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The Argument For the Stay at Home Mom

Lil Community: The Great Mommy Debate

Let the debate rage on! Over in A Place to Vent, an anonymous reader submitted her thoughts on the ongoing debate over working moms. Here is an excerpt from her post.

The most fulfilled I have ever felt is when I became a mother, something so many women today take for granted. Yes, I can already hear the outraged cries from Gloria Steinem and NOW. Helen Reddy is pondering, "Did she not listen to the lyrics of 'I am woman'?" But I stand by my claim. Raising a child is the most important gift we have been bestowed. Yet in 2011 I am constantly amazed at how many of us choose to pass this awesome opportunity off to people who are barely adults themselves, or at the very least can't wait the 4-5 years to do this until the child is of school age. Our excuse, as if there is one, is that it's our duty to define ourselves outside of the parameters of the traditional mother and wife.

Let me preface this by stating that I am all too aware that it is indeed a fact that some of us must work to put a roof over our heads. I know from where I speak, I am a divorced mom who was abandoned by her husband and am without any support from my son's father. I have gone from living a cosmopolitan life abroad to residing in a more humble suburban setting. Despite the fact that the most exotic thing I do these days, is travel down the ethnic food aisle at Whole Foods, I am confident that the sacrifices I am making today in order to be a daily part of my son's life, possesses far more value than anything I can purchase off of Net-a-Porter. 

If we are perfectly frank here, the majority of those women adorned in their Tory Burch tennis outfits and Gucci sandals, dropping their precious cargo off at daycare, look a far cry from being one step away from standing in the breadlines. I highly doubt that their haste is the result of a desire to head straight to their jobs at Walmart. With a simple blow of a kiss and a small wave of the hand they are dismissing the one true thing in their lives as though they were just another accessory in their status wardrobe.

Keep reading to see the rest of the reader's thoughts on working moms. Overwhelmed by a crying baby, fighting tots, overbearing in-laws, and competitive parents? Start venting in our anonymous group, A Place to Vent and share your stress with fellow moms who understand your plight.

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AliciaFoote2695 AliciaFoote2695 2 years
It's very encouraging to come here and find support for my choice to stay home with my children. This decision came naturally for me. I couldn't imagine leaving my infant to work another job! Although I let my husband believe that I would go back to work after my maternity leave I knew all along I didn't have it in my heart. I have four children now and it is almost 12 years later and the debate still creeps up on us. We have managed these last 12 years. No my children don't have an iPhone or and iPad of their own but we have aw roof over our heads good food to eat decent clothes and a reliable car on top of something else a mom who is here!!!! Here to take them to school pick them up talk to them help them with homework tell them I love you hug them encourage them teach them listen to them check on them love them ect ect no aim not the perfect mom as a matter of fact in my option I am far from the mom I want to be, I have made a lot of mistakes but I am here to correct my mistakes as well and in the process teach them to take responsibility for their actions forgive and progress. I work for the l.a. school district in the classroom before I decided to be a full time mom and I can assure you it is much harder to stay home and raise children but my children are just that my responsibility and my husband works tiredly to provide financially. No we don't have everything we want but we have everything we need including the thing I and they need most! Each other! Although life with four kids is sometimes be overwhelming they are also my greatest joy!!!!
Jenniferrush Jenniferrush 5 years
To the post above 46, so funny. I just read the piece on Miranda Kerr and so done there said some cannot breastfeed because they don't have the "luxury of being a stay at home mom!". I choked on my drink, the first thing I have been able to put in my mouth today.. It's 5:00 and I have yet to shower, brush my teeth or breathe. I just now have a minute to sit down and enter a world outside of nickelodeon, to relax. My kids are napping!!!!!
Freespirit75 Freespirit75 5 years
To the post (43) above. Such a great point. As a pediatrician I will go further, a child cannot Distinguish between certain feelings, until the age of 7-8. They know there are distinct differences at around 4, but cannot verbalized them until a couple years later. Thus the reason predators can get away with heinous actions for extended period of times. For anyone of us to be so conceited to think we know what our toddler is truly feeling is beyond reproach. Of course laughter , tears and cries are indicators, but as we all know, the cries can mean anything from hunger, to exhaustion, to boredom, to even happiness. The only way to know for certain if your child is functioning and developing in a happy environment is to be able to be present the majority of those moments.
Whenbabymade2 Whenbabymade2 5 years
With reference to "workingmom82" when I wrote this piece I anticipated many counter views, of which the majority have been very sound and thought provoking. I promised myself I would in turn be respectful and take it on the chin so to spak. However in what I can only hope for the sake of your children's case, was an attempt to be provactive, your post managed to reinforce my exact point. Your opinion is the precise reason of why I do not blindly support a woman who has carried a child for 9 months, in your case, I even question if that part was not contracted out. As you state this is not 1950' therefore society DOES not expect woman to be incubators and produce offspring. The whole paradox now is that we have choices. But that does not undermine the important fact that if you choose to have a child- you OWE them your love, attention and respect. Finally if I am to judge your future based on the characterization of your present life in your post, I highly doubt I will be the one who will end up alone. This is a place to vent- I just did. Thank you
Lovemyboys85 Lovemyboys85 5 years
Hi ladies- my daughter in law forwarded me this article the other day. I will be the "mature" voice here but one who is not so totally out of touch that I cannot relate. For the record I will be 57 this April. Not so unsurprisingly I and my dil do not see eye to eye on this. I firmly believe a woman needs to identify themselves outside of the so what archaic definitions of the past. I grew up when Helen Reddy was number one on the charts. This being said- after raising 5 sons I know a thing or two about fulfillment. Let me say this- NO matter what you choose you will Always question your decisions. The term "working" mothers is entirely offensive to those of us who as the author states, spend 168 hours a week on the job. The only difference is there are lunch breaks, and the compensation is equivalent to slave wages. But one thing I know for sure is the vital importance a mother plays in the development of their children. This role cannot be replaced by a nanny, a daycare or unrelated third party. As another poster put, deny it all you want the facts are there. For the life of me I cannot comprehend why if able to, one does not want to be the primary caregiver to as the author so eloquently states, the one true thing in your life. I look at my sons aged 34-25 and wonder how did this happen? They are men and some fathers themselves. It goes so quickly girls, you never get it back. You can however always get another job. I am certain my view may be disregarded as old fashioned, but there is something that hasn't changed in thousands of years- the preciousness of childhood, the fragility of youth and that you only get one shot to do it right. Thank you for giving an old lady a platform- Emma W.
Workingmom82 Workingmom82 5 years
I had to join the debate. While the piece is well written ( you can tell the author is in marketing- because of the overly descriptive manner to justify her argument)- I have to say there is absolutely nothing wrong with putting yourself before your children. Men have been doing it for thousands of years, and subjugate women in the process. Yes I come off as a raving feminist, and the author seems to have left out the wonderful voice of Naomi Wolfe in her generalization. I had kids because society told me to. It does not mean I do not love them, in fact I adore them. Do I want to be around them all day? No. Why should I have to sacrifice the years I spent getting a degree and to use the authors words " honing" my craft to give it all up? I know I sound harsh but I have nannies ( yes plural) who give me the time to continue being what I worked hard to be. I like my lifestyle and no I do not have to work- I want to. Life is not what it was in 1950- we have choices and should not apologize for it. It's great the author had all her experiences but to those of us who haven't finished doing the things on our bucket list we have that right. I send my kids to overnight camp, I have someone watch them on Saturday nights so I can go out with my husband. They rarely travel with us- but they seem just fine and happy. There is nothing wrong with putting yourself first. The author needs to realize this pretty soon or she may end up alone, when the son grows up and gets his own!
Whenbabymade2 Whenbabymade2 5 years
I just wanted to say Maryann, I cannot imagine the pain of losing a child. I could not empathize with the pain my own mother felt when my brother died. I hope I never have to. Thank you for sharing your story. Also I only feel it's fair to own up to my claims instead of letting it stay anonymous. Kind of weak to build a controversial debate without putting your name to it. Makes it look like you don't have true convictions of your views. Anyway. Thanks to all who responded whatever your position. Tara Flowers ( Philadelphia,PA)
katialoves katialoves 5 years
thanks to lil sugar for linking to this post. its almost as controversial and thought-provoking as the amy chua chinese mother tigers are better thing! i can sympathize with working to live in a better school district... personally i dont want to leave my kids until they are school age. i guess i am lucky that my job could accommodate a new schedule of three night shifts a week (15 hours overall), however even that is too much (because i am always 'behind' on cleaning, cooking, and life in general, and always rushing). i am really just keeping the job because it pays ok and i want to have it as insurance for the future. i dont mind time away from my kids here and there of course but i hate being forced to do it, saying goodbye in the morning, etc (i tried that when i just had one-my husband worked nights while i worked 6-2) also i am a bit paranoid. there have recently been 2 deaths in canada of kids under 2 while they were in daycare. (in one case it was cause by assault, no info on the other one yet) also why would you assume that someone else could do this awesome task as lovingly as you could for less money than you make at work? if you really make so much money than why not let your husband stay home? maybe i just trust strangers a lot less than the average person does....
Whenbabymade2 Whenbabymade2 5 years
Houstonmomma very fair point, perhaps I did not clarify that the analysis is not solely directed at working moms, in fact it is more for those who choose a luxurious self serving lifestyle over ther childrens needs. Which includes working when they do not HAVE to. I highly doubt that anyone dropping their kids off at daycare in a Tory burch tennis outlet is headed to their job, unless of course they work at a country club. Perhaps that could have been articulated better. But the crux of the argument stands. Thank you
Syndrla Syndrla 5 years
I am so sick of women making judgemental statements about those of us who work full time! Here's the bottom line... being a mom is hard, working or not. I don't judge those who stay at home, so stop judging me. I wish I didn't have to work, but the fact is I do. It's not to buy Tory Burch, it's to pay our mortgage on a house in a good school district so my children can get the best education we can provide. You're right, you have no soapbox... and you have no empathy.
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