I came across an article recently from Time.com that really struck up my interest. The article in TIME, entitled “Being a Stay-at-Home Mother is Not a Job”, is one that I then posted the article on my Facebook page as well to see what other mom’s thought about the words of the woman who wrote the article, and I got even more interesting results from that.
The article really kicked up a lot of controversy between parents, mostly mother’s, as I think it was intended. While I didn’t really love the tone that the writer had throughout the piece, there were a few key points that made me think a lot about my own choices regarding “work”, being a mother myself.
SAHM? WAHM? Career Mom?
In today’s society, there are many choices that a woman can make regarding her work life and her life as a parent. She can choose to be a stay-at-home-mom, she can be a work-at-home-mom, or she can be a mother who also has a career job. No matter what she decides, it’s a personal decision that shouldn’t be judged by the rest of society.
The main point of this article was that women who choose be a SAHM should not regard their position as such as a “job”. I myself have called motherhood “one of the hardest jobs on the planet”, and who could really disagree with that? Apparently, the author of this piece since it is something that she herself said that she “loathes”.
If you are comparing a “real job” to the work that is done as a stay-at-home-mom, then by definition alone I guess you could not call being a SAHM a technical job. However, it is hard, hard work and often more time/energy-consuming than that of a “real job”.
The author of this piece, although she was a SAHM herself for 5-years, almost talked in a tone that was degrading to those women that refer to staying at home with their child(ren) as a job. She went on about how too often, women complain about the fact that they stay at home with their children and how much work it is, and how this is actually a luxury to be able to do so.
“…the truth is, for every mother who is happy with her choice to be a stay-at-home mother, there are at least three who are using its tribulations as a means to smugly declare their superiority to anyone within earshot”. -Liz Schultz from TIME article
If there is a point I agreed with, it is that getting to stay at home with your child is a gift. But, I can’t sit her and say that I think she is right about the 3/1 ratio of women who stay at home and think that they are so much greater than other women because of what they have to deal with at home. These seems like an overstatement and a little dramatic to me.
Does she think that these women are looking for some kind of empathy for the pity party that they are supposedly throwing? Maybe, and maybe some are. I have known my fair share of women who complain more than they are thankful for their ability to stay home with their children. I do have a personal opinion that women like this should be careful about what when they say when complaining, because there are so many women who would give anything to have a child and really struggle with it.
However, as I said before, I know from experience that although it may be a gift to stay at home, nurture, and raise your child, it does not always feel like a luxury to the person doing so.
Do You Need Validation?
If there was one thing that I really decided on, especially after reading this article, it is that women do not need validation for the choices that they make regarding their own lives and the lives of their family.
I have been able to be a SAHM since my oldest was born 3 years ago. I also work at home and run this blog, and am in the last year of my Master’s program. I plan on continuing to stay at home for a few more years, but then I will go into my career and continue to raise my children and run my home as well.
I work really hard doing all of that and I am in no way some supermom that can do everything with perfect grace. There are days when I complain and vent about my hard day, or all of the hard work I had to do, just like anyone else with a “job” would do. In no way do I do that to receive validation for the choice I have made and you will never once hear me say that I “hate being a stay at home parent”.
So the question is: Is being a SAHM a “job” or not?
My answer is that it just depends on who you ask! To some, they may say that it is the hardest job they’re ever held. Others may not liking staying at home all the time for no pay and no recognition, so they complain a lot about having to do so. Then you have those that absolutely love being a SAHM, but still understand the fact that it is a lot of hard work, just like it is a lot of hard work to be a WAHM or a mother with a career.
I don’t think that calling it a “job” is so far stretched from the truth, although there are obvious differences at a career job. I think all women should be mindful and respectful of the other decisions that the women around them make regarding work and parenting.
What are your thoughts on the article? Do you consider being a SAHM a “job” or do you completely disagree with it?