Working Outside the Home 

Working Outside the Home

(or WOHM as it is affectionately called on many message boards) is a topic that appears to incense some women. I am amazed- astounded- each time I read a debate on who works harder- stay at home moms, or moms who work outside of the home. There are entire message boards devoted to this topic. Many women spend hours ardently debating and arguing their cause- that it is *better* to be a WOHM or SAHM (Stay At Home Mom.)

I don't get it. Why do women on either side of the fence feel that they have to justify their choices- to prove that their families accomodation with necessity is *better* then someone else's? If truth be told, my idea of luxury would be to have both my husband and myself at home (with my husband off doing his own thing a good part of the time so I didn't kill him) with a maid, a cook, and full time childcare help-
and a private jet while we're at it. You know what? That isn't possible for me- or my family. We don't (unfortunately) have much luck at the Powerball and we didn't choose our ancestors well. So, in my family, at least one of the parents working outside of the home is a necessity. In our particular case, it makes more sense from both an economic and a suitability perspective for my husband to be home with our kids. In many families, having either parent at home isn't possible- again either from an economic or suitability perspective. And each family has their OWN set of facts and circumstances that are considered when the parents decide how they are going to structure their lives.

Having two parents working outside the home isn't necessarily just an economic decision. In my opinion, a parent at home who would rather be in the workforce should not be home. I firmly believe that a happy healthy parent = a happy healthy child. I go ballistic at the suggestions of many that I have seen that think that if a parent would rather work out of the house that they should never have children at all. How does that equate? Just because a person may not wish to be with her child 24 hours a day 7 days a week they shouldn't have children? That argument has no logic to it and it disturbs me deeply whenever I see another woman espousing it. Can I just ask whether anyone has ever questioned a man's desire or fitness to be a parent when he returned to work or when it was decided that HE would not be home with the kids?

My point to all of this is that each family makes their own decisions based on many things that the rest of us know little about....and whether a woman works outside the home- or stays at home with her family shouldn't be the basis for any judgments about her qualifications to parent. What I also wish women would think about is how we hurt ourselves with the bitter arguments over such things as this topic, breast vs bottle feeding, attachment parenting etc. ad nauseam. Women have struggled throughout the centuries for the privilege of HAVING choices- of being able to have their own talents, opinions and preferences considered. We are not all the same. Why do we not embrace the fact that we ARE different-and that what works for one family may not work for another? Isn't the end result that we are all seeking a happy healthy family? And I think it is utter nonsense that any of the above parenting choices can GUARANTEE that a family stays healthy and whole. So much more goes into raising a happy well-adjusted child then a decision as to whether or not to co-sleep or to have a trusted daycare provider care for your child during the day.

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Comment You should send this to those woman who are debating!

Thu Jul 29, 2004 2:07 pm MST by Meg

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