Kids Are Better Off If The Mom Stays Home. Is There a Right Answer?

Insights

FamilyI didn’t stay home, opting to take my maternity leave and then return to work. I’ve always felt guilty about the time I spent away from the kids while at work, and guilty when I was home and not at the office. But I’m not alone.  Today working mothers make up almost half the workforce. We have little choice. The economy and the world have changed and most families need the dual income to survive. Back in 1960, when I was a kid, moms only made up 11% of the workforce. My mom chose to stay-at-home till my brother and I were old enough and always had a job that enabled her to be home by 3pm when we got home from school.

But the public is torn on whether working moms are a plus or not.  Pew Research Center survey found that the economic benefits are great, but raising children is more difficult and take its toll on marriages. I chose to work and have often wondered if I did my children a disservice by working. Would they have done better in school?

So what did other moms say? 

Nicki Anderson, Marketing Director and mother of 4 grown children was home for 9 years with her kids before going back to work, had this to say, ”Though women tend to be more emotionally connected and carry innate mothering qualities, that doesn’t necessarily equate to perfect full-time parenting.  Given that both parents bring their own unique traits and qualities to the table, I don’t think that my husband would have been any better or worse than I was. He could have brought some great things to their lives, but in all honesty, I don’t think he would have been comfortable in that role. And perhaps in the end that’s more of the issue. If a Dad isn’t completely satisfied and dedicated to being an at-home Dad, it may take away from the rigors of the job. Further, if his masculinity is challenged, he may harbor some resentment. But the same holds true for women, if they’re not happy being a full-time parent, the quality of parenting will be compromised.

In my experience, the Dad’s I knew almost 30 years ago (not at all common then) were great with their kids and proud to be an at-home Dad. They were great. As we all know, a full time parent is one of the most demanding, challenging jobs around. In my opinion if a parent is dedicated to raising their kids full time, they’ll deliver, male or female.”

Myrdin Thompson, a mother of two and Results-U.S. Poverty Expansion Associate said, “In a global culture that is currently advocating for the advancement of girls and women in other nations, as well as fine-tuning educational opportunities here in the states to encourage girls to pursue STEM related subjects and ultimately careers, we are still a nation that tells those same young women they can have it all…but it’s better if they have only a little of it and make sure to give the rest to their spouses and children. When profiling successful women in business or politics, these articles focus less on the what they have accomplished and more on what they are wearing as well as what manages to “slip through the cracks,” which more often than not, is the ability to be both at the board meeting and a daughter’s ballet recital. Are male CEOs asked how their children feel about their business trips and missed baseball games? And let’s be frank, some women do not mother or parent well, no matter how much they love their children. Kids are actually better off with adults who want to be a significant part of their life and help them to reach their fullest potential, not necessarily with the person who wears a skirt and pearls.

What do you think?

 



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