Thanks. The fact that a man cared enough to post this is very heartening to me.
The most important job in the world does not come with a paycheck and so is not valued much anymore in our society.
The results of the devaluation of making a home and all that goes with it are plain to see in the kids.
A few decades ago a mother's and house wife's work was disrespcted and undervalued. Now many mothers work outside the home for a paycheck and start their second shift at home after they are already tired from a day's work.
Also a few decades ago I can remember reading criticisms of husbands and fathers who worked hard at a job and brought their paycheck home. They were criticized for being materialistic. They were criticized as being mere paychecks. Mothers raising children without a husband know that a "mere" paycheck from a husband isn't just a mere paycheck.
Definitely worth more than Anyone would ever be willing to pay her.
Unfortunately, there are far fewer these days, as it often takes more than one paycheck to survive. With the newer high gasoline prices, even 2 paychecks can't cover many of them. Especially for those working jobs making minimum pay or close to it.
I read somewhere recently that it now takes 2 1/2 full time paychecks for baby boomers to buy what one paycheck bought for our parents.
There is also the computer and all the expensive "must have" gadgets that have been created around it and for it,all the digital stuff, DVD players, cameras, fancy cell phones, video games, lap tops, and on and on. The computer was supposed to cause us all to become people of leisure. Instead, we have to work even more to pay for all the things the technology has created.
Then there is the boomer propensity towards hedonism. Buy now, on credit, and worry about it later. Most Americans are woefully ignorant about how money works, and don't realize their credit spending is directly fueling the loss in value of real dollars that has got them working so much more for so much less. They will tell you they need the second job to pay their credit card debt, not realizing it is all that debt that makes the dollar worth so little. There is no free lunch.
Sometimes it is cheaper for a woman to stay home, but she may not realize it. For example, when I first moved to Florida, I could not find a job in my profession, and I had some very low paying office jobs with lousy benefits and no pension plans, that nevertheless required me to dress just as nice as my bosses, and drive long distances, so my car had to be in decent shape and I spent a lot on gas and clothes that I did not want to spend. If I had been married back then, it might have been cheaper for me to stay home in my old jeans and tee shirts and have my husband put me on his health plan at his job.
I don't think working at a crummy, low paying, mindless job, and then coming home and still doing all of the cleaning, laundry, cooking, bill paying, shopping, etc. is what I would call "liberation". I'd call it slavery. Add doing all the child care into the mix, and I'd call it abuse. When do you have any time left to keep up with the things that made you the interesting person he married?
One reason I have heard over and over, from other women, for why we should have a job no matter what is this..... what do we do when hubby divorces us to take up with a trophy wife half his age, and we are stuck with no job skills or experience and a couple of kids to support, while he skips to another state so he doesn't have to pay child support, and starts a second family? A very real fear, unfortunately. I don't have an answer.
My wife and I feel so thankful that we were able to raise
our children in a "normal" family in the late 60's/70's.
I worked, she raised the kids. Just like the 5000 years
prior to this, it worked out fine. We have three healthy,
well adjusted, normal kids who are raising their own
families, successfully, I might add.
This was all done during a time when "motherhood"
or "home making" was put down as a trivial pursuit.
The mantra was that ALL women ahould have a career,
(not motherhood) and NOT succumb to the idea that they
should perform their natural function in society.
I'm glad that we were old fashioned. Our kids are
following along our path and seem to be very happy
with their decision to do so. We are now enjoying our
My perception is that many baby boomers cannot afford to buy a house as good as the one we grew up in. The cost of all my dvd players and computers added together wouldn't be one house payment.
Also I read that decades ago college tuition was cheaper. Someone could put themseoves through college working summers and part time. Now many students are taking out big loans if their parents didn't save enough to put them through college.
Fifty years ago becoming a homemaker was a secure career. She could count on her husband to support the family. Now amny women are skipping the marriage part, because marriage is legally only a temporary arrangement. One marriage counselor wrote a book that she found that in every case of couples divorcing, unequal sharing a household duties was involved. It might not be the first reason listed, but it was on the list. a woman must work outside the home, then come home and do almost all the housework. Her husband acts like doing housework is her only job and her job only.