Stay-at-home Wives? - Page 3
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  1. #31
    Registered User nodmicks's Avatar
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    SD wow even brand name!

    Cookie I hope I am not to nosy but why do you think there was a period of depression? I wouldn't mind a bit doing all my job for free at the shelter and mission. Or at least I think that at this point and time in my life. I seriously feel so much more joy doing what I do for people who can't afford to actually pay for it. I am honestly very curious where you are coming from since I haven't been there 100%. Do you mind elaborating?

  2. #32
    Registered User CookieLee's Avatar
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    I think it is just because there is a change. It is a normal period of adjustment. It is like we have to close the door on our old lifestyle ... say good-bye ... before we can truly move on.

  3. #33
    Registered User Syn D's Avatar
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    No one says anything about it to me.. Maybe cos' I give off a vibe "don't question me", so I've been told If it was said to me, I'd simply say "and it's your business why?".

    My hubby was raised, it's OK for the wife to stay home as long as she makes it a clean home (not sit around and do nothing), with or without kids still in the home. I'm not Harriet Nelson or June Cleaver by any means, but I take care of our home..

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  5. #34
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    ROTFLOL Okay you gals. I go away for an evening break (for cheesecake...totally off my diet I know) and come back and you guys are discussing pumpkin ice-cream?! I must admit I left the pumpkin cheesecake at the cafe for DH. I made a GF, DF, SF pumpkin custard today for me to eat tomorrow. DH wanted to take me and boarder out to celebrate my birthday. I think he was feeling guilty. However, I now have some good ideas for homemade DF, GF, SF pumpkin ice-cream, so I thank you ladies.

    As for that period of depression after quitting work...hmmm...when I quit work when the kids were small and we started homeschooling I didn't have that because, frankly, homeschooling was a lot more work than work!

    Everyone thought I would get majorly depressed when the girls left home. But my illness caught up with me long before then. When the girls were teenagers. That's when it was roughest, because my plan was to put them in high school, get a degree, and go back to work.

    That didn't pan out because high school didn't work for them. I was kind of lost as to what to do. Plus the girls were being a pain at that age, as teenagers are wont to be. It led to very stressful home life and I felt my life totally derailed. That's when my illness caught up with me. That plus the stress put on us by the community over other things. It was a difficult time and I snapped.

    But, when the girls finally DID leave home, it was almost a relief for me. I didn't have depression then. I had too much to do and too little time to do it in. I've been making up for lost time ever since.

    Looking at the cost of a degree set DH back on his heels. He doesn't really want to pay $30-45,000 for me to get a degree when we need to put twice that into house renos before retirement. That's simply asking too much of him.

    For myself, my medication makes it difficult to concentrate and remember things, so I am afraid I would do poorly in school. Last thing I want to do is waste money auditing courses. I spend a lot of time and smaller amounts of money taking online courses in my various hobbies or connected to them. I find all day seminars/workshops exhausting. I have to pace myself carefully to make it through the day. One reason I would only look at part-time work.

    Still can't get over the relatives who think I need to work 9-5 to justify my existence though. Sometimes I just get so steamed over it...or down on myself, when I know I should NOT! I guess I just needed a good dose of SD today!

  6. #35
    Registered User Syn D's Avatar
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    All that matters is you and hubby are happy, making others happy is not your job.

    I was told on here once, how hubby and I are is wrong. Apparently I should be by his side the whole time he is home HA! We'd kill each other.. That was an opinion from someone that doesn't know what works for us and that what works for them wouldn't have a great outcome here

    I don't let others opinions get to me, it's not worth it.. My mom had liked to give me her opinions on my marriage, I just laughed, she had 3 failed marriages. If you add up the years of all three, hubby and I have still been married longer. It's really funny that people think they know more on how to handle your life than you do.. I just laugh and continue of doing what I do..

  7. #36
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    Once again, the non-authority is going to interject her views.

    To peanut - a good many years ago I broke my foot and had to be in a cast for about 5 weeks. It was a walking cast, thank goodness! Anyway, because of the nature of my job, I wasn't allowed to work per policy. At the time, I knew nothing about disability payments, worker's comp, etc. I was really worried about making do for those few weeks.

    What I learned was that people that don't work outside the home can make gigantic contributions to lowering the daily cost of living in their home. Healthy and nutritious meals can be prepared that might take several hours as opposed to stopping on the way home at the drive-thru and dropping $15-$20. Clothes can be line dried, saving on electricity usage. In fact, my laundry was much less since I wasn't wearing 2-3 outfits daily. Many different ways savings can be seen from staying at home.

    If I'm remembering correctly, you do a lot of canning. Figure the cost per serving on the food you can vs. what you would purchase in the grocery. Those types of things add up in a hurry. You can sew if that's your thing. You can thrift shop shop if that's your thing. Point is, you can actually save money by staying home. No significant costs for work clothes, pantyhose, shoes. You can focus on keeping the house tidy, having healthy meals on the table, and making your family happy.

    My mother was a stay-at-home. We had little money, but we always had great food to eat. Slow cooking stews and such in the pre-Crock pot days. We dressed better than 90% of the people I knew because she could make clothes out of anything. She used to shop the thrift stores, buy all sorts of old clothes, rip them apart and make us beautiful things. Our home was extremely nice. She painted walls, refinished furniture, reupholstered things all the time. Could she have done that if she was a 9 to 5'er?

    Personally, I think we women did ourselves a great disservice back in the bra-burning days. Yes, we entered the work-force, we made a salary (less than men most of the time), but we also assumed TWO jobs - work job and home job. We added to our stress, we added to the stress of our husbands and family. Divorce rates sky rocketed. Many things. So for those that might be critical of your lifestyle, smile sweetly and ignore...knowing you know the secret.

  8. #37
    Super Moderator Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    I'm for choices, and I'm glad the women who want to be in the work force now can be. For us, it has always worked best if I'm not.

    SueBee, you're exactly right in pointing out that you can save a lot of money staying home. Not only for all the reasons you mentioned, but if you're like me, we rarely hire someone to work on our house. Over the years, I've done stuff like gut a full bathroom to the studs and start over, installed water heaters, garbage disposals, and loads of other things, sewed almost everything including men's suits for my husband's work and prom dresses for our daughters, repaired appliances, and done all kinds of things that are not traditionally done by women. Plus I used to do all the housewifey stuff like canning.

    One thing people overlook when they're saving money being home is the tax benefits. Not only are you sometimes in a lower tax bracket due to less income, but you're not being taxed on the money you save. So the $13,000 I saved by remodeling my bathroom myself was not only the same as income since we did not have to part with that money, it was untaxed income since we did not have to earn 25% or so more to cover the taxes, and then pay that bill with our net income to someone else. BIG savings!

    BTW, I did write a novel when I was "not working." Several, in fact. I'm not sure why people get the idea that's a leisure time activity. It's like any other business you do from home, if you're serious about it. It's hard work, and anyone who doesn't think so has never tried it. Worse, it's work you do in the hopes that someone (an editor who will buy it) will like it enough to pay for it. Most often, that doesn't happen, which means you get absolutely nothing for the hours and weeks and months of hard work you put into it, and you can't recoup the money you've spent trying to sell the darn thing, either. I did sell dozens of short stories though, and since that's easy for me, it was the best money I ever made per hour since I could write quickly.

  9. #38
    Registered User CookieLee's Avatar
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    There IS an issue with the "justify my existence" topic. I think having a major illness contributes to that.

    When I got hit with the arthritis diagnosis (I've always had it but I went into a huge flare that got me diagnosed), I was literally laid so low I could barely function - all while having a 2-yr old to care for. I distinctly remember some days where the best I could do was drive her to a local fast food restaurant so she could have a hot meal and play with other kids. Shopping for groceries or trying to cook or arranging a play-date was just more than I could manage. There was no cleaning the house or doing laundry or even saving money. I was really, really sick. And I spent a lot of time thinking about my role in this family when I really couldn't contribute in the traditional sense.

    I wondered how I'd feel if it was hubby who was sick instead. What if he had a stroke or heart attack or even just an accident where he was permanently disabled. Would I resent his inability to contribute? Would I love him less? Would his inability to do anything other than lay in bed make him less of a person - less valuable as a human?

    Of course not!

    I came to the conclusion that humans are valuable even when we can't do anything. Human life has worth all its own.

  10. #39
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    I was married at 17 1/2 and never worked full time since then. I've done seasonal work in Christmas trees, and our daylily nursery and sometimes helped DH with his various jobs.

    My job was to keep the home running, educate the kids and be frugal. Like SD, I never cared what people thought and still don't. I have been very fortunate to be able to be home and raise my kids. It wasn't because DH made so much money, it was because we didn't need so much I guess. I would rather do without the extra money and stay home. Having said that, I would like to find some way to earn a little more money at home.

    I remember meeting an old school friend and her daughter in a store a few years ago. Her daughter said she HAD to get a job, she was going crazy at home with "nothing to do"! I was speechless! I cannot fathom having nothing to do! There are more things I want to do than I can ever do in one lifetime! I guess there are people in the world who don't have interests or hobbies but I sure don't understand it!

  11. #40
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    CL, your post made me think of handicap parking spaces. I've seen so many people give nasty looks or make snarky comments to or about people parking in those spaces. So often you see people park there, get out and walk normally into the store. We humans tend to think a person has to have a "visible" disability to be disabled. Otherwise, it doesn't count.

    Spirit Deer, I like the idea of choice, too, but it seems that choice became necessity for many and for some, their choice is criticized. That's what I don't like. I never gave thought to the tax break staying at home could achieve, but that is an excellent point in terms of dollars. However, I also think there are so many hidden benefits for families that have stay-at-home mom's. Things that have nothing to do with dollars.

    I probably need to shut up now since I have such strong opinions about this. Adios, mi amigas! Or something like that.

  12. #41
    Super Moderator Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    I agree, SueBee, about the criticism and about the hidden benefits.

    It seems like a lot of people on this board have made the choice to give up income and stay home, living on less because they find value in things that might not have monetary value. And I think some people do better if they're not at home all the time, too, just because personalities are so different. So for them, maybe it's more beneficial to their family for them to work outside the home than to be home all the time, also for non-monetary reasons.

    I remember when our first adoption worker was discussing finances with us. I was a SAHW at the time, too. She looked over our financial situation and said she thought we had a better lifestyle than she and her husband did, even though they both were full-time professionals. (Her husband was a lobbyist for a big electronics firm.) My husband was an assistant manager at a grain elevator at the time and I had no income. Her view was that, because of our frugal lifestyle, we lived quite well even though they had far more cash flow. It's all in how you handle it sometimes.

    We all have to give up something. If you work full time or even part time, you are giving up your time at home, and you're giving up your money to others because you do not usually have the time to DIY stuff. If you have kids requiring day care, you give up A LOT of your money to others. If you stay home, you are giving up the money you would be earning, but you have the time to do as I did and DIY all kinds of stuff, thereby saving money. So it comes down to the choices we all make. I'd rather contribute to the family finances by saving money in large and small ways. It works for us. For others, bringing in money and upping the cash flow works best.

  13. #42
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    Thanks everyone. I got on this thread first thing this morning to apologize for writing a 'novel'. Looks like I have lots of company.

    I once figured out many many years ago (about 20) that I saved us $21,000CAD/year by staying home. Not sure what it is now, but it's bound to be a lot more than that!

    CookieLee: thank-you in particular for your post. I often am not able to contribute to the household as much as I'd like. A bad back means little housework gets done, unless DH does it. He doesn't want us to hire anyone else to do it. And he certainly does not keep it up to the standard my dust allergies need. I hate this time of year when the furnace comes on. I have a terrible time breathing. But he is into false frugality in that he won't call anyone to clean it because, well, it doesn't affect him! Instead he pays by having me unable to do a lot around the house.

    He has issues with me staying home I think. The other day I was at his work place and was introduced to a lady who does teaching/tutoring. Apparently there was an outfit looking for teacher/tutors. I had a job description thrust in my hands by him and a co-worker. It was a position for someone with a B.Ed. in adult ed. for $40-50K/year. I was speechless. I was no way qualified for the job! After years of being negative on my furthering my education, I can't believe he actually did that. When I pushed him on the issue he was a bit cool and distant and said "Well you don't have to if you don't want to." Huh?! I'd love to if I could, and was qualified! But I'm NOT!

  14. #43
    Super Moderator Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    Do you have someone out to clean out the furnace ducts annually, as part of your yearly maintenance on your furnace? That might help your allergies. I think maybe there are some special filters that could be added, too. Might be worth checking.

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    Just a comment on the handicapped parking SueBee. Those people making snarky comments may not be aware that many people who have no handicap park their vehicles in handicapped spots because they are picking up a loved one who does have a handicap. If the people waited they may see the driver return with their loved one who uses a cane or walker or wheelchair. Of course this could also work in reverse that they are returning to the car after having just dropped off their loved one. As you say, some people have unseen handicaps but some people are also assisting people who have visible or invisible handicaps.

  16. #45
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    No SD. DH won't pay for someone to do regular maintenance on the house. He doesn't think it's necessary.

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