I agree that the figures listed in the calculator seem really low in some categories. Which just supports my argument that the living wage is not talking about some luxurious VIP lifestyle. Danifo - I think the thing with the two parents, two kids, and no child care costs is talking about how much you would need to make it your area to survive on a single income. I don't even really count that because I kind of take it for granted that most two parent families are two income families, but I know that probably varies by region as well.
[QUOTE=Alissa_Sal;9056864I kind of take it for granted that most two parent families are two income families, but I know that probably varies by region as well.[/QUOTE]
I only have two areas that I am familiar with WNY and TN. I know a lot of people in both areas and I know a lot of Stay at Home Parents in both areas. I am assuming that a lot of people you know and are on FB with have similar values as you and would have a lot of duel income families. In the same way, many of the people I know and are on FB with are SAHP. Not necessarily a regional thing.
I don't really see the decision to stay at home or not a a "values" issue, Bonita. That sounds pretty judgmental.
That said, most (almost all?) of my friends are SAHP's as well. I don't know if its a regional thing. I see it as being partially income related ~ most SAHM I encounter either worked low paying jobs that didn't make paying for childcare a realistic choice as it may have been a huge portion of their income, or have one parent who makes a high income.
Hmmmm.....maybe it's just the social circles you run in. I only know one SAHM in real life, so it seems kind of rare and exotic to me. LOL! I agree that I don't think it's a values thing - as Melissa pointed out, the one SAHM I know stays at home because day care would make her take home pay negligible. We share the same over all values though, regardless of the fact that she's a SAHM and I'm a WOHM. So yeah, thinking about it, I tend to agree that it's an SES thing. Most of our friends are in the same sort of economic boat where both parents make enough that the day care costs don't eat too much income to make it worth it, but they also don't make enough to survive (in the manner that they want to live) on a single income. ETA: I know someone is going to say that anyone can "survive" on a single income, but I mean that we all want to live "in the manner in which we are accustomed." LOL
Interesting. I can't imagine only knowing one sort of person! My daily life involves talking with everyone from other SAHM's to lunches with working friends to dinners with my husband and his colleagues from school or work. All different, lots to talk about. To reduce someone to simply what they do for a living is hard for me to fathom.
OK, I wrote a long response to this last night, but the internet Gods deemed it unacceptable and made it disappear
So basically what I said was that I think you 'tend' to know people in your own situation. For example, most of the women I am friends with are SAHM's. This is because we have met at various play groups and park plays. Most of my husbands friends are Cops because they met at work or during training. So I would suspect a mother who works would mostly interact with other working mothers because that is who she interacts with on a daily basis. I am NOT saying that there are not exceptions to this, of course there are. I also have friends from highschool and from when I was working, plus women I met when they were at home and now have gone back to work. But the folks I see every day are mostly SAHM.
I would also suspect that it is a regional thing as well. I work in an area where a lot of Dads work on the oil rigs and are gone for weeks at a time. Not only does this make it more difficult for both parents to work, but the money they bring in makes it possible to live off of one income. I know a lot of people who moved here specifically so they can afford to stay home with their kids.
I also wanted to point out that in many cases it is about what you value. For us, me staying home has come at the sacrifice of much of our retirement savings, investments, and saving for college. We plan to make these things up when I go back to work, but I would say that WE place a higher value on me staying home then we do on planning for our families, and children's future, while I know others who the Dad makes the same as my DH (I know cause cops salaries are all the same), but they place a higher value on that future savings, so Mom also works. Or maybe someone places a higher value on special family time so they work so the family can go on vacation together a few times a year, or believe kids need room to roam and explore while growing up, so work to have a larger property outside of town. Having different values doesnt mean that one values family more than the other, just that they see different things as important to their family.
Mom to Arianna (5), Conner (3) and Trent (my baby)
I just think that is a generalization that is not true for as many people as you think it is. I make friends and am close with many people who do not share what I would call "lifestyle values", meaning choices for childraising, for where to live, jobs, income range, priorities as mentioned above for stay-at-home vs. working parents. Those are levels I can connect with people on when we're chit-chatting, but in terms of truly connecting, those things aren't the driving force for me, or for many other people I know.
EDITED TO ADD: For me, this may be because of where I live, people come to NYC from all over the world so you are exposed to a much greater variety.
Last edited by freddieflounder101; 03-04-2013 at 10:54 AM.