyone will agree on this. I agree with Zahava. It's not ok for women to run ragged working and raising the family and home. Imo the ideal situation is for the husband to bring in the income and the wife can help a bit while there are young children at home who need the time and attention. When I took time off work my husband kept saying how can we make this work long term it is so nice having you home! He meant it was so nice having nice sit down dinners, relaxed mornings, cabinets stalked, appointments made, errands done, tasks in the house that get pushed off taken care of, time to chill together every night, and mostly a calmer momma!

But really this is all so individual. Everyone is unique and has their own life to live the way they feel best fulfills them. So it's silly to argue about what is the IDEAL way.
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Zehava




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Oct 14 2021, 9:38 am
amother [ Moonstone ] wrote:
But what if someone's husband is working really hard to support the family on his income alone and HE doesn't have time to 'smell the roses'.

As hard as a man works he’s still not running a household in addition. He’s still only doing one job. So by definition still his more downtime than a woman working full time.
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Zehava




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Oct 14 2021, 9:39 am
zaq wrote:
And for some women not working isn’t even an option. They work to keep a roof over their head and food on the table. still having a job when they’re fifty or a pension when they’re seventy may be comforting pluses in the back of their mind but the reality right now is work or starve.

Ofcourse. But this isn’t the premise of this thread.
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amother




Oldlace
 

Post Thu, Oct 14 2021, 9:42 am
I was a sahm for over 10 years. I wouldn't trade it for anything.

I went back to work when my youngest went to school.

So now I work full time, do everything at home, have no help. Im beyond greatful that im not doing this while dealing with babies and toddlers.

Dh doesn't do anything at home. It's a huge thing of he takes the garbage out.
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amother




Ruby
 

Post Thu, Oct 14 2021, 9:52 am
amother [ Emerald ] wrote:
Personally, I am not sure at all that being a SAHM is the most optimal choice. I say this with the perspective of someone whose children are mainly all young adults now. (And who are embarking on their own career paths at the moment).

IMHO, being a SAHM is wonderful for the first two years of a child's life if possible. (Wonderful is not the same as optimal). Afterwards, I don't think there is anything harmful with a kid being out of the house till three everyday, which would allow a woman to work p/t.

Even during those first two years, there are many cultures where the grandmother steps in to help with childcare, allowing the mother to work without sending the kid to daycare.

In situations where a woman has 5,6,7 kids during her childbearing years, I can see how it could often be optimal to be a SAHM during those years. Often - not always. Because there are other factors to be considered. Things like a family's financial stability, financial peace of mind. The wife's wellbeing (intellectually, socially, personally). The husband's wellbeing. A woman's independence (being a SAHM for 20 yrs incredibly limits your options if you want to make changes in your life, including things like leaving a bad marriage).

I definitely don't think being a SAHM is optimal once all your kids are over three. (Of course, if you love it and can afford it, then go for it. But it's a luxury, not an optimal necessity). I do believe that at that stage, the cost outweighs the benefits for most women.

But of course, whether or not a SAHM is optimal needs to be viewed case by case. How many kids do you have? How old are they? Do you have an involved dh who will take over his share of household duties when you work? (In my circles, men definitely do a lot of housework and childcare). Do you live in a country where it's possible not to work f/t? Do you have a flexible job? Etc etc.

Oh my goodness
This thread is hysterical!
I’m the grandma-
So a mom shouldn’t home with her kids, she should be working. But once she’s a grandma she should stop to work and step in to raise the grandchildren.
That’s backwards
I was a sahm and already did the work of raising kiddos
Now my kids are a bit bigger and I have a bit more breathing space so Im thinking of doing something

I am available for cookies and milk though!
Any time!
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