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Wednesday, November 16, 2005

One, two: Is Mom totally screwed?

If both parents have good jobs before they have kids and both want to go back to work after they have kids--not out of financial necessity, but because they both like their jobs and their careers--does that decision reflect more negatively on the mother than the father?

I don't know the answer to that one, but it just seems like the expectation is that mom will stay home. Or should stay home. Especially if the decision to go back isn't financial. Are women who become mothers entitled to career ambition? Or does society--as progressive as we think we are--put a negative tilt on moms who have a drive and desire beyond parenthood?

There certainly have been times when I have even been a little judgmental. But mostly, I'm of the school of thought that says women need to do whatever works for them. If they want to work, then work. If they want to be at home, then be at home. I don't see why it's really anyone else's concern as long as the children are getting the love and stimulation they need in a caring environment.

Since I've been at home since Toddler in Chief was born, I haven't been in a work situation to be able to access any kind of possible stigma. But I can't help but wonder if it is there or if it's my imagination?

3 comments:

  1. I think there is a little stigma. I was just reading Calvin and Hobbes the other day and Calvin was asking about why his mom stayed home. The day says well, someone had to. First, I questioned whether someone had to and second, why it had to be the mom. There is a more general notion, I think, that someone should stay home with the kids. Since gender roles predict it will be the female who does, then if the female doesn't, it's her fault. Or something like that. (It's past my bedtime.)

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  2. Well in our case... I stayed home with my son AND worked full time because my job allowed me to do that and my husbands did not.

    Now, if I were to have a baby tomorrow, I would probably stay home again. Again my work is more flexible and my employer has past history of letting mothers work from home, do flex hours, job share, etc.

    And like you, most of my co-workers that have children, the woman DOES stay home. Maybe it is in our culture or women feel it is expected that they stay home... but I DO also see a few more Dad's doing it too. Which is a good sign... right?

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  3. I feel as though nature sort of dictates who should stay home (but we're not very close to nature these days anyway, so it kind of weakens my point, but) by virtue of the woman being the one who breastsfeeds and has, if you believe it in, mother's intuition, it just kind of makes sense that the mother stays at home. That and the fact that she carried the baby for 9 months, shouldn't she be allowed to continue to care for it? But nowadays we have breast pumps and schedules and nannies so really, the possibilities are endless. I'm just rambling.

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