Never one to consider the complexities and nuances of circumstances other than her own, Christian blogger and professional mommy-shamer Lori Alexander (a.k.a. “The Transformed Wife”), who said earlier this year that COVID was a “blessing,” continues posting about why all women are better off staying home with their children.
She longs for the good old days of the 1970s, where the “needs were much simpler.” We weren’t spending money on bigger houses, multiple cars, or “children’s sports that cost a fortune.” Then she asked her private Facebook group of like-minded followers why things shifted.
While most mothers didn’t give any sort of political or economical answer, they were quick to point out they were doing just fine as stay-at-home moms:
“I get to stay home. It is all about priorities. We have two cars, a 1500 sq. ft. home, one vacation (if lucky), two cellphones, one TV, one maybe two dinners out a month, and no daycare. We could even be more frugal, but it’s surprising the money you save when cooking at home, having time to garden and can, and providing for your family even without a ‘job.’ I am so thankful I get to do what I do.”
“We have two cars both paid off that are 20 and 18 years old. Our home is 860 square feet. We have had one vacation in 8 years. We do have cell phone but no home phone. We do not have cable. We get take out about two times a month. I am a SAHM so no daycare. These things aren’t necessarily wrong. But we need to put God first in all we do. Honor God and our husbands and be proud keepers of our home.”
“I had the advantage of an extremely financially poor childhood, so I was accustomed to living a frugal life. When I married and we had one average middle class salary, I found it easy to stay at home, raise the kids, and manage on one income! I had many friends who would insist you ‘had to have two incomes’ to survive.
The problem isn’t just that Alexander and her friends don’t seem to know many Millennials, whose economic fate looks very different from their parents’. It’s that they don’t appear to know anyone who needs two incomes just to make ends meet — or anyone who has any appreciation for public school or daycare, as if those options are always awful all the time.
Just to state the obvious (to everyone else, anyway), the cost of living has gone up while wages have remained more or less the same. In the 1970s, it was feasible to work 40 hours a week at almost any job and still provide for a family and keep a home. That’s not the world we live in anymore for so many people. It’s harder to get a job, much less keep a job throughout one’s career.
In Alexander’s fundamentalist fantasy world, the cost of rent, gas, tuition, insurance, and utilities are eternally static. I’m sure there are some parents who would gladly trade their full-time job for the opportunity to stay home with their kids — and others who wish they could work full-time in order to give their kids more opportunities — but that’s not always possible.
Rather than show any sort of sympathy for those parents, Alexander and her friends just look down upon them.