One of the debates that continuously cycles through the mom channel is if stay at home moms are better than working moms. It’s not always phrased that way. Sometimes it’s mentioned as a money thing. “If you can’t afford to stay home with your children then why are you burdening society with your off spring?”
Sometimes it’s brought up to point out how lazy stay at home moms supposedly are. “I work AND take care of my kids. What do you have to complain about?” It’s also been framed as a feminist issue.
I think it’s a personal choice. Some moms are better parents if they work. They need that time away from their kids, and they need the fulfillment work gives them. Some moms can’t afford to stay at home with their kids. Most families need two incomes to get by. Every time someone points that out, someone on this site posts about how they barely make anything, but manage to stay home because they care enough about their children to sacrifice petty things like entertainment.
Good for you. But if I don’t work, it won’t be our Netflix budget that’s cut, but our power bill. Some moms want to work, but can’t because they can’t afford daycare. People post on here all the time about not understanding how you can be so “unskilled” that you can’t afford daycare. I’ve had plenty of jobs that don’t pay well enough to cover daycare. And this was after I graduated college, with years of related work experience. I might be able to swing daycare now, but it would still be a huge chunk taken out of my budget. I’m extremely lucky I can work at home.
Not everyone is that lucky. Many people are more lucky than me, and make so much that they feel secure looking down on people for not being able to afford daycare, or not being able to afford staying home with their children. Unfortunately those people aren’t well off enough to afford class. Judging someone based on their income is trashy no matter who you are, and to dare judge how much a mother is dedicated to raising their child because of what they can and cannot afford is vile.
I do disagree with the idea that working moms do everything that stay at home mom’s do and work on top of that. Presumably your child is in daycare or some child care situation while you are at work. That means that working moms are not doing as much with their child. There is nothing wrong with that, but it is a fact. If you are not there 8 hours a day, then someone else is keeping your child entertained, feeding your child, cleaning up after your child, and educating your child. Even if your child is in school, a stay at home mom is home the moment they are to help with homework, and take care of them. I understand the sentiment. Working mom’s have just as many necessities to get done as stay at home moms, but those elective activities, the extra time and care, that is the job of a stay at home mom.
Of course, just like any other job, some stay at home moms should be fired. They don’t put in the extra time and attention with their children. They stick them in front of a television. But it’s never fair to judge an entire profession by the least motivated employees. And frankly, no matter what your job is, some other mother has a more difficult one. If you’re stressed from business meetings, another mom is exhausted from being on her feet all day. If she’s exhausted from being on her feet all day, imagine how the mother who works a physically demanding job is. If she’s tired by the time she gets home, imagine how much the mother stationed in Afghanistan wants to GO home. And if that mother wants to complain, imagine being a mother that was forced into prostitution to feed her children.
Everyone complains about their job. Everyone. And everyone has that right. So unless you think you would enjoy someone interrupting your rant about your most stressful day at work with “well, that’s nothing, if you had a ‘real’ job like me you’d know xyz,” maybe you should hold your tongue.
As for the feminism debate, women have the choice to stay at home with their children. That choice is what matters, not what you do with it. No one is forcing mothers to stay home. No one is forcing them to work. For that matter, dads can stay at home too. So maybe instead of judging the other team (which leaves work at home moms like me in a weird position) we should just be happy with what we chose, and mind our own business. How exactly does it affect you if your neighbor works or stays home?
But of course that’s just my opinion. What’s yours?