Why . .
Why is there such negative views towards women who stay at home. I have participated in a number of conversations recently and if stay-at-home mums come up in the conversation, the comments are almost always negative and derogatory. This appears to be also the case when I read articles in our mainstream newspapers.
I just don’t understand why.
I thought we lived in an age of equality, which allows (encourages) men and women to make choices, isn’t this the manta of feminism — empowering women to make choices — however it would appear that women who decide not to enter the workforce or leave the workforce and stay at home are viewed as making the wrong decision, which basically says there isn’t really any choice at all.
And why, when the children start school, does society says to mums “it is now time for you to return to work” — believing that once the youngest child is at school there is no justification for a mother to remain at home. If mothers do stay at home they are viewed as being selfish or lazy. If I told my work colleagues today that I was leaving to become a SAHM they would be horrified and wonder why I was taking such a backwards step “what about my career, my aspirations”? Why is stay-at-home considered backwards? I would argue (ladies do you agree) that women who stay at home have as many aspirations as women who work, they just are different and that should be just fine, but it appears not to be. I should my aspirations, as a working woman, be considered better to a woman at home.
It isn’t as if SAHM’s are costing society or causing anyone any stress or hurt, so why such distain, especially from other women. Does it come down to jealous or envy? Do they think that everyone should have a ‘real’ job? This puzzles me. What business is it of others to be critical if a husband and wife have made the decision of the wife to remain at home to care for the children (no matter their age). Financially I am sure it can be difficult, however having mum at home is also making large savings as in childcare, travel expenses, working clothes for mum and I am sure there are many.
People seem to completely devalue women at home, even though they contribute very much to society, just not in paid work. The range of voluntary work undertaken by women at home (old and young) is huge, they are often the ones helping out at school (in the tuck shop, listening to reading, baking for school fairs etc), they provide support to their husbands and to their elderly family. Women who stay at home often work from home, e.g. in the family business, in cottage industries, thought the internet etc.. and this is as valuable as any work that I do.
I have read a couple of articles about the number of younger women who are giving up their high powered career to become SAHM's —discovering that "women can't have it all".
With both sides of government in this country offering Maternity leave for working mums — there does seem a real push to keep women in the workforce — but I wonder how many really want to be there?