Hi to all who commented on my last post. Thank you for your insight. I've been trying to respond via the comments section on the blog for a while, but Blogger is playing up and eating everything I type. I thought it sensible, therefore, to respond via a post.
First, Lucy said that she felt that in the future only the very wealthy and the underclass will be SAH parents. I think she has a valid point. It is ironic, however, that the "squeezed middle" have always been at home mums, whereas the wealthy have always had paid childcare and the very poor have had to work outside the home.
Sue mentioned that she has posted about how fulfilled she feels as a housewife. I think that housewifery is a very fulfilling role for a creative person. I was NEVER bored when I was a housewife – sometimes a little lonely, but never bored. I also think that SAH parenting has a valuable social role. The older I get, the more I realize that the home really is the cornerstone of a civil society.
Monix has outlined how her experience of being a SAHM in the 1970s differs to the experience of her daughter. I think I read (in The Selfish Capitalist) that real wages have decreased substantially since the 1970s. Basically, we’re getting a lot less bang for our buck. We bought our first house fourteen years ago for £35,000. It is now on the market for £175,000. How can a young couple, with massive student debt, afford to live on one income - or indeed two part-time incomes – if the average cost of a small semi is so astronomical?
Debbi mentioned that she feels that many women work outside the home to afford luxury goods. I think she has a valid point, one or two women I know, whose husbands are on three times the salary of my husband, feel they cannot afford to give up work. However, I think it may be financially easier for those in the USA to be SAHM. I live in what many Americans would consider to be a very small home, however, it would cost £280,000 if you wanted to buy it. Is that about $450,000? Also, and this is a terrible admission for a dedicated SAHM, but even if my DH were to get a job with a similar salary to the one he was on before his redundancy, I’m not sure I would give up my job. I would be scared that he would lose it again – job insecurity abounds for everybody. I’m a coward.
Laura says that her family’s decision for her to stay at home parent has come at something of a cost. Her husband works long hours. She feels that many of her contemporaries are in this situation. I think that this is an important point. Very few SAHM have husbands who work a steady nine-to-five job. For many couples it is the husband’s over-time which allows the wife to stay at home with the children. However, as over-time dwindles so does the option to SAH, and women no longer feel the social pressure to stay at home they did – in fact the social pressure it the exact opposite. Here's an article about British student debt.