They say that being a mother is the toughest job in the world, but why is it that when
moms choose to stay at home they are questioned about their careers and contribution to the society? Unfortunately, most people stereotype stay-at-home moms as plain housewives; living in the expense of their spouses’ or using their children as an excuse to compete with working moms and make a living.
This issue was ignited again when Hilary Rosen suggested that Anne Romney, as a stay-at- home mom, “never worked a day in her life.” Though Rosen was taken out of context, the impact of the statement offended many stay-at-home moms. How can they not be?
It is with statements like these that show how working moms misunderstood stay-at-home moms. Most of the time, they disregard the difficulty of raising children. While many women can be successful with their careers, not many women can sacrifice their careers for their husband and children.
This article from the Deseret News, by Allyson Reynolds, tries to temper the divide in this age old argument.
“Of course, the variety of choices don’t just apply to stay-at-home moms. We could just as easily go through a series of scenarios for working moms. The mom who works full time because she really has no other financial alternative even though she would rather be at home. The mom who has a full blown career because she would go crazy if she had to stay home and change diapers all day. The mom who works part time just to have a little extra cash of her own and keep her brain fresh. The mom who doesn’t need to work for money, but feels it is her duty and responsibility to “give back” to society and use her education in the workforce. The mom who works while her husband stays home since she has a better earning potential. The mom who loves to work and feels it actually makes her a better mother and provides a strong example for her own daughters.
Basically, the diversity of scenarios and reasons why mothers choose the type of work they do are endless. From part time work in the home with a paycheck to practically full time work outside the home in the community as a volunteer to very untraditional jobs with flexible hours both in and out of the home–the lines are getting blurrier by the year!
What we should all acknowledge is that the vast majority of mothers are most certainly working mothers, and they are most likely working very hard at the type of work they’ve chosen to do with whatever life situations and gifts they’ve been blessed with. Whether or not they get a paycheck for their work shouldn’t affect the value of their offering.
Our only job as fellow mothers should be to support each other and stop the judgement until we’ve walked in another mother’s shoes–be they pumps or house slippers. That is one of our main purposes at The Power of Moms, to be a support and “a gathering place for deliberate mothers.” That tagline is intended to include all mothers everywhere and in every circumstance.
In the end, it’s Barbara Bush’s concise assessment of the hullabaloo that gets my vote for putting an end to the mommy wars. “Forget it. Women who stay at home are wonderful. Women who go to work are wonderful. Whatever.”
While most stay-at-home moms, I think, have high regards for working moms, maybe it’s time that working moms give the favor back. A little mind broadening might just help to ease things out. However, there still needs to be a lot of reconciliation to bring the two sides together. If you’re a working mom, what is your view regarding moms who chose to stay at home and vice versa?