Hypocrisy does make women’s work harder

This meme has apparently been making the rounds of conservative mom town.

Which is great news, because it means people are beginning to Notice things. (h/t to Steve Sailer for that usage.)

But someone who has a relative living in, helping out domestically disagreed with the meme and further tossed out the usual cant about dishwashers and such in the comments to the disagreement-post.

The response is, in fact, hypocritical.  It’s not unusual among a lot of (often but not only male) conservatives when it comes to these matters of what women need to have a properly ordered domestic space.  They have some kind of support (NOT limited to the children), typically from relatives, but sometimes from non-relatives, often unpaid, and they just conveniently don’t connect their wives’ or their own (if a woman) relatively better ability to manage with their access to real support while berating other people for their “snark” at starting to think about the obvious implications of demanding Proverbs 31 performance out of a woman without giving her a fraction of the resources such a woman had.

She did have domestic help, and if you have it too (especially if you have it in the form of love from relatives), owning up to how that helps your own household be more functional and provide for the children in said household is a sight more Biblically loving and encouraging than ignoring or downplaying your own riches while telling others they should just imagineer that the dishwasher is their BFF and woman up more.

This is not quite what I was thinking about regarding husbands and communities in a different discussion, but it’s in the wheelhouse.

Stay at home parents by the numbers

Some small data points for the day, courtesy of the most updated data on the matter from the US Census.

  • 38% of households with a stay at home parent have household income of 75k/yr or higher.
  • 96% of stay at home parents are mothers, only 4% are fathers.
  • Households with a stay at home parent represent 25% of married-couple households.
  • Less than 5% of households with a stay at home parent have three or more children under 6 in the home.
  • 41% of households with a stay at home parent have five or more members in the household, compared with 29% of households with both parents working at least part-time during the year.
  • 18% of households with a stay at home parent have exactly three children under 15 in the home.
  • 9% of households with a stay at home parent have four or more children under 15 in the home.

This is for all married-couple households with their own children under 15 in the home.

I was partially wrong about conservatives and cheap food.

After more seriously perusing the data, families and especially the kind that are conservative-tending (more than two kids, SAHM, Christian) really are up against it food wise and food isn’t quite as cheap in America as it sometimes seems.  When you have three or five or seven kids slamming into puberty within a year or two of each other, you can suddenly be looking at hundreds a month even if you do skip the meat and try to live on ramen alone.  My mistake was forgetting how little the vast majority of this country earns and I apologize for being so callous. Twenty percent of 40k/yr is nearly 700/month out of gross income.  That is a huge amount to spend when gas costs can be 50/week or more.

So there’s a context for the obsession with cost-reduction in the old food budget and it’s that because I’m surrounded by people with 2-5 kids who make above median income as their norm, I tend to forget in my day to day that this is not the norm for so many others.

Also, low protein diets (which is what much of the frugal/cheap stuff you see online comes out to) make people lethargic and listless, even if there is enough protein to avoid the very bad nutritional deficiency ailment kwashiorkior.  Another unstated assumption in the expectation that a SAHM can wrangle the kids while cooking and cleaning and homeschooling (heh!) all day.  I guess so, if they’re only getting the minimum to avoid the very worst of nutrient deficiencies.  Although how they’d learn all that well is another question entirely and one that is as ever ignored because it wouldn’t fit the narrative that all homeschooled children are above average.

SAHM and Male Breadwinner selection bias, Christian conservative edition

Due to the hourglassing of male income, the type of guy who can earn enough to support a SAHM is something of an outlier.  Likewise, the kind of woman who is ok with staying home in the first place is no longer conventional in personality because SAHM as a choice is so denigrated and constrained.  Based on American society, it means selecting for more risk-taking men and more antisocial women (or at least women who are more likely to prefer the chronic isolation and find satisfaction in the general encouragement to overwork).

This is just a theory, but it has a fair amount of explanatory value among the conservative Christian pool of households with a SAHM.

 

Why grocery delivery is natalist

Conservatives into affordable family formation should support things like grocery delivery because given that America is so car-centric, SAHM isolation and car seat laws make it much more prohibitive to have more than 2 kids otherwise.  Grocery delivery is still a staple in parts of the country that are not quite as anti-natal as is the norm in American society and media.  And needless to say, women who are doing the SAHM thing find it to be easier and for pockets of fellow SAHMs to organically develop when the necessaries of life can be delivered.  In olden days of yore, the idea of leaving the house frequently to buy food with a pack of little kids in tow would have been seen as completely bonkers.  An older child might be sent out, but even in the postwar era and through the 1960s and 1970s, the idea of taking all the kids to the grocery store regularly was not a normalized expectation.  Also, it used to be a job for promising young men with their whole lives ahead of them and could be again.

Interestingly, delivery is on the rise, as shown by monoliths like Wal-Mart taking it up.  Regardless of the reasons why, conservatives should support it and encourage delivery of other necessities of life.  Making it easier to manage a household makes it easier to have additional children.

5 reasons why it’s good (and traditional) for SAHMs to pay for housecleaning.

  1. Establishes a consistent and reliable baseline that suits your household.
  2. Helps train you, the SAHM, in the classic art of delegation. Delegating frees a SAHM up to do more complex organizational tasks and decorating to make the house more of a home.  Modelling specialization is healthy and a sign of civilization.
  3. Makes it easier to teach the children basics of housecleaning because you aren’t worn out from constant maintenance/fire-putting-out cleaning.  SAHMs who try to do it all have a much harder time raising children who have any experience with household chores.  The kids just get used to watching Mamma drudge through everything.
  4. Provides employment and builds community relations by keeping money in the community and by not being as strict an employer/employee setup, but something more casual and with the opportunity to build acquaintance and properly ordered mingling of social classes.
  5. Shows the children there are many ways to make a living that are respectable and decent paying and strikes a tiny but noticeable blow at the modern cult of the makework desk job as only “real” job.