A couple of months ago, I wrote about why I’m not a stay-at-home mom. And believe me, it wasn’t all that controversial. I basically just outlined the reasons that I have chosen to work despite the fact that I have kids. If you want to read that post, you can find it here:
Anyway, I recently got a comment on this post that was so ridiculous that I thought it deserved its own blog post. Let’s begin, shall we? This is what I woke up to on Saturday morning:
After reading most of your thoughts its 100% clear that you do not want to be a full time mother. You really care about what YOU want and all your choices revolve exactly around what you want and what makes you happy. I hate to break your happy bubble but putting kids on daycare is not the best for them. But clearly, your comfort and happiness and money bring you more satisfaction than taking care of your kids. Its terribly exhausting to be a sahm and there’s no money, so your heart has to be in a place of self sacrifice and you must give everything of yourself to be patient and loving when you want them to relax. I just don’t agree that getting rid of your kids full or part time each day is right. Please do not disrespect sahm mothers who make cupcakes because they are practicing and are developing qualities of a good mother. Someone who is patient, loving and giving not someone who pushes them away because she cant stand them. Being a good sahm is hard. You have to exercise serious discipline to not blow up all the time. But if you never practice you never develop it. Notice i say a Good sahm. I dont agree that doing whats best for You translates into whats also best for everyone.
Yes, I’m a mother. But, do you want to know what else I am? I’m a writer and a poet. I’m a wife and a friend. I have hobbies and interests, many of which have nothing to do with my kids. Becoming a mother shouldn’t require that I give up everything that I am, or that I am no longer allowed to be who I once was.
The argument that all mothers should stay home with their kids is as unrealistic as it is antiquated. I hate to break it to you, but some mothers have to work because their income is desperately needed to balance the books. Other mothers love their career, and would be lost without the many benefits they get while on the job.
Some moms, like me, enjoy contributing to the family finances even if their income isn’t necessarily required. It’s true that our children need our love and attention, but they also need our money. My kids are going to college one day and I am hellbent on helping them avoid the crushing student loan debt that has become a burden for so many young people. The fact that I work has allowed us to buy two rental properties whose monthly income will pay for my kid’s college. If I did not work, we would likely not be in that position, now or ever.
This Isn’t the 1950’s
Why on Earth are mothers the only ones who get shamed for not staying home with the kids? Shit, I made more money than my husband did last year. If anyone should be staying home with the kids, shouldn’t it be him? The children are both of ours, are they not? Where’s his hate mail?
This isn’t the 1950’s. Women are pursuing higher education more than ever before, and they actually hold more advanced degrees than men in the U.S. Women are doctors, lawyers, and firefighters. We are college professors, scientists, and astronauts. And considering the fact that women made up 46.9% of the workforce in 2012, the argument that all women who work are automatically bad mothers is a ridiculous one at best.
Daycare Isn’t All Bad
“I hate to break your happy bubble but putting kids in daycare is not the best for them.”
How in the world do you know what’s best for my kids? Have you ever met them? Do you know what their daycare is like? How can you make the blanket statement that daycare is always bad for kids? Are there no exceptions?
My kids have always liked going to daycare and I haven’t had any bad experiences with childcare centers my kids have attended. Sending them to daycare gives them the opportunity for socialization and learning in a group setting. It also lets them spend time with friends and build relationships outside of our immediate family. I’m okay with that.
The Bottom Line
The fact that I work doesn’t mean that I love my kids any less than you do. It doesn’t mean that I don’t want to be with them, or that I am somehow an awful mother. All it means is that we’ve decided that the income I earn is worth more to us than having a stay-at-home parent. Another couple in our situation might choose to do the opposite, and that’s okay. They are not us, and we are not them, capiche?
Women should stop spending so much time tearing each other down. I’ve written before about how easy it is to judge a mother, and it’s true- especially when it comes to the debate of whether or not a woman should work. If you want to stay at home with your kids, then do it. Mothers who choose to stay home with their kids are obviously doing a wonderful thing. However, I disagree with anyone who says that all working mothers are trying to flee their responsibilities or don’t really want to take care of their kids. It simply isn’t true.
You want more thoughts on parenting and money? Huzzah! Ask and you shall receive:
- What I Want My Kids to Know About Money
- Having Kids: Is It Worth It?
- 5 Personal Finance Lies Your Parents Told You
- Marriage and Money: How We Make It Work
- Separate Finances: A Recipe for Marital Disaster
- Middle America: You Can Have Kids Without Going Broke