Before I had kids, I dreamed about being a stay-at-home mom. I loved the idea of having the whole household under control and making life easy for my husband by rocking the homemaker role. But as it turns out, I am happy in that role about one day per week and otherwise feel totally and utterly stifled.
I don't want to read any more arguments about who has it harder, whose work is "real work," who is contributing more to society, or who is doing a better job ensuring her kids become stable, non-homicidal adults. I'm proposing a new form of Internet literature, where one group of moms singles out another group of moms for a job well done.
As a woman and a mother, who has been both a SAHM and working mum, here's a few suggestions as to how you can really repay your beautiful wife. I apologize in advance if you are already doing all of this. You sound like a great guy, so it's quite likely that you are. If you're not, here's what you could do.
I don't judge my friends who work full-time (I'm completely proud and impressed by their success) and I don't judge my friends who don't work at all (I'm amazed by their patience and ability to put their careers on hold). The trouble is that moms feel the need to defend their position (myself included) whenever they feel it's being questioned, and sometimes it gets downright vicious. We've already established that there's no "perfect" solution that works for everyone, so it seems wrong that anyone has to compare themselves to anyone else (and feel guilty or insecure), but we're never going to get past it, it seems.
As a culture, we have a weird obsession with women being "selfish." Mothers especially are prone to accusations of selfishness any time they make a choice that doesn't directly and obviously benefit their children. Even when mothers are encouraged to practice self-care, it's often approached with the idea that feeling happy and rested will make them better partners and parents.
Once upon a time, you decided to take a few months away from your career to spend time with your new baby, or tend to a sick relative, or start your own business. Perhaps those months turned into years and you now find yourself wanting to return to the workforce. Don't despair. By following the six steps below, you can take control of the back-to-work process and will restart your career in no time.
Children are an incredible paradox. They bring so much joy, so many tender moments, so many blissful times when you're just enjoying them, and they're enjoying you, and you're laughing at something funny your toddler said, or something adorable your baby did. And then there's the other 23 hours and 30 minutes of the day you have to get through.
Growing up in the 50's and 60's, my mother Lillian was primarily a "stay-at-home"mother. It's not that she didn't have high aspirations for her future, as she dreamed of being a dancer. However, times required she go to work directly after graduating high school as a bookkeeper for a dress manufacturer, her professional dancing dreams dashed.
The Canadian government has put forth a policy reduces the tax burden on one-income families making it easier for one parent to stay home. The CCPA opposes this policy because it incentivizes staying home, which they say takes us back in time to the 1950s when women stayed home and men went to work. Apparently that was a terrible time in history. I disagree. I'm the product of a 1950s family and my children, raised in the '70s and '80s, are the recipients of a mom staying home, too. I'm quite comfortable stating that I turned out alright and my children seem okay.
Women have been brought up to believe that they have the right to pursue their own goals and dreams without any consideration for those around them. As a result, we have women having babies who almost immediately hand the child off to a daycare worker or nanny so that they can return to the office in order to feel fulfilled.
I do not want to pit one mother against another. But, I am tired of the lack of respect we show to moms who choose to stay home and raise their children, prepare their meals, and attempt to make their homes a sacred place for their family. I have no doubt that these women rarely think of their work as sacred. But it is.
According to a recent survey, Canadians would pay their moms an average salary of $161,287 a year for all their hard work. When asked what qualities a Mom of the Year should possess, the answers were several -- being loving, compassionate, hard working, fun loving, a mentor, sacrificing and charitable.