I got a link to this article a couple of days ago and finally got around to reading it. It was written about a woman who chose to quit her job fourteen years ago to stay home with her 2 young boys. Her advice to mothers who may be considering doing the same... "Don't do it!"
I was completely blown away by this article. I know there is a lot of advice out there on both sides, but I guess I had never heard a woman who chose to stay home now so adamantly against it. Her reason for this opinion? Money. She is now on her own, her children almost grown and she is unable to return to the workplace and a job she once had.
My heart goes out to this woman, it really does. I can only imagine how hard it would be to be put in that situation. The worry. The fear. The uncertainty. But, I do not agree with her point of view, not even a tiny little bit!
There are two articles about this, one from the woman herself which can be found HERE and one from another woman who quotes and comments on the previous article. You can find that one HERE
I think the saddest part for me is how this woman is influencing other woman to continue working. I do understand that as a writer you hope that what you say will have an effect on those who read it so in that respect she is doing a wonderful job. It is however, the effect that concerns me. The woman who wrote the second article admitted that "Even though I’m a full-time working mom, I harbor fantasies of scaling back as my kids get older. Maybe going part-time, or just freelancing. I could still do the work I love, but also pick my kids up from school, supervise homework time, take them to swimming lessons." She goes on to say "Would this make me just like the proverbial grasshopper, whiling away the hours while the industrious ants prepare for winter? I think Read would say yes. Of course time with my girls is priceless, but maybe I should keep limiting it to before work, after work, and weekends."
The last part of that stopped me in my tracts and I haven't been able to get it off my mind since reading it. Is that what children are viewed as in this world now? Simply something to fill your left over hours? As a stay-at-home mother myself my heart is completely saddened by this article and this view of children and the importance of raising them.
I understand the pressure mothers feel to be it all and to have it all. I understand having a passion for a job and a desire to do that job. What I don't understand is having more of a passion and desire for that job than for your children. I also understand woman who financially have to work, times are hard right now and it can be very challenging to live on one income. Believe me, I do understand that! But I do not understand the view that a job and an income are more important in the long run than raising your children.
This was a hard post to write because I have very good friends that have children and have chosen work outside of their home. I do not want to offend them or anyone else in any way! I do believe that staying home to raise your children is the best choice, but I understand that this choice isn't always available for each family. I guess the point of this post is to present the other side of this argument. I believe that the absolute best thing you can do for your children as a mother is stay home to raise them. There is no doubt in my mind about this. Unless there is abuse in the home, I don't believe there is a situation that the child would be better off in a daycare rather than with their mother. I believe a great disservice has been done to both mothers and children by pushing women back into the work place. I also believe that we have seen and will continue to see the ill effects of this on the generations to come.
I feel that it's time for woman to start taking pride in their role as mother, wife and homemaker! I don't think I am missing out on anything by staying home with my children. Quite the opposite in fact, as I am blessed beyond words everyday as my children fill all of my hours, not simply after work hours. The thought of not having these precious moments day in and day out with my children breaks my heart.
As I said before, it's not always easy and it's not always possible but I encourage mothers to reevaluate their situation and see if it might be possible to stay home. I do believe it is the best choice for your children and I understand that it can and will take some major sacrifice. But after all, isn't sacrifice what parenting is all about? Just some food for thought...
This post is linked to the Raising Homemakers link up, the Women Living Well link up and the Titus 2 link up.