While doing research for an article on career tracks for women, I came across this article about stay-at-home moms. The article was feminist in slant, but definitely not disregarding the role of women who choose to stay-at-home to help overpopulate the Earth. Yet, many stay-at-home moms went nuts over the article because they felt belittled, marginalized, and discounted. A follow up article by the same author gave some more insight into the hullaballoo.
Now, having grown up without a mother (literally and figuratively) I can say the whole debate as to whether or not women should stay at home is rather asinine. A mother who chooses to stay at home will not raise better children than a mother who chooses to work. If you’re a piss poor parent, you raise piss poor kids no matter how much time you spend at home. This is a fact that cannot be argued.
When I think of tough jobs for women, stay-at-home mommy is not at the top of the list, but it isn’t at the bottom either. The dangers a stay-at-home mommy must deal with are social withdrawl, low self-opinion, and mild annoyance when her children misbehave. The dangers to a working mom are inherently different and definitely more troubling than having a headache because Little Johnny won’t eat his lunch. A working woman has it much harder than a woman who stays at home. A working woman who is also a mother has it doubly hard. A stay-at-home mother who believes she is working just as hard as a woman who battles on the frontlines of gender equality every day is delusional at best. It isn’t. I know this because I work from home and see the daily lives of the stay-at-home mommies in my neighborhood. Harder life? No. Different? Yes.
I find it rather amusing when I am faced with a stay-at-home mom who tries to convince me that her job is every bit as tough as any job held by a woman in the work force. Wrong. I doubt a stay-at-home mommy can compete with a female police officer, lawyer, office manager, scientist, or teacher in terms of stress and responsibility, yet some stay-at-home mommies have no problem comparing their "jobs" to that of other "working" women. I call bullshit.
Aside from the fact that having children isn’t that difficult (excluding the physical act of squeezing them out of an orafice typically the size of an orange). Any moron can get pregnant and carry the fetus to term. This requires very little effort on the part of the woman. I know, I know… I’ll catch shit for that belief, but humor me for a little while longer. The bottom line, after giving birth, rearing children isn’t any more difficult than training a puppy to behave. Yeah, i said it… raising kids is as easy/hard as training a puppy. In fact, most parents would be better off reading a book on how to house train a dog than reading any books published in the last 20 years in regards to raising children. You’ll learn the basics rather quickly rather than being mired in inconsequential details about which brand of baby powder will prevent chaffing.
I guess my point is that I’m not sure what the hubub was about to begin with. A woman, a feminist, writes an article about how women who choose to stay-at-home are doing themselves a disservice and suddenly stay-at-home moms everywhere stage a revolt. The fact that they are doing themselves a disservice is true on many levels. An educated woman who chooses to stay home to raise her brood isn’t doing her children or herself any favors. She will find it increasingly difficult to find a job the longer she stays out of the employment stream, which in turn means that unless she is married to a doctor with a thriving practice (or a husband with some other high paying career), her children will know what it is to live hand-to-mouth. Single non-professional income familes tend to live at or below poverty line. A woman who chooses to work contributes not only to the standard of living of her family, but remains relevant and more likely to be able to guide her children with an eye toward the future. Leaving the workforce for prolonged periods has ramifications. This is true for stay-at-home mommies just like any other worker… And please, please, please do not say that putting, "STAY-AT-HOME MOM" on your resume will be looked upon favorably. Changing diapers and planning meals is not the same as managing a team and delivering on goals in the workforce.
I know a few stay-at-home moms read my blog and I don’t mean to offend them. I just find it odd how someone can delude themselves into believing that their choice won’t affect their prospects for future employment (if they are looking to return to it that is).
The phone lines are open… let me have it!