Among the comments to one of my previous posts was this one from a Finnish lady:
It was really sad to hear today when a lady I know said that she has to go back to work after maternity leave -baby is then 9 months. They do
not have enough money, she said...
The problem is, of course, that she doesn't want to give up smoking or
expensive gym membership or having two cars or such. Well, it is none of my business, but one hears so often that same thing; mother would like
to stay at home, but it is "financially impossible" -which usually is
not the case.
One of the problems with our modern society is that we cannot any more distinguish needs from wants. Often the family will tell you they can´t make it one income alone, but if you look at their expenses, you´ll see they go on vacations two or three times a year, own several cars, live in huge houses etc etc. Some women work so that they can pay for a maid and a nanny, others start working because they need to pay for their children´s travelling costs to the school of their choice.
There is in itself, nothing wrong with all these things, and, as the lady remarked so well, it´s really none of other people´s business, but let´s be completely honest and admit that all these things mentioned above are choices. They are wants, and not needs.
The simple truth is that our society is a sterile consumerist one, which encourages both husband and wife to work so that they can buy all the luxury stuff which they really don´t even have time to enjoy. Home is reduced to the place where you can have several hours´ rest and admire your gadgets before you go back to work to make more money to buy more stuff which you don´t really need but at least, you´ll keep up with the neighbours. One thing which nobody has nowadays, is time to actually socialise with other people, family and friends, and to actually get to know your neighbour, because making money and buying stuff is a tiresome and time~consuming activity.
Even conservative Christians are busy with promoting their own variant of the consumerist lifestyle, as they push wives and mothers into working in home businesses and criticise them for taking time to drink a cup of tea with a neighbour lady, which could be more productively spend by trying to make a buck.
Is making money the only thing which matters? Is the abundance of gadgets the only luxury in life? People who make a commitment to live on one income will often have less material possessions, but they will have the luxury of more time for their children, family and friends, and for themselves since as the same lady wisely remarked:
Couple also has much more common time when all the housework is done
when husband comes home. If both worked, the second shift would just
start there. So hubby has also more time for his hobbies.
The traditional family structure benefits men, women and children. Consumerism benefits `economy`. You can choose what you like!