Why is the Idea of being a Stay at Home Mom Shamed?
Recently, I engaged with an 8 year old girl and her mother. When I asked the little girl what she wanted to be when she grew up- her response was “a mom”. “That’s wonderful!” I replied enthusiastically, but her mother’s expression clearly displayed that she was not impressed by her answer. Her mother even made a point to “correct” her daughter by sternly telling her that she would attend school and get a career first before having any children.
This seems to be an increasingly common mindset among women today- that being a stay at home is of little value and that being a career woman first is more important. For some, this may very well be the case. Many women do not desire to have children or be a stay at home mom and that’s ok. Some women prefer to attend school, get their feet wet in a career for a couple of years and then have children and that is also ok. However, there are many women (whether they choose to be honest and admit this or not) who would prefer to be a stay at home mother to their children over attending college or working an 8 hour a day job.
I remember being the happiest when I had my mother around growing up. When she began working, and being away from the home more, our relationship suffered. Stay at home moms are important, but for some reason we are constantly bombarded with propaganda that tells women that staying home to raise children is purposeless with very little value. It is not. Having the ability to stay home and make raising your children a full time job is one of the most important things a woman can do. This isn’t negating the importance of the female mind in careers that advance civilization, but raising well balanced and healthy children is also equally, if not more, important.
Many women are able to work amazing jobs and send their children to top of the line daycares or with immediate relatives. However, many women do not have this luxury and are stuck with sending their children off to mediocre daycares for 8 hours a day. After work, they’ll come home and spend 2-3 hours with their child before it’s off to bed for a repeat of the same thing the next day. Also, if a child spends more time at daycare than with their mother, the child is certainly being more influenced by the secondary caregiver.
Ideally, being a stay at home mother with a supportive family while also having the ability to have your own business or hobby is best. Of course, there are very specific tasks that come with being a stay at home mother that should not be neglected and simply being at home isn’t enough. Teaching and nurturing a child, along with the other responsibilities of maintaining a home, are crucial to the wellbeing and development of stay at home mom, her children and family.
Women should be encouraged to be productive stay at home mothers, not shamed into thinking that they’re limiting themselves. I applaud women who unapologetically perform their jobs as stay at home mothers to the best of their abilities and hope other women live in their truth and become the women they truly desire to be.