Working mothers do not have to feel selfish for working out of the home

Diane DeVillers
Posted March 24, 2015 from United States

You just have to read this blog from wordpress from my favorite blogger bellejar. She has powerful language skills and she knows how to use them. This is for every mother who has felt guilty for having a job outside the home. For all the women who were called selfish for not spending every waking moment with their child.

The roles of women have changed and maybe more women would have children if they felt they could have it all. A child will learn how to spend time away from mother, and the child will appreciate a mother who makes her own money and has a life of her own.

I decided not to have children but for those of you who decide having a child is right for you, don't think you have to give up your career. More organizations are accepting of a woman needing time off to have their child, and many companies allow people to work from home. Anyone with a computer can work at their own kitchen table and still be productive. In fact there are statistics that say people that can work from home are happier and more productive.

And companies are seeing the wisdom of having back up employees that learn all the jobs at the company so people can have the schedules that they want. In fact many have "job sharing" in which they share the work load, can cover for you when you are sick or on vacation. That way the stress of going on vacation in the sence that some of you have to work weeks ahead to be able to take a vacation, and then work double time the week after to get caught up. You know who you are, you do know what I'm talking about. in fact some of you would say working without vacations is an option to avoid getting behind.

So sit back and enjoy this long essay, by bellejar in her own words.

http://Dear Everyone: Here’s Why I Don’t Want To Read Your Crappy Opinions On What Other Women Should Do 25 MAR Earlier today, Lydia Lovrac, a Montreal-based “columnist, talk-radio host, stay-at-home mom,” wrote a scornful response to piece from 2013 about why Sasha Emmons chooses to work outside of the home. Don’t ask me why Lovrac is responding to a two year old article, because I’m as baffled as you are. I’m sure she has her reasons, such as maybe she some type of wizard who exists outside of the linear bounds of time and space; this would explain why she is writing about the evils of mothers who work outside the home in 2015. You guys, it’s 2015. It has been two thousand and fifteen years since the alleged birth of Christ and we are still having this goddamn argument about whether or not a mother is morally obligated to stay home with her kids, should finances permit. And as much as it’s tempting to write off Lovrac as a throw-back with outdated opinions, the truth is that the question of mothers working outside the home is still burning up parenting websites and message boards. As far as parenting wank goes, the debate about whether or not mothers should stay home is right up there with breastfeeding, circumcision and cloth diapering. Lovrac is certainly not alone in her belief that women who choose to work are selfish. There is nothing more disheartening to me than watching women tear each other down, especially within the context of parenting. It’s sad and it’s gross and it’s the purest example of internalized misogyny that there is. There’s no benefit to these discussions; they’re just endless cycles of women shitting on other women’s happiness and security under the guise of concern for The Children. What’s even more enraging is how gendered these arguments are – even when they say that it’s best for “a parent” to stay home with their kids, what they really mean is mother. I’m not going to get into the layers and layers of privilege that have allowed Lovac to write this article. I’m not going to address her claims that “you need not be rich in order to live off one income.” I’m only going to just mention in passing how fucking shitty it is to refer to a mother as “absent” because she works outside the home – I’ll just say that I know my fair share of absent parents, and I promise you they are not out there working to pay the bills and feed their kids. I’m not even going to discuss the fact that plenty of single mothers raise their kid on one income and, by necessity rather than choice, work outside of the home. Instead, I’m going to talk about how gross and oppressive our persistent cultural about motherhood are.` No one ever says that fathers are selfish for working outside the home. No one is writing think pieces about how “absent fathers” letting strangers raise their kids just so that they can pursue an enjoyable and fulfilling career. No dads are out there penning thoughtful letters to their children about why they chose to work. If they were, they’d probably read something like this: Dear Daughter, I chose to work after you were born because it literally never occurred to me to do otherwise. I certainly did not consider disrupting everything I have known and loved about my life outside of the home because I decided to have kids. I do not feel guilt or shame for my decision, because why would I? Much love, Dad 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. And while that may be true, why can’t a woman ever just be happy for her own damn self? Dudes don’t need to come up with excuses for why they should be able to do things they enjoy, and women shouldn’t either. And by the way, here’s a list of the reasons Emmons gave for going back to work that Lovac found “selfish”: “I work because I love it.” “I work because scratching the itch to create makes me happy, and that happiness bleeds over into every other area, including how patient and engaged and creative a mother I am.” “I work because this nice house and those gymnastics lessons and those sneakers you need to have are all made possible by two incomes.” “I work because I want you and your brother to be proud of me.” So: just to clarify, Emmons is selfish because she enjoys her job, a dual income helps pay for the lifestyle her family enjoys, and she hopes that the work she does will make her children proud of her. In what world is it selfish to love your job? What is it about women specifically that makes them terrible people if they aren’t prioritizing their children 24/7? I mean, yes of course parenting involves some amount of sacrifice, but the idea that you should only live for your children is a pretty dangerous road to go down and, again, not one that any dudes are being told they have to travel. Lovac’s counter to all of Emmons’ selfish reasons includes the following: “I stay home because although writing and radio did make me extremely happy, I knew that you seemed happier when I was around. And your happiness was more important to me than my own. And making you happy also made me happy.” “I stay home because I want you to learn that family and love are more important than material possessions. A large home or fancy sneakers will not make up for an absent mother.” “I stay home because I want you and your brothers to be proud of me because I gave up something I truly loved in order to put you first.” In short: a healthy relationship dynamic between a parent and child does not involve the parent supporting their child by working outside the home, but does include expecting your children to appreciate the fact that you made the ultimate life sacrifice for them. I am just so exasperated by the continuing circle of shaming mothers for whatever choices they make. It seems like no matter what, the conclusion is always “MOMS: STILL PRETTY MUCH THE WORST?” It’s the 21st century and at the very least we can all agree that we want to raise kids who are proud of us, so let’s work on building each other up us parents and caregivers and mentors instead of fighting to push each other off the Pedestal of Motherhood. We’ll all be better for it.

Comments 2

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  • Bean44
    Mar 25, 2015
    Mar 25, 2015

    Great, thank you for sharing this, my thoughts exactly. Let's just hope the next generation of women rise above such a nonsense attitude.

  • Diane DeVillers
    Mar 25, 2015
    Mar 25, 2015

    Thanks for reading this great blog, and thanks for commenting, i sometimes wonder if my posts get read. Here's to more women working especially in Congress.and President.