Thursday, October 30, 2008

Pink Truth: If You Are Happy And You Know It, Stay At Home... Mom

Well, if you are fast becoming a fan of the grandiloquent "The Scribbler", than you are in luck today.

Pink Truther Declares, "Who-da-thunk that I would be happier when my only obligation is to my children"

This is something that I find interesting about one of Pink Truth's age old refrains.

It seems that some, (not all) had/have the luxury of not requiring a second income to balance the family budget. This is usually a pretty simple equation. There are two types of families (and by family, I include couples with no kids). There are those that have one income earner that makes enough to meet or exceed all of their expenses. (These are becoming increasingly rare.) And there are those that need two incomes (or more) to meet their expenses. (There is a third category, those that could survive with one, but for various reasons decide that having two incomes is a priority... but this is for the sake of argument, so we will call this category's second income optional, leaving them in category 1.)

Based on the following quote from "The Scribbler", I have to assume that she falls into "Category 1".

"My heart melted as I hugged her back. I couldn’t imagine missing out on such simple, beautiful recognition because I was out working my “stay at home” business every place but. You may keep your director suit, ma’am; if wearing that thing means time away from my little one, I’ll gladly take the peach juice hair treatments, the cheese-dusted hoodies, and the blue Play-Doh underneath the fingernails any day.

Working your Motherhood business takes full priority over working your Mary Kay business, friends. Never let a recruiter – or anyone else - tell you otherwise."

Now I am sure that anyone in "Category 2" would love to magically find themselves in a position where they can enjoy peaches, cheese-dust and Play-Doh. For that matter, I, as a husband, would love to make that trade. But the bottom line is that if you are in "Category 2", if your money isn't coming from Mary Kay it is going to have to come from somewhere. And maybe that "other somewhere" is simply less desirable than Mary Kay.

Now, in this situation, I am not arguing the merits, pro or con, of Mary Kay. If it is not earning you money and you are a "Category 2", you better find something else (in addition to - or - instead of) that will earn you money.

But for someone that is obviously in "Category 1" to preach to those in "Category 2" about how they should prioritize their kids over earning the money that will feed those kids is frighteningly cold.

*Disclaimer* I don't know for sure that "The Scribbler" is in "Category 1". With her obvious flare for writing (and writing definitely seems to be something that you could do at home) it is very possible that she found something that works better for her than Mary Kay did. Perhaps Tracy pays well. (**wonder if I should apply..)


  1. Amen David. Thank you and well said.

    I have never had a choice to be a SAHM, well maybe if we didn't eat but somehow that just doesn't sound too appealing. So because I must earn an income, MK works very well for me, I am away far less than I was at my previous career.

    When I read the posts about not missing a doggone thing their children do because they can stay at home, it sounds like they are putting everyone down that has to work and rubbing it in their faces that they don't have to.

    So I guess if you want to never miss a minute of your child's upbringing I guess you better only marry a rich man.

    And if you pursue a MK career learn how to seperate it and learn how to shut it off and respect your family the same way you would if you were working any other job.

    And just shut up about having to do MK 24/7 and still making no money and have loads of debt. And always telling your kids to go away so you can make phone calls etc... it is called balance... Some of us figured out how to do it right and ethically.

  2. I can't imagine in this economy how anyone makes enough money to support another human being (or more than one) especially with health care.

    Dude, I work three jobs just to make ends meet and pay for good food and vet bills for my cat. My partner works only one, as his field of expertise pays much better than mine does. (He covers more of the rent than I do, but we split the rest down the middle.) I'm accustomed to more jobs than people, not more people than jobs!

    No, I don't have kids. You may now thank your lucky stars.

    I think the issue with some people is that they don't do MK 8 hours a day as they would a desk job. They do it at *all* times and hours. My former director was like that. She was all MK, all the time, every waking moment...and she only slept 5 hours a night! @___@

  3. Hmmm, well, I fall into Category 1. (!!)

    I can say that we are NOT rich. Our cars are not new (the oldest being 14 years old with over 300,000 miles on it, the second one almost five years old). Luckily our house is a piece of real estate my husband acquired back in the 80's and rented out until we moved in thirteen years later. So the majority of it had been paid off by the time we moved into it right before we had our first baby.

    That's the only reason I get to stay home.

    Seventy percent of our kids' clothes are second-hand. We buy in bulk to save. We only take one "cheesy" trip a year but we have a riot and we're together. And I live in jeans and consignment.

    My husband doesn't earn six figures and he bags his lunch every day.

    We made this choice because we like the idea of me staying home. I'm very, very lucky to be able to do so and I count my blessings every day. I don't turn my nose up at the men and women who would like to do the same but can't. The way I look at it, we all do what we have to. I don't judge anybody for their choices, yet, I get judged because people "think" if I worked we would have more (of the same!) Yeah, more of the same will make us "happier". Not. We're already happy! And thankfully not over extended on credit like the majority of people in close geographic proximity to us. I worry about them all the time. Their kids go to school with ours. I always worry for the kids.

    Speaking from personal experience, my recruit "thought" that Mary Kay would afford us a more "quality of life". *ugh!* I really love my life the way it is. Yet, I do admit that it would've been nice to be able to earn a little more for vacations and entertainment purposes. However, when all was said and done, the only one who benefited monetarily was her. In the short term, that is. After I exercised my 90% buy-back I we were flush again and she was minus what she earned on my investment. :)

    So happy ending!

  4. "It seems that some, (not all) had/have the luxury of not requiring a second income to balance the family budget."

    Um, staying home is not a "luxury" for us. It's made by sacrifice and supported by hard work. I don't think you meant to be offensive David, but implying that it is a luxury to stay home can be regarded as insulting. It would be like me saying that all people who don't stay home only do it for the luxury of a second income. Or if we're going to call a single income a luxury, you better call having someone who can share the financial burden a luxury too. As in "Not all of us have the luxury of being able to work and help support our families" "Not all of us have the luxury of childcare so that we can go to work" "Not all of us have the luxury of being able to work from home" "Not all of us have the luxury of a second income"...

    I know this article was targeted towards pt'ers self righteousness-- I get that, but I get snippy when I feel like all the sacrifice and hard work made by many who stay home is turned into "luxury" or only attainable by being "rich." Those terms and assumptions make me cranky. I didn't have to marry rich to stay home. I married poor teenager in the army, we lived in a one bedroom apartment, drove one very old car and ate a lot of hamburger meat when I first began staying home.

    One point I would like to address is how this whole stupid article is not MK's fault. No one forced these women to keep a crummy job that took a lot of time and didn't pay crap. If they were willing to listen to someone who said put your children second, then they are s***** parents. How long can you live like that and blame someone else? I get how people can be deceived about inventory, but I don't get how people can treat their families like crap. Mary Kay isn't slamming the door in your kids face- it's you. MK isn't planning your week so you miss soccer games- you are. And I bet if you worked in corporate America or at Taco Bell, you'd have the same attitude.

    When Mary Kay turned out not to work for me (and I never should have joined- I detest sales) I did not stand there ramming a round peg into a square hole, trying to make MK work. I did not listen to the stupid recruiter who (lied in the first place) told me to keep trying--I quit. There was no way to be with my baby and do MK without hiring sitters (family only- 30 miles each way) or looking unprofessional and taking the baby to facials or trying to direct people to my tiny apartment with my overprotective dog that snapped at strangers or taking them to the Monday night meetings (sitter again). None of that was MK's fault although I think a little belongs to the recruiters who poo-pooed the objections I gave involving those very things and of course mysef for knowing better but still thinking that maybe they knew better. It took me 2 weeks. Why did it take these women years?

  5. and that Your Mom is the $Million$ question :

    ( It took me 2 weeks. Why did it take these women years?)

    Your Mom, I know that I feel just as defensive when someone implies that we work because we don't want to sacrifice and stay home with our children. I meant no offense to you, it sounds like you have been willing to make sacrifices but are happy and that is what counts.

  6. You have to love this one now.

    Scrib has now added this comment:
    {{This piece is written, in general, to the women who don't desperately need extra income (meaning they're just going to have to go without purchasing "Iron Man" on Blu-Ray until next payday) yet they're choosing to put their career/empowerment/girlfriend time before their children.}}

    So now if you don't ""desperately need moeny" you are rotten for not sacrificing and choosing to work. Love how she judges.

  7. Your Mom,

    I am not sure if I have mentioned this before, and even if I have, it bears repeating. I greatly appreciate your comments on this site. You have a lot of great insights and have an excellent ability to put them into words.

    Naturally, any comment that comes across this site that suggests that I am being offensive is taken seriously. But I want you to know that your comment carries a little extra weight because you are always "spot on".

    That being said, it seems to me that you understood/understand the concept that I was trying to explain. It would seem that you even (at least closely) agree with the concept.

    The exact word(s) that are used to express a concept, I think you would agree, are really a matter of semantics more than anything. As I am sure you are aware (based on the skillful writing of your well thought out comments) it is already tricky enough to explain a concept without your intent being misunderstood without someone taking exception to a specific word and its use.

    I think that you will agree that while you may not be living what some would call a luxurious life, there are still some people that would call "not having to be a part of the rat-race" a 'luxury'. Those same people (for reasons both various and unknown) may see having a second vehicle a necessity while you consider it a 'luxury' that can be given up.

    In whatever way my careless choice of words has offended you, I beg your forgiveness and assure you that I in no way intended to belittle the sacrifices that you make in order to achieve the priorities you hold dear.

    As always, thank you for being a part of the conversation.

  8. Thank you to everyone. I tend to read a lot into word choice which probably isn't always fair. For the heck of it, I'm posting the definition of luxury from

    1. a material object, service, etc., conducive to sumptuous living, usually a delicacy, elegance, or refinement of living rather than a necessity: Gold cufflinks were a luxury not allowed for in his budget.

    2. free or habitual indulgence in or enjoyment of comforts and pleasures in addition to those necessary for a reasonable standard of well-being: a life of luxury on the French Riviera.

    3. a means of ministering to such indulgence or enjoyment: This travel plan gives you the luxury of choosing which countries you can visit.

    4. a pleasure out of the ordinary allowed to oneself: the luxury of an extra piece of the cake.

    5. a foolish or worthless form of self-indulgence: the luxury of self-pity.

    6. Archaic. lust; lasciviousness; lechery.

    7. of, pertaining to, or affording luxury: a luxury hotel (

    This is how I've always defined the word so you can see why I get a little cranky about it. I didn't think your were trying to be offensive David and I appreciate your very gracious apology. I agree that luxury (non-dictionary defined use of the word that is) is a matter of perspective. I think my defensiveness comes from something you wouldn't get because you've never been a player in the mommy wars that women are always waging on one another. An example is Scribbler implying working mothers are abandoning their children to buy extra DVDs. Another example is a working mother saying that staying home is luck or a luxury. No one was doing that here but I felt the need to make a point and I hope I wasn't too abrasive.
    Which brings me to Scribbler's witty little comment MK4 added today.

    If a working mom wants to provide her kid with a damn DVD it's no one's damn business. My best friend has a dead beat ex. She works extra shifts all Christmas season to give her boy a nice Christmas. He may not need a fancy Christmas but she wants to give him one and she's an excellent, loving mother who can parent however the hell she wants. Her son is hanging with grandma while she's working, he's not in a cage with a dish of water so people like S really need to lose the drama. I'm so tired of these generalities whether it be that I'm sitting on my a$$ eating bon-bons and watching Days of Our Lives or that my best friend is pursuing kudos and a new car while her son rots neglected in childcare. That last little comment about the blue ray has really and truly pi$$ed me off. Do I think some people neglect their kids for material possesions? Sure. But to generalize that an entire group of women do because they work? What a jerk!

    How about we point out that S wasn't watching her kid while she typed her blog for recognition and money. If her husband can support her and her family, ALL of her time should be dedicated to her kid. She shouldn't need the praise of pters because she has the reward of staying home. Any other recognition she is trying to achieve is simply selfish time away from her child. Since her husband supports her, any monetary benefit from blogging is just extra they don't need (maybe spent on an Iron Man DVD) that she is abandoning her child for. Shame on her.

    P.S. MK4, it's all good! =)

  9. lol, in my post I was going to point out the Scrib takes time to write her witty posts and designs her cute little picute- mmercials - and I am pretty sure that I read some place that she does write from the home, and that I was sure she probably did "take" a few minutes not "doting" on her children or having daddy keep an eye on them. Was afraid that perhaps I would sound bitter about not being a sahm, so thank you "your mom" for showing me I wasn't the only one thinking the same thought.

    And... since my kids are older, fill me in, what's a blu-ray??

  10. Blu-ray is like a super DVD. They're more expensive and apparently also going to replace DVDs some day.

  11. Thanks y.m., now I guess I have seen the "blu-rays" in stores, guess I am fine with the original dvd's, cause I think they are expensive enough ;)

  12. " I think my defensiveness comes from something you wouldn't get because you've never been a player in the mommy wars that women are always waging on one another. "

    Isn't this the truth. Experience has taught me that if you (generally speaking) defend your pos'n then you're leaving yourself open to personal attack because the other person is "now offended".

    I wish people could understand that staying at home is a choice and a sacrifice on many levels. Just as working is a choice and a sacrifice, on many levels too.

    Neither is better. The choice private - whatever that may be - and should be respected as such and left off of the table.

  13. I agree that it is wrong on so many levels for a mom who CAN stay at home with the kids and not worry about income to preach to all moms that they should be staying at home with their kids. Everyone has their own unique situation and has to find the best arrangement possible to take care of their family. That may mean that mom might have to work, and not many jobs I know of allow you to have 1+ kids physically with you at every single moment. Now, I'm not yet a mom, but I imagine having your kids with you 24/7 would be a bit draining. I have a sister-in-law that preaches that all moms should stay home no matter what. While I appreciate her passion for something so important and valuable for families, I also understand that such a privilege is not allotted to everyone. Judging others for doing what they feel they need to do for the survival of their family is just wrong. Flat out wrong. Shame on stay at home moms who do that. Kudos to stay at home moms who are grateful for their ability to stay home and love their sisters, friends, etc. who may not be able to do the same.

    I happen to think that Mary Kay is a great business opportunity that allows you to be flexible around your family time and family needs and still make money. My Director is proud of that flexibility and masters it well. Her kids are her priority, and that is why working her business well is also her priority. If she's on her game, she can arrange her schedule as needed for her little boys.

  14. And to be fair, shame on moms working outside of the house who despise moms who stay at home (which IS a job!!).

    Seriously, can't we all just get along and quit judging everyone rather than focusing on living our best life possible?!?!

  15. I am not a mom but I want to throw my thoughts into this situation.

    I'm 23 (so not that old) but I come from a neighborhood that tends to be a bit behind the national trends. As such, when I was a kid there were a lot of at home moms around. My own mom was an at home mom for the most part despite having a college degree. Every once in a while when things got too tight financially she would take on a cleaning job or two and would take us kids along with her (couldn't afford a babysitter) when she cleaned. There were good and bad aspects to my mom staying home. The obvious con was the financial troubles. I did not grow up having what other kids had by any means but in retrospect maybe that wasn't such a bad thing. The larger con was that my mom had no social life. She had nothing of her own to focus on and it made her bitter. My sister and I got yelled at a lot often for no reason at all. I tend to think that she felt that we were trapping her. Pro's though were that we went to the museums and the library and we took classes at the recreation center etc. My sister and I have grown up to be exceptional young women. My sister is 20 and she is almost done with her BA in psychology and is already rather high up in a nonprofit agency that works with disabled children. I'm also more than half way done with my BA in psych and I am going to be getting a MSW after the BA.

    Thats not the end though. Later my parents had two more kids (both boys). There is enough age diffrence that my sister and I are both moved out but the boys are still at home with one in high school and one in junior high right now. My mom now works as a substitute teacher and is at work almost full time. The boys are more or less latchkey kids now. I can see that there are huge differences in how they are raised. Their values are different. They dont' know what its like to sacrifice financially because there are now two incomes. I'm sure that makes them more comfortable but I'm not sure that it is good for kids to never experience not having money. The big pro though is that my mom is a lot happier now. The time that se spends with the boys is much better quality than it was with my sister and me. She isnt' bitter anymore because she has friends and co-workers and a life outside of the house.

    I guess my point to all that is that my mom needed social contact and she didnt' have that when she was staying at home. As I sit here and read this I do wonder if some sort of home business would have helped make all of our lives more pleasant...

  16. @prayingforcourage:

    Me too. I had a SAHM and a dad in graduate school (teaching and earning a yearly stipend of $10K) and we were desperately poor. Can you say "no furniture?" I know why Mom did what she did, because she wanted to spend more time teaching me to read and such, but honestly, I wish she would have worked part time so we didn't get our electricity cut off quite so often or have to walk to the grocery store (not very close either) in all weather because we couldn't afford gasoline to do it in the car. Oh and the lack of medical care: that was the one worst thing!

    I have nothing against those who *can* make one income work, don't get me wrong...I'm all about individual choice. But I feel that such families are becoming rarer and rarer.

    I don't plan to stop working until I drop dead, personally. No, I don't believe it will ever be financially possible for me to retire. I cannot afford to save enough, plus my measly litte investments just went *poof*! And I'm 40 already. Blargle!!!


For Further Reading...

This Week On Pink Truth - Click Here
Pros and Cons of Mary Kay - Read or Contribute or Both!
First Post - Why I Started This Blog
The Article I Wrote For (here) (there)
If this is your first visit please leave a comment here. I would love to hear from you!
If you want to email me:
But you are probably better emailing mk4me: