Author Topic: [Article] Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family  (Read 22287 times)

obstinate

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http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/05/upshot/stressed-tired-rushed-a-portrait-of-the-modern-family.html

My thoughts:

Yes, this is a social problem. These kinds of things happen all the time where an unregulated equilibrium is suboptimal. So I want to acknowledge that first.

However, many of us, not all, but many, have the opportunity to choose something different. If you were less stressed about money, you might not need to do those after-work hours. If you lived closer to work, you might not feel like your job is dominated by the commute and the business day. If you could tolerate a smaller house, maybe you could live closer to work.

There are plenty of other countries that are every bit as productive as we are, but are happier and less stressed. Even hellholes like Norway, covered by ice six months out of the year and eating pickled herring as a national pastime, are happier and less stressed than us in the USA (I say this in jest, but it is really cold up there). Although some element of this stress, like the stress that comes from toxic work culture or our poor social safety net, is out of our control, much of it is within our power to change. And for a Mustachian, that's good news indeed.

justajane

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Re: [Article] Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2015, 07:06:55 AM »
As a stay at home parent, I feel some of these same emotions outlined in the NY Times piece, even though I recognize that life could be oh-so-much-more-stressful if I had a full time job as well. It's not like being home with kids all day rids life of stress. But I do have more time on my hands than a working parent would, since I can shop during the day. It's just I have to do it with a hostile toddler. I guess talk to me in a few years when all three of my kids are in school. I think at that point I will have enough time in the day to put my freelance work into second gear. But, now that I have two kids in school all day, I have to say that that comes with its own level of stress. I think in many respects having two working parents with school-aged kids is more stressful than earlier when the kids are in daycare. School and sports activities are a major time suck, and while you can opt out of some of them, you can't opt out of homework, conferences, and at least a few enrichment activities for your kids.

I think the bottom line is that parenting in the modern age is stressful. Parenting has probably always been stressful. Maybe in the modern age, because of all the conveniences of which we are able to avail ourselves, we developed this mistaken expectation that life should and could be easy. Think back just 100 years ago when people didn't have vacuums, washing machines-- hell, even indoor plumbing in most cases. I'm sure that child rearing wasn't magically easier back then just because a parent might have been home all day. Life was just understood to be a long list of doing things that you didn't really want to do. They probably had leisure time, but I doubt it was that much.

But, yes, your point is correct that people like to play the victim and assert that they don't have control of all these "miseries" in their lives, when in fact they could make different choices. All the conveniences we have, which seem to be growing by the decade, are now viewed by most as "must-haves". You don't have to have a bedroom for each child. You don't have to have all the newest electronic devices. You don't have to have a new car every 5-7 years. And on and on and on.

meg_shannon

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Re: [Article] Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2015, 07:58:54 AM »
I think a lot of the issues in the article are accurately portrayed. Many people have careers that they love, don't want to give up, and have a family too. Sometimes, even if you don't need the money, you cannot work part time, or become a SAHP. I know my husband couldn't pursue part time work, he's a researcher with a national lab. He has to travel 8-12 weeks a year usually, is present at work 40-50 hours per week, and does some work at home - sometimes because he wants to and sometimes because he has to. He cannot freelance multi-billion dollar science, and he's not as senior in his career as many similarly aged adults because he spent 6 years achieving a phd - which doesn't count towards work experience, but is a requirement for his job. All of this factors into deciding what sort of paid work, if any, I want to pursue.

I understand that people make their own choices and, many times, cause their own miseries. But I do think it should be possible for both parents to have a professional career or job and to successfully parent their children. Other countries have many more supports in place, both for parents and non-parents. We're currently living in Germany, and I lived in Denmark when I was younger, and the societal support they have for parenting, and just general life, is leaps and bounds above the States.

ash7962

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Re: [Article] Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2015, 08:44:55 AM »
This article is one of the reasons why I got so into MMM in the first place.  If I had kids I would prefer for one of us to be a SAHP.  I have more interest in being the SAHP than my SO does so it would probably be me at home.  I figured that if I was going to have kids it'd be in the next 5 years, and by then I could have a large enough stash that we would replace part of my job income with passive income.  So, even if we never achieved FIRE then at the very least I could quit my job to care for the kids while still having some money come in or fall back on and it would still be growing on its own.

Eric222

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Re: [Article] Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2015, 09:56:32 AM »
I had a difficult time reading the whole article.  Parenting is hard, time is precious.  This has always been true. 

Life is about choices and balance.   Yes, you can have two people with high power careers and kids.  But at some point, something has to give.   At least one person has to drop the kids off in the morning and one has to pick them up and someone has to have energy to engage with them.  Otherwise, why bother to have kids at all?

Of course, my view is heavily colored by residency/post-doc/divorce/and a fight for 50/50 custody.  I made my choice.  I'd rather spend more time with my kids, be present during that time, and not be a slave to work.  I'm also fortunate that there are good after school options for both of my kids. 


mm1970

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Re: [Article] Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family
« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2015, 10:59:19 AM »
I think a lot of the issues in the article are accurately portrayed. Many people have careers that they love, don't want to give up, and have a family too. Sometimes, even if you don't need the money, you cannot work part time, or become a SAHP. I know my husband couldn't pursue part time work, he's a researcher with a national lab. He has to travel 8-12 weeks a year usually, is present at work 40-50 hours per week, and does some work at home - sometimes because he wants to and sometimes because he has to. He cannot freelance multi-billion dollar science, and he's not as senior in his career as many similarly aged adults because he spent 6 years achieving a phd - which doesn't count towards work experience, but is a requirement for his job. All of this factors into deciding what sort of paid work, if any, I want to pursue.

I understand that people make their own choices and, many times, cause their own miseries. But I do think it should be possible for both parents to have a professional career or job and to successfully parent their children. Other countries have many more supports in place, both for parents and non-parents. We're currently living in Germany, and I lived in Denmark when I was younger, and the societal support they have for parenting, and just general life, is leaps and bounds above the States.
+1 

I worked part time for awhile, but now I am not permitted to work part time anymore.  I've given up on moving up (hit the glass ceiling at 40), but they won't even let me chill out!

cube.37

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Re: [Article] Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family
« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2015, 11:06:36 AM »
I've had this conversation with my Fiancee several times. I think parenting is a full-time job - having 2 careers and raising a kid is like sharing 3 jobs between two people.

I also understand that a wife's career is as important as a husband's..so I've been telling her that if she wants to be a stay-at-home mom, I'd be happy to support the family with my income. However, if she didn't want to give up on her career, then we could swap places, and I'd be happy to be the stay-at-home dad. Her choice entirely.

It comes to a point (above a certain minimum income threshold) where you have to choose between work+money or supporting the children with less disposable income.

Obviously if you don't meet the minimum income threshold, then you don't have this flexibility (and maybe should reconsider having children..)

ysette9

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Re: [Article] Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family
« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2015, 11:28:14 AM »
I agree that parenting is tough work (my 17-month old woke me up a millions times last night so I really do get it), however I disagree that this necessarily means it can't be done and done well with two parents pursuing a career. Everything in life is about compromise and optimization. Maybe that means that other things around the house take low priority, are outsourced, or not done at all. I don't see that as much different than other choices which sacrifice income or time to FIRE or something else to prioritize having a parent at home. No solution is perfect and you select what works best for your family, presuming you are lucky enough to have the choice to begin with.

meg_shannon

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Re: [Article] Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family
« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2015, 11:29:29 AM »
I've had this conversation with my Fiancee several times. I think parenting is a full-time job - having 2 careers and raising a kid is like sharing 3 jobs between two people.

I also understand that a wife's career is as important as a husband's..so I've been telling her that if she wants to be a stay-at-home mom, I'd be happy to support the family with my income. However, if she didn't want to give up on her career, then we could swap places, and I'd be happy to be the stay-at-home dad. Her choice entirely.

It comes to a point (above a certain minimum income threshold) where you have to choose between work+money or supporting the children with less disposable income.

Obviously if you don't meet the minimum income threshold, then you don't have this flexibility (and maybe should reconsider having children..)

The issue is bigger than both parents work (and the family has extra money) or one parent stays home. Many people want to have a family, but don't want to be a SAHP. And that's okay. Realizing that you want to be a parent, but, ideally, you don't want to be solely responsible for them for 8-12 hours a day is reasonable. However, in the States there is really no option for both parents to work part time to bring in a combined full time salary. In other countries it is very common for both parents to work about 2/3 time, the child is daycare part time, and the whole family (or at least one parent and child) is together part time. Basically more flexibility.

There are a lot of structural issues in the States that make this almost impossible right now. But talking about the issue only within the framework of our current work culture ignores the missing stair that is the work culture.

Kaspian

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Re: [Article] Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family
« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2015, 11:41:08 AM »
I think too many people are in a rush these days.

Example:  "Right, I just graduated school with some debt, but I guess now's the time in my life where I get a job, get married, buy a house on mortgage, have a couple of kids, we'll need two cars, and then pay outrageous amounts for the kids to join the soccer league."

^^ Whoa--slow down there, bucko!  What's the hurry?  People are diving in with both feet almost right after school because they figure that's what they're "supposed to do."    Maybe it's lack of imagination?  Why not build up some savings a few years, buy a house?  Build up more savings over some years, have a kid?  If they just spaced that shit out more they'd probably all be fine.  It's that weird, "I go in 100% for everything I do."  Which translates to, "I want what I want and I want all of it right now." 

...So yeah, I think trying to build Rome in a day is what sinks most people.  They didn't spend enough time on the foundation.

golden1

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Re: [Article] Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family
« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2015, 12:26:10 PM »
Elizabeth Warren details a lot of the stresses that move families toward two incomes in the book "Two Income Trap".  Basically, because of the way our public school systems are paid for, parents want to live in certain districts to get their kids the best education, so they live in higher COL areas which means both parents have to work to afford the mortgage.  This is very true in MA where I live.  The best school districts have housing prices that are through the roof. 

People are NOT in a rush around here.  Most recent graduates I know have so much student loan debt that they can't even think about buying a house, and most put off marriage and children until well in their 30's.  In my mommy group that I went to when my kids were infants, I was one of the youngest at age 29.  Most of the moms were in their late 30's, early 40s.   

I have a tween and a teen and it is definitely busy being a two income household.  It is a little better now that my kids are older, but still tough.  I personally don't think I would have enough to do at this stage to have a SAH parent full time, but I would love to work part time or 2/3 time.  However, STEM fields are not very open to this. 

LiveLean

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Re: [Article] Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family
« Reply #11 on: November 05, 2015, 12:33:25 PM »
Aimee Barnes, 33, and Jakub Zielkiewicz, 31

What the hell were this guy's parents thinking? You already have a very hard name to pronounce/spell. Couldn't you have gone with the traditional spelling of Jacob?

Bracken_Joy

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Re: [Article] Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family
« Reply #12 on: November 05, 2015, 12:42:46 PM »
I think too many people are in a rush these days.

Example:  "Right, I just graduated school with some debt, but I guess now's the time in my life where I get a job, get married, buy a house on mortgage, have a couple of kids, we'll need two cars, and then pay outrageous amounts for the kids to join the soccer league."

^^ Whoa--slow down there, bucko!  What's the hurry?  People are diving in with both feet almost right after school because they figure that's what they're "supposed to do."    Maybe it's lack of imagination?  Why not build up some savings a few years, buy a house?  Build up more savings over some years, have a kid?  If they just spaced that shit out more they'd probably all be fine.  It's that weird, "I go in 100% for everything I do."  Which translates to, "I want what I want and I want all of it right now." 

...So yeah, I think trying to build Rome in a day is what sinks most people.  They didn't spend enough time on the foundation.

Interesting this seems to be your view, when the average age of having children and home ownership have both been delayed significantly from previous generations.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/among-millennials-theres-a-baby-bust/2015/05/04/c98d5a08-f295-11e4-84a6-6d7c67c50db0_story.html
http://www.cnbc.com/2015/04/14/millennials-put-off-home-buying-despite-rising-rent.html

mm1970

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Re: [Article] Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family
« Reply #13 on: November 05, 2015, 01:26:14 PM »
Elizabeth Warren details a lot of the stresses that move families toward two incomes in the book "Two Income Trap".  Basically, because of the way our public school systems are paid for, parents want to live in certain districts to get their kids the best education, so they live in higher COL areas which means both parents have to work to afford the mortgage.  This is very true in MA where I live.  The best school districts have housing prices that are through the roof. 

People are NOT in a rush around here.  Most recent graduates I know have so much student loan debt that they can't even think about buying a house, and most put off marriage and children until well in their 30's.  In my mommy group that I went to when my kids were infants, I was one of the youngest at age 29.  Most of the moms were in their late 30's, early 40s.   

I have a tween and a teen and it is definitely busy being a two income household.  It is a little better now that my kids are older, but still tough.  I personally don't think I would have enough to do at this stage to have a SAH parent full time, but I would love to work part time or 2/3 time.  However, STEM fields are not very open to this.
Yes, I'm an engineer and I miss the ability to work part time.  My kids are younger (9 and 3), and I had them in my late 30s/ early 40s.

I have a number of friends who manage to swing part time work, but all of them are self-employed in some form.  One family has the dad who owns a construction business, mom works PT in the medical field.  One family has a dad in engineering and mom who is self-employed. Another family with dad an engineer and mom a self-employed consultant.  Another family co-owns their business and works at home.  Another family mom works at home remotely and dad is self employed.  Another family mom works 25 hrs a week and dad co-owns a business.  Another family dad co-owns a business and mom is a teacher.

Definitely a trend in my circle.

jinga nation

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Re: [Article] Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family
« Reply #14 on: November 05, 2015, 01:29:17 PM »
Aimee Barnes, 33, and Jakub Zielkiewicz, 31

What the hell were this guy's parents thinking? You already have a very hard name to pronounce/spell. Couldn't you have gone with the traditional spelling of Jacob?
Jakub is a Polish/Czech/Eastern European spelling for Jacob. Perhaps Mr. Zielkiewicz emigrated to the US?
Why does the spelling of a name matter these days? Amy, Aimee? English words do not accurately convey phonetic pronunciation, as compared to French, Hindi or other languages.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2015, 01:31:00 PM by jinga nation »

Jack

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Re: [Article] Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family
« Reply #15 on: November 05, 2015, 02:25:37 PM »
Aimee Barnes, 33, and Jakub Zielkiewicz, 31

What the hell were this guy's parents thinking? You already have a very hard name to pronounce/spell. Couldn't you have gone with the traditional spelling of Jacob?
Jakub is a Polish/Czech/Eastern European spelling for Jacob. Perhaps Mr. Zielkiewicz emigrated to the US?
Why does the spelling of a name matter these days? Amy, Aimee? English words do not accurately convey phonetic pronunciation, as compared to French, Hindi or other languages.

http://freakonomics.com/tag/baby-names/

WildJager

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Re: [Article] Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family
« Reply #16 on: November 05, 2015, 04:09:45 PM »
I think a lot of this stems from "what causes stress?" in our modern society.  My wife and I like doing things manually, and purposefully make our lives more "busy.". We grow food when we can, cook everything from scratch, have a clothes washer but dry our clothes on a line, chop fire wood by hand, etc.  We do this because we make the conscious distinction of, " how do I want to spend my time?"  If you view those tasks as getting in the way of what you really want to do (watch TV, go on Facebook) they will be stressful.  If you convince yourself that, in the long run, living a life of leisure is more stressful on your body because you're sedentary, the choice is clear.

That viewpoint is nuanced and I doubt most people would agree with it, but it's frankly the difference between riding a bike to a location vs a car.  If you can enjoy the breeze and the leasurely pace of a bike, most people would agree that that beats the stress of a car ride during rush hour.  However, if your mindset is cemented that physical exertion sucks and car rides are better, a forced bike ride will be stressful to you.

The point is, modern conveniences can make some of the more grueling aspects of life easier.  But there is still some labor to be had.  If you goal is to completely eliminate that labor, you'll never be happy until you've reached that goal.  So I say, embrace the suck and be happy!  It could always be worse.

Lanthiriel

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Re: [Article] Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family
« Reply #17 on: November 05, 2015, 04:14:22 PM »
The husband and I (late 20s/early 30s, married 6 years) just got a puppy, and it solidified our decision not to have children. In case I'm ever insane enough to want children, I actually wrote a letter to my future self about how difficult it is to devote 4-6 hours of your day to the care of someone/something else while also attempting to work, maintain a clean house, and do all of the other things that keep us functioning. Like some other posters, I feel strongly about doing (most) things by hand, especially cooking and home maintenance. With the way our lives are set up, it seems like something's gotta give, and so far it's been pretty easy for me so say that something is a kid.

ysette9

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Re: [Article] Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family
« Reply #18 on: November 05, 2015, 04:20:54 PM »
Quote
I actually wrote a letter to my future self about how difficult it is to devote 4-6 hours of your day to the care of someone/something else while also attempting to work, maintain a clean house, and do all of the other things that keep us functioning.

It is interesting that you did this because when our baby first came, I kept a pretty detailed journal about how freakin' hard everything was just in case my future self my possibly consider having a second child, which I was absolutely certain would never happen. Fast forward a year+ and my mind is in a totally different place. Yes, my memory on how hard things were has grown fuzzy, but the bigger part is that I feel this astonishing love for my child that makes me think that the feeling and the joy that comes from my little family outweighs the significant challenges that come with an infant. I have been humbled by my own inability to know the feelings of my future self.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2015, 10:35:56 AM by ysette9 »

MicroSpice

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Re: [Article] Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family
« Reply #19 on: November 05, 2015, 04:55:54 PM »
Quote
I actually wrote a letter to my future self about how difficult it is to devote 4-6 hours of your day to the care of someone/something else while also attempting to work, maintain a clean house, and do all of the other things that keep us functioning.

It is interesting that you did this because when our baby first came, I kept a pretty detailed journal about how freakin' hard everything was just in case my future self my possibly consider having a second child, which I was absolutely certain would never happen. Fast forward a year+ and my mind is in a totally different place. Yes, my memory on how hard things were has grown fuzzy, but the bigger part is that I feel this astonishing love for my child that makes me think that the feeling and the job that comes from my little family outweighs the significant challenges that come with an infant. I have been humbled by my own inability to know the feelings of my future self.

+1 - That was beautifully put. I thought I had my life trajectory figured out at 18, that I knew exactly what I'd want to do, who I'd want to be, and what I'd want to have. In my 30's now, and while I admire how ambitious younger me was, she definitely did not have it figured out and some of her priorities/values were pretty out of whack. Life throws curve balls that can totally change your perspective, and which absolutely humble you.

justajane

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Re: [Article] Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family
« Reply #20 on: November 05, 2015, 05:51:59 PM »
I have been humbled by my own inability to know the feelings of my future self.

I love this. So insightful.

Torran

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Re: [Article] Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family
« Reply #21 on: November 06, 2015, 04:13:30 AM »
Quote
I have been humbled by my own inability to know the feelings of my future self.

Yes, this. So well put.

mm1970

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Re: [Article] Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family
« Reply #22 on: November 06, 2015, 02:08:29 PM »
I think a lot of this stems from "what causes stress?" in our modern society.  My wife and I like doing things manually, and purposefully make our lives more "busy.". We grow food when we can, cook everything from scratch, have a clothes washer but dry our clothes on a line, chop fire wood by hand, etc.  We do this because we make the conscious distinction of, " how do I want to spend my time?"  If you view those tasks as getting in the way of what you really want to do (watch TV, go on Facebook) they will be stressful.  If you convince yourself that, in the long run, living a life of leisure is more stressful on your body because you're sedentary, the choice is clear.

That viewpoint is nuanced and I doubt most people would agree with it, but it's frankly the difference between riding a bike to a location vs a car.  If you can enjoy the breeze and the leasurely pace of a bike, most people would agree that that beats the stress of a car ride during rush hour.  However, if your mindset is cemented that physical exertion sucks and car rides are better, a forced bike ride will be stressful to you.

The point is, modern conveniences can make some of the more grueling aspects of life easier.  But there is still some labor to be had.  If you goal is to completely eliminate that labor, you'll never be happy until you've reached that goal.  So I say, embrace the suck and be happy!  It could always be worse.
Do you have children?  Because I found that things changed drastically after children.  Prior to kids, we did a lot of stuff manually, because we like that.  Home improvement and maintenance, hobbies (quilting, crocheting, knitting, wood work), hanging laundry, cooking from scratch, cleaning our own house.

After children - well, man, they are such and incredible time suck.  I still love to cook, but - it's completely different.
Pre kid: get home at 6 or 6:30pm, go in the kitchen, cook dinner together.  Eat.  Do dishes, pack lunches, watch a TV show together, go to bed.
Post kid: get home at 5:30 (one of us) with two kids.  Kids are hungry at 6 or 6:15.  Maybe you can swing it until 6:30.  But anyway, try to cook dinner with two kids who want and NEED your attention.  And man, they can't (or aren't able to) help you in the kitchen.  Work like mad to throw something together (or reheat), while helping the 9 year old with homework, making sure the 3 year old goes to the bathroom (and NOT on the couch), and in the end, letting them veg in front of the TV for 30 minutes.

THEN have dinner, do the dishes, pack lunches (but have to pack 9 year old's lunch separately, because no microwave for leftovers).  If you are smart, you do prep for the next night's dinner too.  Of course, now there's 2x as much to cook and 2x as many dishes.  Then there's play time, bath, books, bed (but honestly, no bed until 9 pm, which is when I go to bed.  I'm usually asleep before the kids.)

You can spend time WITH your kids if you can get them to help you with dinner and chores, but of course, it takes a lot longer that way.  So think about all those manual things, and imagine trying to herd cats at the same time.

WildJager

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Re: [Article] Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family
« Reply #23 on: November 07, 2015, 08:17:24 PM »
I think a lot of this stems from "what causes stress?" in our modern society.  My wife and I like doing things manually, and purposefully make our lives more "busy.". We grow food when we can, cook everything from scratch, have a clothes washer but dry our clothes on a line, chop fire wood by hand, etc.  We do this because we make the conscious distinction of, " how do I want to spend my time?"  If you view those tasks as getting in the way of what you really want to do (watch TV, go on Facebook) they will be stressful.  If you convince yourself that, in the long run, living a life of leisure is more stressful on your body because you're sedentary, the choice is clear.

That viewpoint is nuanced and I doubt most people would agree with it, but it's frankly the difference between riding a bike to a location vs a car.  If you can enjoy the breeze and the leasurely pace of a bike, most people would agree that that beats the stress of a car ride during rush hour.  However, if your mindset is cemented that physical exertion sucks and car rides are better, a forced bike ride will be stressful to you.

The point is, modern conveniences can make some of the more grueling aspects of life easier.  But there is still some labor to be had.  If you goal is to completely eliminate that labor, you'll never be happy until you've reached that goal.  So I say, embrace the suck and be happy!  It could always be worse.
Do you have children?  Because I found that things changed drastically after children.  Prior to kids, we did a lot of stuff manually, because we like that.  Home improvement and maintenance, hobbies (quilting, crocheting, knitting, wood work), hanging laundry, cooking from scratch, cleaning our own house.

After children - well, man, they are such and incredible time suck.  I still love to cook, but - it's completely different.
Pre kid: get home at 6 or 6:30pm, go in the kitchen, cook dinner together.  Eat.  Do dishes, pack lunches, watch a TV show together, go to bed.
Post kid: get home at 5:30 (one of us) with two kids.  Kids are hungry at 6 or 6:15.  Maybe you can swing it until 6:30.  But anyway, try to cook dinner with two kids who want and NEED your attention.  And man, they can't (or aren't able to) help you in the kitchen.  Work like mad to throw something together (or reheat), while helping the 9 year old with homework, making sure the 3 year old goes to the bathroom (and NOT on the couch), and in the end, letting them veg in front of the TV for 30 minutes.

THEN have dinner, do the dishes, pack lunches (but have to pack 9 year old's lunch separately, because no microwave for leftovers).  If you are smart, you do prep for the next night's dinner too.  Of course, now there's 2x as much to cook and 2x as many dishes.  Then there's play time, bath, books, bed (but honestly, no bed until 9 pm, which is when I go to bed.  I'm usually asleep before the kids.)

You can spend time WITH your kids if you can get them to help you with dinner and chores, but of course, it takes a lot longer that way.  So think about all those manual things, and imagine trying to herd cats at the same time.

No, I recognize how much of a commitment that having kids is.  My wife and I work in a demanding and relatively dangerous line of work, so it wouldn't really be possible to attend to their needs in the manner I would like to provide.

I would like to have a kid post fire, which will be feasible soonish.  I wouldn't want to take on the task unless at least one of us are a stay at home parent.  And I get it, sometimes life throws you curve balls earlier than you had planned for.  But for the others, sometimes people get themselves overwhelmed by frankly putting too much on their plate too early.  "Done with college?  Well, now it's time to get married and start a family!" Slowing life down as best you can before you get overwhelmed can be the difference between organized chaos and an unmanageable situation.  Like most things in life, I firmly believe in balance.  I also recognize the immense responsibility of having children, and don't take the decision to have them lightly.

MrsPete

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Re: [Article] Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family
« Reply #24 on: November 08, 2015, 06:12:46 PM »
Eh, by and large, we all get to decide just how stressed, tired and rushed we are. 

My husband and I had three wonderful years of marriage before we had children.  We were poor (because we were saving aggressively and were paying extra on our mortgage every month), but we were very happy.

We had two children and were even happier.  We were both working, and we were tired much of the time (because small children are very hands-on), but we weren't 'specially stressed or rushed.  Oh, I don't mean we didn't have an occasional bad day (or week) because someone was sick, etc.  But those bad times were the exception rather than the rule. 

As our children grew older and were involved in activities, we were no longer poor (because of all that early saving), and we were even happier.  We found that we are better parents to older kids than we were to small children. 

I'd say, by and large, we have avoided being stressed and rushed because we've always been in control of our money, and because we've always prioritized people over things. 

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Re: [Article] Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family
« Reply #25 on: November 08, 2015, 06:14:48 PM »
The husband and I (late 20s/early 30s, married 6 years) just got a puppy, and it solidified our decision not to have children. In case I'm ever insane enough to want children, I actually wrote a letter to my future self about how difficult it is to devote 4-6 hours of your day to the care of someone/something else while also attempting to work, maintain a clean house, and do all of the other things that keep us functioning. Like some other posters, I feel strongly about doing (most) things by hand, especially cooking and home maintenance. With the way our lives are set up, it seems like something's gotta give, and so far it's been pretty easy for me so say that something is a kid.
It's not really fair to compare putting time into a puppy vs. putting time into a child.  The puppy doesn't "give back" or mean nearly as much as a child.

bacchi

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Re: [Article] Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family
« Reply #26 on: November 08, 2015, 06:54:51 PM »
The husband and I (late 20s/early 30s, married 6 years) just got a puppy, and it solidified our decision not to have children. In case I'm ever insane enough to want children, I actually wrote a letter to my future self about how difficult it is to devote 4-6 hours of your day to the care of someone/something else while also attempting to work, maintain a clean house, and do all of the other things that keep us functioning. Like some other posters, I feel strongly about doing (most) things by hand, especially cooking and home maintenance. With the way our lives are set up, it seems like something's gotta give, and so far it's been pretty easy for me so say that something is a kid.
It's not really fair to compare putting time into a puppy vs. putting time into a child.  The puppy doesn't "give back" or mean nearly as much as a child.

You can also crate the puppy while you're at work.


MgoSam

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Re: [Article] Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family
« Reply #27 on: November 08, 2015, 07:45:49 PM »
The husband and I (late 20s/early 30s, married 6 years) just got a puppy, and it solidified our decision not to have children. In case I'm ever insane enough to want children, I actually wrote a letter to my future self about how difficult it is to devote 4-6 hours of your day to the care of someone/something else while also attempting to work, maintain a clean house, and do all of the other things that keep us functioning. Like some other posters, I feel strongly about doing (most) things by hand, especially cooking and home maintenance. With the way our lives are set up, it seems like something's gotta give, and so far it's been pretty easy for me so say that something is a kid.
It's not really fair to compare putting time into a puppy vs. putting time into a child.  The puppy doesn't "give back" or mean nearly as much as a child.

You can also crate the puppy while you're at work.

Yeah, I agree with you on not wanting to have children. I would love to get a puppy someday. I spent the past 4 days at my cousin's house and they have a 1 year old puppy that I love and would be perfect for me. She's incredibly sweet, quiet, and obedient.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2015, 07:48:28 PM by MgoSam »

cerat0n1a

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Re: [Article] Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family
« Reply #28 on: November 13, 2015, 08:09:46 AM »
I think a lot of this stems from "what causes stress?" in our modern society. 

I researched my family history on the internet a couple of years ago and got to one ancestor who I knew was born in 1833 in a town in England, a few miles from where I was born. This ancestor happens to have exactly the same name as my eldest son - the name in question not having been used in the intervening years. I drew a blank because there were 5 people of that name born in that year in that small town. So I decided to look at what happened to all of them to see if I could find the correct one. Turns out that 4 of them had died before the age of 3, from cholera and other things. My ancestor therefore had to be the one who survived.

For almost all of human history, having your children die as babies or toddlers, was normal. Find it hard to believe that people were any less emotionally attached to their children in the past. Plenty of people today who struggle to provide food, clean water and shelter for their children. Hard to feel stressed about rushing kids off to school etc. when you consider the alternatives. 

Fishindude

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Re: [Article] Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family
« Reply #29 on: November 13, 2015, 08:45:14 AM »
My likely unpopular view is that people have become "soft", particularly men.  They want to put in their forty hours at some cushy job, then play the rest of the time, when they should be working 60+ hours and financially caring for their families.    I did the work, brought in the income, etc. so the wife could stay home, not have to work, raise the kids and take care of things around the home.   Might have been able to have a few more things or nicer lifestyle had she worked too, but that isn't the way either of us were raised.

I think both parents working while trying to raise kids leads to a lot of divorces, which results in a lot of screwed up kids.

vivophoenix

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Re: [Article] Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family
« Reply #30 on: November 13, 2015, 09:06:36 AM »
My likely unpopular view is that people have become "soft", particularly men.  They want to put in their forty hours at some cushy job, then play the rest of the time, when they should be working 60+ hours and financially caring for their families.    I did the work, brought in the income, etc. so the wife could stay home, not have to work, raise the kids and take care of things around the home.   Might have been able to have a few more things or nicer lifestyle had she worked too, but that isn't the way either of us were raised.

I think both parents working while trying to raise kids leads to a lot of divorces, which results in a lot of screwed up kids.

the very situation you describe as being more favorable does involve both parents working. one is more devoted toward the home, however.  and i always find it interesting, when without any evidence whatsoever, someone from an older generation blames divorce on women working outside the home, or on people becoming 'soft'.

are we ignoring the fact that many people wanted divorces, but couldn't, due to the financial dependent nature of the women of previous generations, united with the social and religous taboo.

furthermore, the dream that women didnt work outside of the house( or the idea of one breadwinner) simply was not true for many lower income households. be it with extended family living together and working multiple jobs, or children not attending school so they could provide additional labor and wages.

people rather rewrite history and ignore facts, while we all agree and call it an 'opinion'.

its not an opinion, its merely not true.

Luck12

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Re: [Article] Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family
« Reply #31 on: November 13, 2015, 09:15:15 AM »
My likely unpopular view is that people have become "soft", particularly men.  They want to put in their forty hours at some cushy job, then play the rest of the time, when they should be working 60+ hours and financially caring for their families. 

Yes, the true indication of an alpha tough guy is being a wage slave and taking orders from the man for 60+ hours a week!  / sarcasm 

Fishindude

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Re: [Article] Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family
« Reply #32 on: November 13, 2015, 09:22:13 AM »
Told you it would be unpopular.

mm1970

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Re: [Article] Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family
« Reply #33 on: November 13, 2015, 01:41:19 PM »
My likely unpopular view is that people have become "soft", particularly men.  They want to put in their forty hours at some cushy job, then play the rest of the time, when they should be working 60+ hours and financially caring for their families.    I did the work, brought in the income, etc. so the wife could stay home, not have to work, raise the kids and take care of things around the home.   Might have been able to have a few more things or nicer lifestyle had she worked too, but that isn't the way either of us were raised.

I think both parents working while trying to raise kids leads to a lot of divorces, which results in a lot of screwed up kids.
I guess it depends on what you mean by "soft".  My dad worked as an auto mechanic and mom stayed home.  Neither one of them was "soft" because they did a bunch of work at home after - it was rural, after all, and we were poor.

vivophoenix is definitely right about the rewriting of history part.  What is "soft" or not depends on a lot on who you were - most wealthy folks have always had it pretty good.

The problem with 60+ hours a week is that you rarely see your children, and of course the other problem is "financially taking care of your family", as if the 1950's model is normal.  It's not, and it never really was.  I can speak in anecdotes (which is not data, but you can read the data in many books like "They Way We Never Were" by Stephanie Coontz).  My mother SAH but was in an abusive marriage and was pretty miserable about it all.  She eventually escaped that via divorced but then drank herself to death.  My neighbor's wife stayed at home, but he beat her.  So, pardon me if I never really liked that 50's model.

My husband works a "cushy" 40 hours a week job.  Well, some weeks it's 45 or 50, and sometimes he travels and works 12 hour days.  But I wouldn't say he "plays" the rest of the time, what with laundry, dishes, home maintenance, being the volunteer math club tutor at the school, caring for our young children.

Working 60+ hours has to be mentally and emotionally (and sometimes physically) draining (I've done it), and it's not really something that is great for your overall health.  I have no interest in doing ANYTHING for that amount time a week. 

obstinate

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Re: [Article] Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family
« Reply #34 on: November 14, 2015, 12:37:27 AM »
Told you it would be unpopular.
Sometimes, opinions are unpopular because they are wrong.

Squirrel away

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Re: [Article] Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family
« Reply #35 on: November 14, 2015, 06:22:06 AM »


the very situation you describe as being more favorable does involve both parents working. one is more devoted toward the home, however.  and i always find it interesting, when without any evidence whatsoever, someone from an older generation blames divorce on women working outside the home, or on people becoming 'soft'.

are we ignoring the fact that many people wanted divorces, but couldn't, due to the financial dependent nature of the women of previous generations, united with the social and religous taboo.

furthermore, the dream that women didnt work outside of the house( or the idea of one breadwinner) simply was not true for many lower income households. be it with extended family living together and working multiple jobs, or children not attending school so they could provide additional labor and wages.

people rather rewrite history and ignore facts, while we all agree and call it an 'opinion'.

its not an opinion, its merely not true.

+1.

Britan

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Re: [Article] Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family
« Reply #36 on: November 20, 2015, 07:57:15 AM »
There's something to be said for this, though:

"They want to put in their forty hours at some cushy job, then play the rest of the time"

There's been some buzz lately about "emotional work" - thinking about and planning dinner, organizing the house, keeping track of kids' appointments - and how women often do this work at home even in otherwise egalitarian relationships. And it IS work. If the person doing it has a FT job, then getting home and starting second shift while the other person sits around watching TV, then yeah, stress, maybe leading to divorce can follow.

But it doesn't follow that autimatically "the man should work 60 hours a week so the woman can SAH". It's just that there is X amount of work that needs to be done to earn money and Y amount that needs to be done at home and you've got to find a way to get it all done. Maybe the math says the guy should work and wife SAH. Maybe wife works and husband SAH. Maybe they both work PT. Maybe they reduce their workload by not having kids or pets. Maybe they are both guys? Whatever. X and Y work have to get done somehow and you can't forget that Y actually IS WORK. It's not paid, but you gotta do it!

I know a lot of folks my age, male and female, including myself, who are kind of spoiled, thinking that all work should end when we get home (since our parents always cooked and cleaned for us) and get resentful or stressed when we have to do it. But really, it's expectations. A 40 Hour job doesn't mean there isn't still work to do at home, and it's gotta be done.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: [Article] Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family
« Reply #37 on: November 20, 2015, 08:07:47 AM »
There's something to be said for this, though:

"They want to put in their forty hours at some cushy job, then play the rest of the time"

There's been some buzz lately about "emotional work" - thinking about and planning dinner, organizing the house, keeping track of kids' appointments - and how women often do this work at home even in otherwise egalitarian relationships. And it IS work. If the person doing it has a FT job, then getting home and starting second shift while the other person sits around watching TV, then yeah, stress, maybe leading to divorce can follow.

But it doesn't follow that autimatically "the man should work 60 hours a week so the woman can SAH". It's just that there is X amount of work that needs to be done to earn money and Y amount that needs to be done at home and you've got to find a way to get it all done. Maybe the math says the guy should work and wife SAH. Maybe wife works and husband SAH. Maybe they both work PT. Maybe they reduce their workload by not having kids or pets. Maybe they are both guys? Whatever. X and Y work have to get done somehow and you can't forget that Y actually IS WORK. It's not paid, but you gotta do it!

I know a lot of folks my age, male and female, including myself, who are kind of spoiled, thinking that all work should end when we get home (since our parents always cooked and cleaned for us) and get resentful or stressed when we have to do it. But really, it's expectations. A 40 Hour job doesn't mean there isn't still work to do at home, and it's gotta be done.

I really think you're onto something here. The "emotional work" that people don't realize is part and parcel of being a functioning member of society. It's funny, because to me, the "emotional work" is the work I see as non-negotiable and key to who I am- the "work-work" is how I earn money to make everything else happen.

I'm always amazed by the popularity of the "I can't adult!" memes that I see posted by people I went to high school and college with. These are people who are 26/27/28, and are posting memes like this:

And while that's funny on occasion, it makes me worried about the overall trend this is showing, because these people are also getting married and starting to have kids. And after having been to visit some of these folks a time or two? Yeah, they can't adult. I get asked the most shockingly basic questions about health/diet/medications/insurance/doctors (I'm a nurse), their houses are filthy, their fridges only have condiments, and the tags are expired on their car. How do you get to be 28, with a college degree and a job, and not know you have to renew the tags on your car?

Edit to add: these are always the same people who are SHOCKED that I don't watch Dr Who/Game of Thrones/Sports/Whatever.

Britan

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Re: [Article] Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family
« Reply #38 on: November 20, 2015, 08:36:03 AM »
It's funny, because to me, the "emotional work" is the work I see as non-negotiable and key to who I am- the "work-work" is how I earn money to make everything else happen.
Wow I think you just made my day. Part of the reason I wrote the last post is because I myself have let the "clock out and check out" mentality creep in and realized I need to think differently! This is a good way to think about it. I'ts a contrast to what I see from coworkerd and friends. I know a lot of them who think responsibility ends after their 8 hour shift. It's why they turn to fast food or driving instead of walking to places...and why fights happen when one partner is the only one to keep the house from being a disaster zone.

I mean, I'm not the best adult. I complain mentally about "having to" cook or "having to" walk the dog. But I still pay my bills on time and renew my tags and all that. A friend of mine had his power turned off last week and he makes like $90k. Seriously, you're an engineer and you can't figure out how to pay your electric for months on end? And I know better than to have kids till my shit is together and I can at least adult at a higher level than my current self :p

(Also sorry typos. Phone posting is hard) ):

justajane

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Re: [Article] Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family
« Reply #39 on: November 20, 2015, 10:03:22 AM »
The "emotional work" is one big reason why I struggle sometimes with being a SAHM - not that I think it would be easier if I worked. On the contrary, I would have both the "emotional work" and the "work work" to get done. But it would be nice as a working parent to have another outlet and another life, so to speak. I would be able to escape the messes and the chaos, if only to come home to it every night.

I think projects, messes, home maintenance etc. all weigh more on me mentally and emotionally as the SAHP than they do on my husband who is away from the house for much longer and has an identity outside these four damned walls. Plus I know the responsibility is more mine than his precisely because I have more time in the day (albeit with little humans in tow).

And there's the aspect of all the work I do being unpaid. I think for some personality types it can weigh on your self-esteem to spend all of your time doing something that is unpaid.

I guess my point is that life is not all sunshine and roses just because a family can manage to swing one parent at home. At least for the first five or so years of a kids' life, I think most, if not all, parents are "stressed, tired, and rushed", especially if you have multiple children.

Astatine

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Re: [Article] Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family
« Reply #40 on: November 20, 2015, 10:22:50 AM »
Posting to follow because the discussion is fascinating.

Eric222

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Re: [Article] Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family
« Reply #41 on: November 20, 2015, 10:34:31 AM »
...
I guess my point is that life is not all sunshine and roses just because a family can manage to swing one parent at home. At least for the first five or so years of a kids' life, I think most, if not all, parents are "stressed, tired, and rushed", especially if you have multiple children.

Five seems to be about the age that it starts to get easier, it seems.  My six year old is generally awesome, mostly helpful, usually listens, and creates less work by far than enjoyment he generates.

My three year old is adorable, but having to constantly do a large number of little things for her can start to wear on those days when I'm just a bit too tired.

Joint custody does provide a respite when you can recharge and not feel as "stressed, tired, and rushed," even while I get antsy if my kids have been gone >3 days.

justajane

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Re: [Article] Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family
« Reply #42 on: November 20, 2015, 10:53:49 AM »
Joint custody does provide a respite when you can recharge and not feel as "stressed, tired, and rushed," even while I get antsy if my kids have been gone >3 days.

I appreciate your perspective. I have to admit that when my sister divorced and had every week-end to herself, it was sometimes hard when she talked about how difficult being a single parent was. My first thought...but you have so much time now! But I came to the conclusion that parenting entirely alone was likely so much more emotionally exhausting that the benefits of having "alone time" on the week-end was not enough to make-up for this. It was feast or famine, which had its own challenges.

Once in a while, I still look at my neighbor who is currently separated and how she can go out on the week-ends and basically live the childfree life again and feel a twinge (just a twinge) of jealously. I love my husband and want to be with him, but my neighbor did admit that "this alone time was what I needed all along." Of course, at least in her case, that extended alone time has come at a cost, since they had to sell the house and she is essentially penniless now. Now she is living with her parents, because they can't afford two places.

My biggest struggle is that I crave either silence or deep conversations with adults, and with three boys, there's precious little of that in my life!

Britan

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Re: [Article] Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family
« Reply #43 on: November 20, 2015, 11:39:34 AM »
This I something I'm going to have to start planning for more...

I know I couldn't handle "work work" and then all the "emotional work" that comes with having a kid.  I know myself well enough to know I don't have that kind of energy. And I'm not *that* into my job.

But, justajane, everything you mention about being a SAHP parent sounds like it would resonate with me too. I find housework to be way more draining than most reasonable people. I find the mental work of remembering groceries, planning dinners, and keeping appointments draining. Not to say I can't do them, but they aren't the sort of thing I'd take as a paid job, much less an unpaid job.

For now, the obvious solution for me is to not have a kid yet. But that's just pushing the conflict to a later date, when I may or may not have a new opinion. Plus, it's kinda lame that I'm the one who has to make the choice - future DH already assumed he will keep working full time. It *does* make the most sense, but it still forces me into a tough spot.

Anyways, now I'm just rambling. But I really appreciate being able to see so many different perspectives on this forum. :)

justajane

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Re: [Article] Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family
« Reply #44 on: November 20, 2015, 12:00:48 PM »
This I something I'm going to have to start planning for more...

I know I couldn't handle "work work" and then all the "emotional work" that comes with having a kid.  I know myself well enough to know I don't have that kind of energy. And I'm not *that* into my job.

But, justajane, everything you mention about being a SAHP parent sounds like it would resonate with me too. I find housework to be way more draining than most reasonable people. I find the mental work of remembering groceries, planning dinners, and keeping appointments draining. Not to say I can't do them, but they aren't the sort of thing I'd take as a paid job, much less an unpaid job.

For now, the obvious solution for me is to not have a kid yet. But that's just pushing the conflict to a later date, when I may or may not have a new opinion. Plus, it's kinda lame that I'm the one who has to make the choice - future DH already assumed he will keep working full time. It *does* make the most sense, but it still forces me into a tough spot.

Anyways, now I'm just rambling. But I really appreciate being able to see so many different perspectives on this forum. :)

It's really hard, Britan. There are no easy answers. Some parents thrive at home, while others struggle more like I do. But I know enough to understand that these struggles wouldn't magically go away if I worked. And ultimately, at least for my family, I know that me taking the primary role at home makes the best sense for our family as a whole. It's a sacrifice I make, but my husband makes many sacrifices as well. Being home 24/7 might erode my sanity a bit, but I still have more "free time" than he does. He comes home from work every day, and his second job starts. There's no way around that when you have kids, all of whom need to be fed, homework completed, put to bed, etc. He certainly doesn't check out with a beer and turn on a game.

One thing that has really helped me is to have childcare. Yes, even if you are a SAHP, you can pay for childcare. I have around 13 hours a week during which I can fold laundry uninterrupted, run errands alone, do some freelance work, among other things. I would be lying if I said that I didn't also relax sometimes or grab lunch with a friend. If you struggle at all with noise or are an introvert, this time can be a lifesaver and worth the expense.

Another thing to remember is that the decision isn't permanent. At any point, you can switch gears and either go back to work or choose to stay home if you begin your parenting journey working outside the home. You don't have to have all the answers when you have your first child. As as ysette9 said above, "I have been humbled by my own inability to know the feelings of my future self." This is really true.

Britan

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Re: [Article] Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family
« Reply #45 on: November 20, 2015, 01:49:15 PM »
Thanks justajane! I will have to remember this when the time comes. :)

Especially the part about how having a SAHP doesn't mean both or even one of you can relax after the first "shift". As a kid, my mom worked all day and then did all the second shift work, and my dad plopped down with a beer and played video games. (They aren't together anymore). Going from 0 kids to 1 will be quite a learning curve cause I don't even know what to expect regarding that second shift, but at least this gives me some idea :p

Rollin

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Re: [Article] Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family
« Reply #46 on: November 20, 2015, 01:56:28 PM »
With all that stress and lack of time how do "we" (average US citizen) put in an average of 5 hours a day(!!!) watching TV?  Something is out of whack.

justajane

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Re: [Article] Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family
« Reply #47 on: November 20, 2015, 02:02:40 PM »
With all that stress and lack of time how do "we" (average US citizen) put in an average of 5 hours a day(!!!) watching TV?  Something is out of whack.

Because that factors in people in all age brackets, including the elderly who watch a lot more TV than middle-aged people with families. I don't know anyone who watches five hours a day who is between the ages of 30 and 60. In other words, parents with kids still at home are not watching that much.

JR

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Re: [Article] Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family
« Reply #48 on: November 20, 2015, 02:27:21 PM »
My wife and I are new parents (our child is almost 1) and the most stressful thing right now is the fact that I decided to start college again and earn my BS (I have an associates) full time around the same time our child was born. When I finish in 2016 I foresee my stress level going way down. Waiting until we were 30 and having no debt except our small mortgage and having large savings has really helped I am sure.

My wife works about 15 hours per week (she earns about $25k per year) but watches our child when I am working full time and in class. I would like to work part time as well after we invest some more and pay off the mortgage but I am not sure what that looks like in my field. I guess that makes me childish but we really have no desire for a bigger house or nicer cars so I don't really see a reason to stress myself out working 60 hours per week for the new few decades.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2015, 02:29:00 PM by JR »

Eric222

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Re: [Article] Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family
« Reply #49 on: November 20, 2015, 04:21:38 PM »
My biggest struggle is that I crave either silence or deep conversations with adults, and with three boys, there's precious little of that in my life!
ROFL.  +1000 - and I only have the one boy!