Wednesday, December 9, 2009

9 December 1955 “Still Ill, but giving it the Ole’ College Try!”

50s doctor Well, I am still ill. I do not have a fever, but the exhaustion and sore throat continues. Now, however, the sore throat has moved to include laryngitis! It is an odd and scary feeling to open one’s mouth expecting a barrage of wisdom to spill forth, only to receive guttural whips of air and questioning looks!

I am afraid that I may have what Lori mentioned in a comment she had, which she said she had something similar and it unfortunately has lasted 4 weeks! I hope I do not feel it for that long. It’s the exhaustion that is the most upsetting. Yet, with the increased energy I have today as compared to yesterday, I decided I could manage two things: finally make a normal full on breakfast for hubby and I (french toast, eggs-over easy, bacon [of course!] coffee and home made hot chocolate) and second, manage to post something for all of you so I can still feel plugged into my community.

woman with groceries I have to say to all of you, I feel just as if you all stopped by with groceries or casseroles to pop in the oven! Finding that you have come to my blog while I was ill and continued to chat does my heart good. It definitely spurs me onto wanting to have a simple little website for we gals to visit come the new year. It really feels a community to recieve so many wonderful warm wishes and to feel as if you have taken up the ‘typewriter’ for me and in your comments continued blogging in my stead! Thank you all for that.

It seemed the gist of the comments began to be about the ability for anyone to become a SAHM or a SAHH (Is that the correct usage for a stay at home homemaker, or is that redundant to you think?) Anyhoo, I have been thinking of this a lot lately.

I have contemplated many times ways in which I could do posts with ideas to help someone work towards being a SAH. And, in so doing, get good feedback from others. I see that some of you feel, for maybe it is true, that in your area of the world you must be upper middle class to have the privilege to stay home. But, I wonder, if we were to work together, we industrious ladies (and gentleman too!) could we brainstorm ways for more of us to ‘join the fold’ so to speak? I think it would be worth our discussing it.

So, let’s say some of you out there now want to work towards being a SAH. You could try, for starters, to sort of give yourself a specific date to work towards. For instance, you might think, by next summer I would like to be fully SAH, so I will make a schedule that will first bring me down to part time work then to complete work at home. It could be doable if we all put our heads together.

I think the very first and upper most important aspect for anyone wanting such a path is that we have to wrap our head around what today is considered, “normal modern living”. I think what we have thus far been fed as ‘normal quaility of living” is rather a sham. Now, I don’t mean we have to dress in vintage clothes. But, using clothes as an example, we could use the vintage spirit of mending and needing less.  With what you may already have you may need to buy no new clothes for the rest of the year and be fine. And, with the skill of sewing, you could add to your wardrobe. There is an amount of pride and sound financial means to making a dress for yourself. It is first off, not instant gratification, you have worked for it. You also get to make it fit your proportions and your style. You will press that dress and smile a little brighter when you hang that up compared to a 5 dollar shirt from Old Navy that will be gone at the seams in a matter of weeks. Or, even if you buy a special dress, but make it last. It might cost more, but you don’t buy more clothes you have one or two nicer dresses that you keep and care for. This is a concept that really no longer exists. Clothes are cheap so we just buy them and treat them cheaply. Heaps on the floor, some with tags still on, who cares, you can always get more! This is the attitude that leads to our current way of irresponsible spending and empty happiness. I really think we have to change at the very root of our perception of the world around us and our own ideas of happiness to get to a healthy state of spending and frugality. That, at least, was what was needed for me. The 1955 me stares in horror at the old ‘modern ‘ me living in Boston, carrying my too expensive LV handbag as I go to shops to spend on things I don’t need and sometimes didn’t wear! There is hope, we can change and for the better!

But, the very essentials of living a happy fulfilled life I have begun to find are rarely found at the mall or behind the swipe of the credit/debit card. We need food, shelter, and some pleasing diversion. The problem is these basics have, in the past decades, become so twisted out of proportion it does make it hard on a struggling family. So, you really need to focus on those basics and look where you could save. I think even week long ‘projects’ are always eye openers. Try, for instance, to spend 1/2 your food budget one week and see what happens. Don’t worry, you won’t starve, you can always go back out and get more food if you are in dire need, but find out what you really need and you might be surprised.

When I did my 1940’s ration week, I found many ways to scrimp on my food that I then held over once I returned to the plenty of 1955.

Entertainment is probably the largest. I mean there may be those of you out there right now who are saying, “I could never stay home, too many bills” and then you pay 70 plus dollars a month to have cable! Or you need to have a new tv or a tv in every room. These have become what we think ‘normal’ are part of our ‘entitled’ way to live, but we all pay for it in the end.

Let’s say you work part time (24 hours) at minimum wage (in my state that is 8.25 an hour) so that is 198.00 but after you subtract for taxes that take home would be around 138.00. Now your ‘entertainment’ of tv takes up more than 1/2 of that whole work week! When you really start to look at the money =the hours you are at work and then the things you buy in those hours, it gives you a clearer view of how you spend.

I could be truly wrong, but I honestly feel that we could help those who want to be SAHM to make it, or failing that at least help the motherless become SAH and then, through a few years of budgeting and getting it right, be ready to become SAHM.

Even the way we spend money can be changed. The more we are removed from the actual exchange of paper money for goods, the easier it is to spend. When all we have to do is hit ‘buy now’ or press an app on our iphones to purchase things, we don’t think of it as actually spending, somehow it seems some magic gift, but it is!

The other important factor would have to be NO credit cards. We have not used or had credit cards for years. Now Debit cards are becoming the lure of the ‘mini credit card’ for if you do not pay heed to what you spend and keep it in your ledger, they will hold back transactions and then put them through at once, to give you an overdraft. Then you get that fee as well as a percentage to pay back. This is horrible that they can do it, but until that practice could ever be addressed on a legal/political scale YOU have a defense against it: be diligent about keeping your books. Really, and this was a hard lesson for me this year as well, self responsibility seems to have somehow gone on the wayside in our modern times. The consumer world does not want you to be so, for much money is made on late fees, overdraft fees, interest than on the original products cost.

I think for those who would like to become SAH it won’t hurt us to really evaluate the nooks and crannies of how we spend and what we think we ‘have to have or need ‘ in our homes or for our children. We take it for granted that our children should all have cell phones, but just look at what you spend on your cell phone bills to what you may have once spent on land lines. Unfortunately, because of the cell, land lines are horridly expensive, yet I know a young couple who struggle with money all the time and they have two cell phone plans AND a land line. When I asked why they had the land line (which I think is around 70 a month) they said, ‘Oh, it is for the telemarketers’.

Then you can even go further in these costs. Some may say, oh, for only an extra 5 0r 10 dollars a month I can have unlimited texting. But, why do you need it? Do you need it? And that is another 120 dollars a year that you could save.

But, I digress for now (as I am fading and needing my bed) but do you think it possible to make a move towards a single income household for those who want it? I think it could be and I would love to hear all your thoughts and ideas. We could really help solve some problems here. I don’t want to seem preachy, but I think that sometimes we get angry or defensive because we now, in our hearts, we might not be being as true to ourselves about it as we could be, and that anger or outrage can lead to discussion and then to real problem solving that could lead to this goal that I think many of you who are NOT SAH’s would love.

So, again, thank you for all your well wishing and I hope we can have some wonderful rants on this topic. I put it to you, now. Let’s hear it!

p.s. when I am more ‘up to it’ we shall have some fun Christmas posts of making our own decorations and gifts, recipes an such. Fun!


  1. I haven't commented here for a while, but
    I don't think it's possible for everyone to be a one income family. There are outgoing bills and payments such as alimony, that really can hinder that kind of lifestyle.

    Me and my boyfriend, at the moment we could have a good life with going out once a week if we lived together. He works full time I work part time. But if I were to stop to work there wouldn't be enough money to pay for his travel to work, or part of our food. And that's with us being thrifty.

    So I while I agree with what you say with the thriftiness, and thinking about spending I'm not sure that everyone could become a one income family.

  2. That is interesting Angel and exactly what I hope for, that we can talk about the different situations. And, perhaps you are actually happy where you are and may not even want to be a SAH, there is that to consider as well. But, I do think in some cases, where there are not extra expenses such as ailmony or heavy doctor bills, it could be doable. In fact if we could actually get healthcare for all of us in this country just think how those with ill children could get rid of the worry of that outgoing money. It could make such a move towards the 'return to home'. Just a thought, now back to bed for me.

  3. so glad you're feeling a bit better!
    and we in the stay at home world usually refer to those w/out children as SAHW (stay at home wife) if you're married. doesn't help those who aren't...maybe stay-at-home-partner???
    can't wait for the christmas klatch~go back to resting, now, so you'll be ready!:)

  4. There are so many factors to consider - cost of living for the part of the country one is in, income level of spouse, plus if the spouse is on board with the idea or not...for some it just may not be a viable option. But if all the other factors are in place and the only need to make it happen is to exercise a little more self-discipline, by all means it should be considered for those in a position to do so.

  5. For us, it was a major priority for me to stay home, especially since we wanted children. I quit my job when I was pregnant with my first child, and we lived on VERY little. (as in, less than 300 dollars a week--we couldn't even pay our rent with one paycheck.) We took in a 'boarder' and he paid 1/3 of everything, the rent, the bills and bought his own food except for supper. I cooked supper for all 3 of us nightly and he ate with us 4 or 5 nights a week. It worked out pretty well.

    When we had our baby, we moved into a slightly nicer place, and our boarder moved on to other things. At that point I took up baby sitting. A lady had me sit for her two children when she worked evenings. I made enough to pay for our groceries.

    By the time we had 3 children, my husband had a better job, some training and made more money.

    Now, with six children, we still don't make 'tons' of money. *But* we live great on what we have. We have no credit cards at all, no credit card debt. We do have a small amount of medical debt (from our last birth,the amount the insurance did not pay- which will be paid for in February from our tax refund) We own a nice house, which has a mortgage, but isn't terribly high. We do owe a small amount on our van. We make less than 50 thousand a year. We do not have satellite service or cable, I do not have a cell phone (my husband has one, but it is provided by and paid for by his boss), and we don't eat out too often.

    We eat well, the children are happy, they have plenty of clothing(bought at thrift stores or made by family/friends--because we wear only dresses and skirts and tend to dress 'old fashioned' as some have put it). The boys and girls have plenty(too many!) of toys, and do school at home with me.

    We are a Christian family, and we do pray and trust God to provide out needs daily. He always has.

    Mrs P

  6. Very inspiring, Mrs. P!

    Another thing we need to do before we decide that we "have" to work is to see what, exactly, we're spending while working away from home. A professional wardrobe costs a pretty penny as does a second car. And then there are all the services that take the place of a homemaker: restaurants, prepared food, pricey entertainment for the exhausted, fragmented family.... Before we leave home for a job we'd better make sure we're not paying for the privilege.


  7. I agree with Angel...everybody's situation is different and I think we do what we can to work towards what we want. But sometimes, things just don't/can't fall into place so easily. We have not spent money on anything but bills in a very long time. Our food bill has no wiggle room as we really only eat dinner. I get free food for lunch at work most days, and neither of us is around for breakfast (hubby doesn't even eat breakfast). You just have to do what you can and make the most of what you've got. And of course try as hard as possible to change the things you think need changing.
    (have you tried what someone else suggested earlier and gargle with salt water for your throat? and you may need some vitamin B supplements for your fatigue)

  8. I'm thinking of trying an experiment next year of not buying any new clothing (except for undergarments if needed, but then I have a huge collection of those too!) I would, however, be able to sew. I have such a large stash of fabrics and patterns.

    My hubby told me that I could stay home if I liked. I am currently in school switching careers, but it would be 2 years until I would be able to sit for certs and registered status. I really would love to be a SAHH, I just struggle with the mental side of what everyone else would think? Sort of like what you talked about in the beginning of your experiment.

    We even figured that we would save money if I were to stay home. I could expand our gardens for fresh veg & fruit, sew, hang more out to dry rather than waste with the dryer, eat home more, etc...

    Still debating though.


  9. Just checking back in. Some great comments. Mrs. P good for you, and even those who are not christian can follow your example. Sometimes I think people feel if you think differently and want to be in control of your life and question the situation we often find ourselves currently in the modern world we can seem 'odd' or 'cultish'. It is too bad, as thinking for oneself is really the MAIN action to reach any goal in life. It is easy to make excuses or to think nothing can change but a challenge and a skill to make one. Now, there are many of you, such as you Jen, who have no desire to be a stay at home, so really why bother changing if you are happy with your life currently, although I think you would find ANY grocery list has wiggle room, but you seem content with your situation, so why bother? I certainly am not saying I think we all SHOULD stay home, but I was addressing those who have thought, hmmm, I would like to try it and see. SO, therefore, those who are successfully doing it can give advice for what works for them and perhaps with all of the advice we might actually find some good sources to help those who do want to give it a go. Perhpas, when it comes down to it we shall see that it is not possible for anyone now who is not already a SAHM or SAHH to become one, that would be sad indeed, but if that is what we discover, than who can argue with it?
    LPM-if you are in any way creative ( and I think we can safely say you are) I think a year at home would and could be wildly fulfilling and exceedingly rewarding. Contrary to my other post, as I think I misspoke, I don't really care what others think of my staying at home, but really was more concerned about how other SAHM and SAHH felt or were recieved by society as a whole. I think if you are happy and your signifigant other is glad to allow you to do it, you should go for it! I do hope it doesn't turn out that we find any of you who would like to try it find out it is seemingly impossible. I suppse that is when you start looking at things like cost of living, is it worth a move to a less expensive area of the country? especially if you live somewhere expensive but never use any of the advantages because you are always working or too tired. Interesting stuff indeed. Let us keep the discussion going.

  10. Yes! That's how I am.

    I have always worked and for a long while supported myself quite successfully. Part of it is losing a little of my "independence", another part is how our family member's may perceive me as they are all successful "working" women.

    I must say that I am leaning more & more towards it, as I am very cranky and stressed trying to keep up all! =)

    I am very lucky to have a husband who will support anything that I wish to try.


  11. lpm-you are indeed. I am lucky in that as well. I do feel bad for couples who often lack that basic need to support one another's dreams and goals and wonder why they continue onward, but that is a post I might NEVER write. Good for you and you know I will be as 'supportive' as can be and perhaps you will be a major contributor to my site, if it ever gets up.
    Well, to bed, my voice is still gone and I am still exhausted.

  12. I think this is a fantastic idea. I know I need help in this arena letting go of our 2nd income and changing the lifestyle. I would be an avid reader / participator. I like the idea of a plan, a date to shoot for to make the change. And yes, we really do need the help of others that have done it. An entire generation of women have grown up with very different ideas and expectations on them being in the workforce and pressure to keep up with others still exists. Finding a way to weed through all of that would be a great service.

  13. Get better!

    I also am an advocate of warm salt water... or a nice whiskey, honey & lemon toddy ;)

  14. I became a SAHM when I first found out I was pregnant over a decade ago. We found that it would actually cost us money if I worked outside the home (taxes, childcare, professional clothes, commuting). There were women that deemed my choice to stay home as an insult to whatever they had gone through in the 70's & 80's for women's lib. I didn't care, I have my own thoughts on the women's lib movement. Other than those few women, I have had positive comments. I love to sew. My son is always having me design and make him some costume or another. I made his first Jedi costume when he was 3 without patterns. When we are unable to find a plushie of his fav character at the moment I whip one up. I just finished a couple of classes and my son was very happy to have me home again. My husband is glad to have me at home too. I hope this reply wasn't too long.

  15. "The more we are removed from the actual exchange of paper money for goods, the easier it is to spend."

    I have been saying that for ages. And I have proved it as well. Just last week, I 'goofed' up my checking account because I lost a couple of receipts. Luckily I caught it and put in money, but that $120.00 could have cost me $300 or $400 in fee and fines when all was said and done. I am working towards getting onto a cash basis. I got the debit cards when the kids were babies because I WILL NOT leave my kids in the car alone. EVER. So, to pay at the pump, rather than drag out the baby (with the car seat, blanket, binky, diaper bag, my purse, etc.) was SO much easier. Now, the kids are all getting older, I tend to get gas when I am out alone, and I think it is time to cut the things up and go back to good old greenbacks.

    Just a many of you actually use cash and how many use plastic (debit or credit)???

  16. Sorry to read that you are not feeling well - I hope you get better soon.
    In my area, most SAHM are seen as lucky to be able to afford it, we live in an expensive resort area and alot of Moms seem to think they need to work to afford the lifestyle. My hushand has a good job and we have a nice house, we are blessed, but we drive older cars, eat mostly at home, and do not have the money for lots of extras. I always feel proud to say I'm a SAHM. I always wanted to be home, before we had chidren, I worked part time in the morning, and was a housewife the rest of the time, people use to ask me what I did all day. LOL
    When I became pregnant I quit, its been 7 years, and I never want to work outside the home again. I love being home and taking care of my family. Apron Revolution -live on!

  17. oops - the post above was written by me - Samantha

  18. What an interesting discussion. Thanks 50sGal and ladies! I have not worked outside the home since we were married in 1980. (Even though I loved my work before then, I a billions times more love staying at home.)I think truly (except for VERY few cases)in my country anyone could be a stay at home wife IF they wanted. Some may even want to but are not willing to make the sacrifices it sometimes takes to be able to afford to do so. That's fine and their choice. There are many resources to help families study their lifestyle habits; some good books, articles, blogs, including just using one's own common sense, deep thinking, studying and concentrating on wise choices. It was not until our children were adults that I became sensible with my spending and put self-control and thought into my finances and we were never in credit card debt. (We have always used cash, to answer that question.) Now we rarely eat out, I buy new clothes but never exclusive brands or designer labels or excessive quantities, (I'm trying to not buy anything new for awhile and see how long my wardrobe lasts), we still have two cars but never the latest models, I shop for specials and try never to pay full price for anything, we 'holiday' locally. I try very hard to be sensible and not extravagant and love the challenge and find it very fulfilling and rewarding. My deepest encouragement for those who are thinking of taking the step to stay at home, to do so. You can do it and it's fabulous. Linda

  19. Dear 50sGal,

    I hope that you are feeling better soon!!! I have been at home for 16 (almost 17!!) years, now and while I do not think that being at home is for everyone, I do believe that it is accomplishable by almost everyone depending on the level of sacrifice we are all willing to make.

    When I married, my husband had a considerable amount of debt, and bills from a previous relationship, but we knew we wanted me to be able to be home and be a mother asap. So we moved from an extremely expensive community to a very rural community where we could afford to live. We also went to one car as I was not working and had no need of a car. We also (as you mentioned) had no television, or long distance on our land line. I wrote letters to my family and they visited me as it was possible. As things improved for our family (DH got a raise!) we were able to afford some nice (but not necessary) things, like television, and long distance telephone.
    I know many people who have told me that they would not be able to live as we did. But we did it so that we might be able to have our children and a better life now. We were looking at long term benefits not short term gratification. ~Mrs. J~

  20. "It seemed the gist of the comments began to be about the ability for anyone to become a SAHM or a SAHH (Is that the correct usage for a stay at home homemaker, or is that redundant to you think?) Anyhoo, I have been thinking of this a lot lately."

    I knew someone once who thought I was crazy to be at home since my husband wasn't a wealthy man. All the "homemakers" she knew spent their days shopping at the mall and having expensive lunches with their friends. *grins*

    Having the freedom to be at home is worth living frugally to me. There is no greater joy than having my husband come home from work and tell me how much he loves our quiet life and the cozy home I make for us.

    Get well soon, 50sgal!

  21. Going from working to not is not a easy task! That is silly to think it is.
    You adjust to the income you get and a certain living and with that comes bills. So going from 2 incomes to 1 is hard. BUT if you really want to it can be done! It has to be wanted and worked at really hard.
    I was a working mom once, my husband had a ok job, we had moved a few times so money was tight. We had a young son and my husband was gone for months.
    We knew I had to stay home with our situation. So I did.
    Let me say it was not easy. We were in debt, we went from 2 incomes to 1, we had a small child.
    I saved every penny, I did not buy things we did not need, I was thrifty.
    But I wanted to stay home, I needed to, so I was willing to do whatever needed to be done to do that. We didnt buy things we didnt need, we got rid of things that were wanted not needed. We stopped using credit cards.
    Now with all that said, there are some circumstances that cannot be avoided. Some things that are not a choice and cannot be helped.
    But for those who just have small reasons on why could really work hard and get to that place of being able to stay home.

  22. Hairball T. Hairball ball said:
    Having the freedom to be at home is worth living frugally to me. There is no greater joy than having my husband come home from work and tell me how much he loves our quiet life and the cozy home I make for us.

    Very well said.

  23. I just picked up the Dec/Jan. "Sew News". There is an article in there that addresses the alteration of clothes after weight loss (The only reason I bought it with my coupon). So as soon as I get some Christmas gifts completed I will start on the that project.

  24. I wonder, are there many of you out there who are not now SAH's and would like to be one day? Just curious as to our debate.
    I will try a post tomorrow, the illness wages on. I feel somewhat better today, but tire quickly. I still have my racking cough and my voice is still gone. I wonder if my husband misses my speech or fines the 'silence divine'?

  25. Hi 50sgal, hope you are fully recovered soon.

    I kind of have the opposite situation at home. I would dearly love to be a homemaker, but as my husband is disabled and his benefits alone aren't nearly enough to run the house, even modestly, I am forced to work full time.

    In my place is my husband, a reluctant homemaker. Any tips on how to motivate him??

    All good wishes from Blighty,


  26. Mether-perhaps you could have him read my blog to see the 'fun bits' of homemaking, then tell him he is lucky as many would like to 'be at home'. Does he like vintage things? You could always start getting vintage homemaking tools to maybe pique his interest or maybe make it more fun with some old books on homemaking and old magazines, when it could become an interesting project mixed with history, perhaps he would view it differently. It is worth a try, non?

  27. Living on one income is possible in almost any circumstance. Almost anything is possible if a person (or couple) puts that goal as the focus, and more importantly, by God’s Grace.

    Unfortunately, goals require work, and sometimes a hefty learning curve. If the homemaker is willing to do it, then it will work. If the bread winner is willing to do it, then it will work. Two people working together are able to accomplish much.

    It was consumerism that allowed my husband and me the means to live a life of thrift without the “hardship.” While some may think that we are “roughing it” without the latest “necessary item,” the reality is that we were, and are, not. While 1950's saw an increase in consumer goods, most people’s lifestyles had one foot in the previous decades. We were able to have the best of both worlds.

    When we think of the Great Depression, we think of “Making do.” To “make do” you must have a skill base. Despite the fact that there is joy in making, we buy instead and become a more deskilled society. To “make do” you might have a major inconvenience. How do you make underwear without elastic? Without transportation, you walked. “Making do” is not for the faint of heart.

    No Idle Hands

  28. no idle hands-so true. That is why I think in most cases couples could become a single couple income, but it really means working hard at it. I prefer to work harder for myself to stay at home then to slave away for a boss outside the home. Some others may enjoy the idea of being home, but honestly would rather have their 'hard work' be at work and come home and relax. Depends on the person, I suppopse. I do know that with those who do try it and make a change, they will soon learn how little we actually NEED and how much is WANT or really just mindless buying. It is SO easy in todays world of computers and buying on tv and debit cards and online shopping to literally be shopping 24 hours a day. Once upon a time shops were open til 5 and not on sundays, so you had less time to overspend as well as most people had merely cash or local crdit from the stores that if they got behind on they felt foolish as it was to their own community, not a faceless company that would call and harass you, even though they are actually still making money from you overspending and not paying. So, in the modern world of today one has to work twice as hard and think about everything and really just 'think' more than is normally required for a modern person. For myself, I have lived both ways and find being more "ALIVE AND AWAKE" to the world around me and living and not just mindlessly spending and tuning in is 100 times more rewarding. It might not be for everyone, but I wish most would TRY it out at least and then they can alwasy go back if they don't like it.
    The underware is funny! At one point underware was like a one piece pajama with buttons, who needed elastic?

  29. I will have to read this very interesting post later, but I actually hopped on just to see if you were better (I am a lurking but supportive reader!) Please don't rush back to activity--if you did have swine flu, it can wipe you out for weeks, and make you more susceptible to other infections while you are recovering. I am a paramedic, and we are seeing this a lot with this new flu.
    I guess we are all "virtual" neighbors on the Internet...:)

  30. I think we need to use a happy abbreviation. Like Happy American Homemaker Association. That would be the Ha Ha's . I was trying to come up with one like s.m.i.l.e. but could not get creative. (Stay at home: Mothers, Individuals, Ladies,and house Executives.)
    I am All for thrift. I feel that need and greed are often mixed up.
    At work we are buying gifts for a family in need. hearing rumors about this family one says they don't watch tv they read books . Oh I said are they home schooled. (thinking they are education minded.) the co-worker looks me in the eye and says no they only have three channels and don't even get cable!Realizing age and goals are different I drop the subject.
    I do think more people could stay home if they wanted to. As you say there are many ways women can earn an income . Decorate cakes for weddings,sew, knit etc. But I know there is a lot of pressure out there to work my boss , my husband, even my sisters say" but you went to college." They are all very independent.
    Well back to being thrifty I could do it except underwear without elastic.:)(snicker)

  31. p.s. To Lorie's question I always use debit which means no cash on hand. It upsets me as I walk past the Christmas kettles and bell ringers. I will have to make it up to them.

  32. I am so glad to see you are feeling better. It's tough to be sick at home - you can't call in!

    I, too, think most people could stay at home. However, many people can't stay at home and maintain their lifestyles, and that's wher it gets tough.

    To give you an idea, I am a SAHM. My husband makes around $40k a year, and we welcomed our 8th child this year. (I hope I am not in terrible breach of etiquette by telling people what we make. But I wish to make a point about finances.) Most people would say that it is impossible for a family of 10 to live on such a small income. But it's not - and we did have cable and other luxuries until my husband was laid off.

    But, it is a trade off. I buy our clothes at thrift shops or at Sears (for their Kidvantage program). We use a cash system. I am very frugal with groceries, spending $110 a week for all of us. We currently have one vehicle - which my husband takes to work - and will until we can pay cash for another used vehicle. Our furniture was bought used from a friend of the family; other furnishings came from Freecycle or thrift stores. Our TV is 8 years old and is not flat or plasma. All of these things are little and not-so-little choices that add up to my being able to stay at home.

    We do not have debt, which is how my being a SAHM is possible.

    My advice for women wishing to be a SAH: Start living on your husband's income NOW. Put your entire salary towards paying off debt - student loans, credit cards, what have you. Have a goal in mind of when you will quit, and perhaps lighten your hours so you go from full time, to part time, to filling in as needed, etc. This will also ease the transition from working for a boss for being at home by yourself.

  33. Great advice, 50s gal!! I also think universal health care in the United States would make it much easier for everyone.

    We do use CCs, but I pay them off in full. I am really thinking about only using them for gas though in the near future, as I think we could save more on groceries using cash.

    I've been a SAHW for as long as we've been married. We didn't have much savings at all at first and that was stressful even having no debt. But today, we have an 8-month emergency fund and are on our way to save for a downpayment on our first place, that we hope we'll buy in 2010. This in only 3.5 years of marriage!! It can be done.

    We go out to eat like twice a year and always find that our cooking tastes much better anyway (we both love to cook). I'm switching to vinegar and baking soda instead of cleaning supplies full of chemicals. I'm using more cloths than paper towels and Clorox wipes. I'm going to get rid of that useless Swiffer and buy a washable mop.

    In the kitchen, I suggest to buy dry beans and lentils, make your own flour if you can, make your own bread, yogurt, dairy products...My mom makes her own soy milk but alas, I can't have it because my throat always burns, so I need to buy it...It is I guess too raw for me! Also, buying directly from an organic producer is great and inexpensive. My mom does that and her producer's produce is the most amazing I've ever had!! And sales, planning meals right, not buying things we truly don't need, going to thrift shops...It takes some planning but it is doable. We only have one car, it is used and paid off.

  34. It makes me so angry and sad when people say they can't afford to live on one income. I know one woman who insists that staying home is a privilege and you need to marry a man that makes a fortune to stay home. I've tried explaining to her that I have several friends who run a very tight ship because their hubby's don't make that much (retail, manual labor, that sort of position) but she doesn't believe me. I've figured out that I'd need to make at least $50K a year to cover child care, clothing, and other expenses of working so the chances of me finding a job that's going to be worth it are very slim indeed. When my son is in school I intend to go to work part time while he's in school, maybe 3 days a week, and put all my salary towards a savings account for his college tuition.

  35. So many wonderful ideas, Rhonda, I like your idea of working while child is at school to start his education fund, so important! Especially with the insane costs of education today (another thing we could learn from our canadian cousins-healthcare and education paid for! The most important asset to a country is its people you would think educating and keeping them healthy first and foremost, but obviously not). So many smart ladies out there. Are there any of you who want to become SAH's that have not yet and are now considering it or are we just preaching to the choir?

  36. My mother wants to be a SAHW. She was a homemaker throughout my childhood, but went to work about 8 years ago, part time, because with the children in school she didn't know what to do with herself (my youngest sister was born when I was a teen.) But soon enough her income was used up and she's been wanting to come home for a couple of years now, after realizing how difficult it is to take care of the domestic things while working all week.

    So she is a homemaker who went to work and wants to come back.

  37. I'm Canadian and although university is much cheaper than in the US, it is not free. It used to be free in Germany though! I paid about $2000K a year. My parents were able to provide us with college funds for all of us with a government program generating lots of interests. So I never ended up paying for my education. There are no private universities, all are public. Fees depend on each province.

    I think tuition fees are going crazy in the US and it shouldn't be like that!

  38. I don't think it's realistic to expect anyone to be a one-income family and to rely on your husband (or boyfriend, or significant other) to support you and your family financially. It's a sign of weakness to be reliant on someone else like that, and not to be able to put food on the table to feed you and your family yourself. If your husband (or main family provider) suddenly died or was unable to bring home the bacon, you'd be an impoverished mess since you didn't acquire the necessary skillset and work experience to be a provider in your own right.

    This post has set the women's movement back 50 years, unfortunately.

  39. Janice: I think you have been sniffing the glue too much at work. Sorry, but we (my hubby, myself and FOUR children) live on his salary. Not to be tacky, but he brings in around $35 grand a year. Yes, I could go to wok to supplement that. However, my only training is in banking. Banks don't pay for crap. Most offer barely oer minimum wage. So....that means I would have t have an entire wardrobe, a second vehicle (plus the gas, insurance, tags, and upkeep of said vehicle), dialy lunches for myself (and hubby since he normally takes leftovers), evening dinners (for I would be too tired to cook after getting off work at 5:30 or 6...AND pay for day care for 4 children, which would cost somewhere are $18,000.00 a year. And that is not exaggerated. I have checked!

    When I worked at the bank, I did good to bring home around $12,000 a year. That was making $7.00 an hour about 15 years ago. Should we be GENEROUS and double that, I would still only make $24,000.00 a year. Now, subtract day care, and you are at *drumroll* $6,000 a year. To pay for all of the above extra expenses and to pay strangers to raise my children. Not to LOVE them and teach them manners, morals, values and make them feel secure in the world. Just to watch them (and allow them to be more likely to get all the illnesses going around, etc.).

    No thanks!!! You can keep you stupid "women's movement" and throw it in the lake.

  40. Sorry, but I forgot to finish:

    Then, after working all those hours, I get to come home, check homework, change diapers, do laundry, clean house, make some prepackaged meal that tastes like crap for my family and fall into bed to get up and do it all over again.

    But I am INDEPENDANT....blah.

    This is my independence...I organize my days as I WISH. I clean what I want as I feel it needs it. I manage the money for my hubby, I take care of my kids, I go to school functions (blessing my kids), I cook meals that my family prefers to eating out, I have a clean home and time to play games go to church take my daughter to dance class, have coffee with a church lady visit the library and all of those things that people works their rears off so that they might "retire" to get to do.

    And excuse me...but working in an office is not a show of independence, but in my opinion a mark of indentured servitude. YOU DEPEND ON YOUR BOSS. Without him/her you go hungry, lose your place of living, etc. That is society. NO ONE is truly deflate your balloon of self importance. And if you have debt, you are a slave to those whom you owe money to. They can ruin your standard of living. YOu forget or get behind on bills, down goes that credit score. That makes it harder to get a job, buy insurance for your vehicle, or obtain living quarters.

    Thanks, but no thanks. I will be the "little housewife", you be the slave to the system. I KNOW I AM HAPPY. I don't think you really are. It sure doesn't sound like it.

  41. janice .
    I think setting the world back 50 years is our goal ( one of the apron lovers)

  42. Janice-it is funny you should say that. We are discussing those of us who would like to CHOOSE to be a SAH not that we were forced into it. If anything that has moved the woman's movement forward and away from the idea that women now need to forget our past accomplishments and deeds of centuries that we should hold with pride. Even if you are an executive you should still feel pride in a history that involves running families with the intelligence and dexterity of a modern business woman. I often find it interesting that the '60-70's' woman 'libber' is all about destroying what once was, when why should we? If one wants to go forward and be a doctor scientest etc, then they should do so no matter their sex, but by denegrating those who choose a different path how are you different form any bully in history, be he man or woman?
    We are lucky today to have choices, but I am afraid that part of womens lib, much as many things, have been taken over by the corporate culture of advertising to make one feel the need to work even if you are not a professional as then you have two incomes to spend, no time to do anyting yourself, therefore you spend more etc.
    Also, a woman who is a wise homemaker will make sure that things are in place so that were her husband to go, she would have a life insurance policy on him as well as savings until she could get herself into the working world again. WHy should a woman's choice be dictated by the small chance that her husband may cease to be? No, if anything I think we Apron Revolutionaries are the forerunners in WOmens freedom because we REFUSE to throw out the baby with the bathwater. I hope a woman's self worth and feeling of pride comes from her own ability to challenge herself and learn rather that is at home or in the business world, it is nonesense to say a working woman is freer than a homemaker.
    But, it is nice to hear different opinions. I think we, as women, do make better debaters as we can get emotional, but overall we can use sense and intelligence to look at other opinions and not merely 'throw mud'.

  43. I was going to talk about life insurance too, 50s gal!! A 20-year term-life insurance that is 10-20 times the household income is not very expensive. Most people don't have enough or have the wrong type of insurance.

    Plus, we have spouse IRAs. I think many feminists associate homemaking to having no rights and being forced to be at home. It is so not true. There has always been homemakers, yes in the past 50 years as well. It's unfortunate that we are being put down so much. That's why we need this Apron Revolution! :))

  44. Oh and let me just say that my homemaker mom is Polish (so was her mom) and that she is no wilthered flower. She's a physics engineer with an MBA, but decided to stay home to raise the 3 of us. She is very intelligent and usually bosses my dad around, never the other around, lol!! It's just always been natural to me. She was always home when I came back from school and we ate organic, wholesome food.

  45. It is sad that so many women (and men as well) see homemaking as oppresion or prison, particularly today when it is very much a CHOICE.

  46. Depending on others is not weakness. Being part of a team is not weakness.

    Saying women only have value if and when they bring home a paycheck demeans and devalues women.

  47. Thank you Milehimama . I agree with you we are a team. Perhaps some of the young girls never had a mother who was a hard worker. Putting food on the table , washing clothes, caring for a sick baby is work .Has any one read the news lately about women who are working out of the home. More hear attacks and stress related illness have claimed their live than ever in the past.
    you see I know ...I work (only part time) have sons ,husband and I care for my mother. On Sept. 1 I went to the doctors office telling them I was having pains on my chest thinking they word give tell me I had high blood pressure and give me meds. They did an ekg and said here take this (nitro) and we have an Ambulance on the way you are having a hear attack. My point is we can't do, be and have it all unless it is at a price. I am in my early 40"s other wise very healthy. MY goal for 2010 is some life changes. As i was laying in the hospital I did not think about my job.I knew my husband would show up at the hospital but my boys were in school and I thought will i get to see them again!

  48. Mrs. Tailleur-how frightening. I know that it seems we are to scoof at SAH's yet women with children are expected to both go to work AND still maintain the home and raise the children? Their work has doubled while the man's role seems rather the same. How is THAT not oppression? I do hope you are better now. Perhaps in the new year YOU could work towards not having the part time job as well. One never knows.

  49. Oh my gosh, Mrs.Tailleur! How scary! I'm glad you are alive!!

    I do remember the news, it was about women being less happy...When we work all day, the first thing we want to do is relax, not clean and cook when we come home. I think it's nuts and I also unfortunately see a lot of men who obligate their wives to work...

  50. Mrs. T, so glad you went to the doctor. So many women think they could never have a heart attack. I'm you're age and it's scary how vulnerable we are.


  51. Mrs. T. I am so thankful you are alright and here to tell us/warn us about what happened. I cannot imagine your fear. I do know that about 10 years ago I had a lump in my breast, and I didn't worry bout my job...I worried and prayed about my baby boy and his future without (possibly) a momma. Thankfully, I only had a cyst and it was treated and I am fine. I had genuine cause for fear, however, for I have 2 aunt who ha double masectomys. It is obviosly somewhere in in the family.


  52. Thank you ladies for your kind thoughts. I know I have a lot to be thankful for this year. It is so nice to have Friends who like what I like,and have goals similar to mine. I have friends and co-workers who would laugh at my love of aprons,baking,putting God and Family first. I am sure they wouldn't like the idea of their husbands being head of the house.

  53. What lovely well-wishers we all are! It is so nice to have our community and I am so thankful for all of you. I just love the conversations that start and continue on here. I must get better and get to my website so we can have a new vintage apron revolutioned forum to share on.

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