Author: At-Home Moms Should Work Instead

Full story: Newsday 32
"Something is very wrong with the way American women are trying to live their lives," the late Betty Friedan wrote in "The Feminine Mystique," her groundbreaking 1963 book attacking the idea that a husband and ... Full Story
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Tim Trexler

Middletown, PA

#1 Apr 6, 2007
The problem that isn't mentioned is that the reason this woman and others like her think they need to get a job is that men are not taking care of women the way they should be. If men today were truly taking care of their families there would be no need. My wife stays at home. I have long term disability ins and Life ins that will cover our/her needs should something happen to me. We will not get divorced because we took the time to get to know each other before marrying. We took vows to God and each other that divorce was not an option.
My wife has the time for real social interaction with friends because she does not work. We are not stressed because we both spent a rough day at work and now we have to pick up the kids and figure out dinner. The kids are healthier not being around a bunch of sick kids at daycare and they are learning our family values from us; not someone else's from their peers.
Men, step up to the plate and take control of your families. Search for a Men's Fraternity program near you.
UncleD

Bangkok, Thailand

#2 Apr 6, 2007
Equality means equal responsibilities as well as equal rights. Women have earned the right to work, if they want to -- good for them. Time to take the next step, and work because they have a duty to do so. Just like men.
Chris

Johnstown, PA

#3 Apr 6, 2007
The author is a complete tool.
Charl

United States

#4 Apr 6, 2007
Being a mom at home IS work. If the mother wasn't doing it she would be paying someone else to do it, someone without that maternal bond to the child(ren).

Sometimes, working outside the home can lose a family nearly as much or more money than not working once you factor in the costs of childcare, extra medical care for illnesses caused by daycare, work wardrobe, gas, lunches out, take-out dinners, gifts for co-workers, etc. Any profit has to be weighed against the very really benefits of staying home with your children. Many moms and dads feel like it isn't worth the few extra dollars (if there would be any).
PoconoWeeze

Lebanon, PA

#5 Apr 6, 2007
UncleD wrote:
Equality means equal responsibilities as well as equal rights. Women have earned the right to work, if they want to -- good for them. Time to take the next step, and work because they have a duty to do so. Just like men.
Bull, you got parents out of the house for many hours, kids with sitters who should't take care of dogs, or worse yet kids with no supervision, woman should be home taking care of their kids if they want to. You wouldn't have kids running wild if mom was there.The mans duty is to support the family, you got it backward.
Aaron Matthews

Saint Louis, MO

#6 Apr 7, 2007
PoconoWeeze wrote:
<quoted text> Bull, you got parents out of the house for many hours, kids with sitters who should't take care of dogs, or worse yet kids with no supervision, woman should be home taking care of their kids if they want to. You wouldn't have kids running wild if mom was there.The mans duty is to support the family, you got it backward.
Ok, both of you miss the boat in your little sexist remarks

It's a parents' duty to raise the kids they brought in to the world or are responsible. For some parents, that means a stay at home mom. For some, like me, a stay at home dad. Some people are great parents for 3 hours blocks, but spending a whole day home with the kids would entail Barney-Wiggles-Dora on a loop. A good day care is better than many parents. My wife tried the stay at home thing for a while and I got more calls at the school for major catastrophic than i can count, but shes a great engineer so after a few years of daycare, I gave up the day job and do something more flexible and part time so I'm the primary care giver.

There is no it's the man's duty to provide and woman's duty to work. It's THEIR duty to raise the kids and be fiscally independent of the government.
UncleD

Bangkok, Thailand

#7 Apr 7, 2007
Interesting and informed comments from all sides.

The problem in my mind is that right now, the status of women as parents is sitting on the fence. The status is neither "old school" the way Mr. Trexler would like it, nor is it "equality." For married women, work is an option -- for men, for the most part, it's still a duty. Men are expected to work, and expected to earn well, whatever the toll on our health.

I hope the sensible arrangement Mr. Matthews has is a sign of America moving toward real equality -- equal rights and responsibilities.
Shelby

Prosser, WA

#8 Apr 7, 2007
It's not about the fact that women need to have worth outside the home; somehow the only things of worth in this world are outside the home? The reality is that children need an actual caretaker, not to be farmed out to the lowest bidder.
Andrew

Mountain, Canada

#9 Apr 7, 2007
There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with being a stay-at-home mom. My mother decided to give up her career for her children, and that is why I both respect and love her. I'm tired of people blasting women for staying at home to do the most essential job in any society; raising children. And I'm not saying that men have no responsibility to raise their kids as well, they do. If you want to have a close family that can survive for a long time, you have to see each other for more than 3 hours a day. A child is a family's responsibility, amd should come above your desire for an extravagent lifestyle and the need for more money.
realman

Fairbanks, AK

#10 Apr 7, 2007
All womenz need to stay in the kitchen and make me food.
Ashley

Milwaukee, WI

#11 Apr 7, 2007
If staying at home with your child isn't work, then why do we PAY other people to do the same thing? It's work for them, but not for the actual mom? I am a young, married mother who stays at home. I think it's a personal choice that has to be made by everyone individually. I am taking a chance since I haven't gone to college yet and I don't have a career. However, I am doing something much more important. I am raising a human being. Our kids can make the world a better place if we take the time to bond with them and teach them good values.
Beenthere_doneth at

Union City, NJ

#12 Apr 7, 2007
The women staying at home are doing so because they generally had low level, low paying jobs and the difference between what a caregiver costs and what they were earning was small. While there are always some women who give up a high paying career, these are few, yet the laze at home moms point to them like they are the norm. Shows like The View and daytime soap operas were custom made for these dimbulbs.
chippa

Madras, OR

#13 Apr 7, 2007
Wow!! As I am reading these comments I am wondering if this is still 2007. I have not read the book but from what the articles that I have read I understand that the author is making a point to women that it is risky to step out of the work force. Not that being a stay at home mom is not work. I have worked in law firms for several years doing family law. I have seen many female clients that end up in financial binds because they are getting divorced and have not been in the work place for several years. And the $8.00 they will make once they get a job is not enough. Let's be realistic there are no guarentees in life and if you are relying soley on one person to support the family then you are taking a big risk. Just be aware of the consequences of your decision.
telos

Keller, TX

#14 Apr 7, 2007
Funny, even making what we make we could not afford to send me back to work because of the extreme expense of special needs child care. Neither my husband nor myself would have much in the way of financial resources if we divorced. I handle all the regular money stuff, he just makes the money and the long term plans for it. We go our separate ways and we are screwed.

Working outside the home is great, if you can afford it. Sometimes, you really can't. Sometimes there is more to the choice to stay home then just the desire to be mommy.
Stuck in Indiana

Bloomington, IN

#15 Apr 7, 2007
I gave up a upper-management position at a major university to stay at home with my kids - my undergrad degree is in Elementary Ed., multiple Masters and Post-Masters degrees, and I have wanted to stay at home with my kids (when I had them) and prepared to do so since I was in high school.

I think what is missing from this equation is the number of women that are stay-at-home moms, but do volunteer work or work from home to keep their skills sharp in case they need to rejoin the regular workforce.

With three kids under three, I still manage to squeeze in 25-30 hours a week after the kids are down. It's not the most pleasant situation, but it works. If I stayed in my previous position, I would have lost $100 a month after daycare and expenses related to working. The majority of the people (male and female) that I know who are primarily stay-at-home parents also have work "on the side" just to make ends meet.

I couldn't tell you when Oprah or the rest of the shows mentioned above are on TV, but I can change three diapers in under two minutes. I guess we are not all "laze at home" =)

Since: Apr 07

Waipahu, HI

#16 Apr 7, 2007
Screw that stay-at-home stuff. I'll keep on with my career and the father can stay at home.
Mama Mia

Hamilton, Canada

#17 Apr 7, 2007
What makes happy well-adjusted kids is happy well-adjusted parents. There is no single 'one size fits all' solution. Parents have to make choices based on personal and financial needs, and the choices aren't always easy.

Mothers often work to provide food and housing for their children even though they would rather stay home. Other mothers stay home instead of putting their kids in daycare, even though it negatively impacts their careers. If the mother has higher earning potential than than the father, it might be best if she works and he stays home, despite the raised eyebrows of friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers.

Truly responsible and loving parents do what they feel is best for their chldren according to family circumstances, and the last thing they need is to be judged for doing so.
Fuyuko

Seaside, CA

#18 Apr 7, 2007
I do think the people who choose to spawn and then dump their children at daycare even when they can afford to not work are losers. The ideal situation for most kids is to have 1 parent at home. Likewise spawning when 'money is tight' seems irresponsible.

I do think its important for women (or the stay at home parent) to be able to 'keep their edge' so I think most stay at home parents should work outside the home at a job at least 1 day a week. Likewise the non-stay at home parent should shuffle the kids for a day.

My experience with stay-at-home moms has been good.
HBT

Mcallen, TX

#19 Apr 15, 2007
As a young woman who is not yet a mother (and doesn't plan to be for quite some time), perhaps it is not my place to jump into this discussion, but here goes nothing:

Women have it rough no matter what they choose. Stay-at-home mothers are snubbed by most feminists and viewed by many people as lazy, stupid, and/or old-fashioned. "Oh, she doesn't work? She must have no brains or self-respect! What's she trying to do, set the women's movement back 50 years?"

On the other hand, mothers who choose to work rather than stay home with the kids take a lot of flak for it as well. Many view them as uncaring parents, lacking maternal instincts. "Oh, what, she brought a kid into the world and now she can't be bothered to spend time with it? Is she too proud to take time from her career to do the most important job in the world?"

This is a dilemma every woman who chooses to become a mother will eventually have to struggle with. A majority of men will never have to bother with the painful decision of whether to ditch their children vs. their career and financial independence. For all their complaining and arguing about what women "should" and "shouldn't" be doing, I wonder if they can ever possibly understand how hard it is for mothers today.

As I mentioned above, I do not have children of my own. I'm 23, unmarried, just recently graduated from college, and only just beginning a career of my own. However, I did spend a year working in a toddler classroom at a day care center, and this opened my eyes to a lot of the issues. First off, childcare is ridiculously expensive.$1500/month at the center I worked at, and that place wasn't even NAEYC-accredited. That's almost $20,000 a year in day care expenses ALONE, which means that one parent staying at home is actually a financial gain for some families. Additionally, some of my kids spent almost 12 hours(!) a day in that place, with mom and dad both working at their high-powered corporate jobs and making ridiculous amounts of money. I often wondered if only getting to see your children awake 2 hours a day was worth the money and the self-esteem gained from having such a career.

On the other hand, women who do choose to stay at home really do put themselves at risk financially. I know a woman with a law degree who took time off to home-school her children. Her youngest finally went off to college a little under three years ago, and she has been seeking suitable employment ever since with no success. She is lucky enough to be in a happy marriage with a man who can support them both, but many women are not so fortunate. One of the women I worked with at the day care center spent 8 years being a stay-at-home mom, only to have her husband run off with his 20-year-old secretary. She was in the process of getting a college education while she was married, but now does not have the money nor the time to continue. She works 7 days a week to support herself and her daughter, and the day care center job is her highest-paying one at $10.75/hour.

The bottom line is that women face many tough decisions in life, most of will be met them criticism regardless of their choice. Every woman who chooses to become a parent will essentially be forced to choose between the "feminine" and the "feminist." I do believe that the two can (and ought to) be reconciled, but until people/society figure out an easy way to do this, the "Working Mom vs. Stay-At-Home Mom" dilemma will continue to be an issue.

All I know is that I'm not looking forward to when I have to figure this stuff out.
JONNY URINE

Dayton, OH

#20 Jan 7, 2008
I THNK THE KIDS SHOULD WORK SO BOTH PARENTS CAN STAY HOME.

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