Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Bias Against Stay-At-Home Mothers

I work and interact with many young, single, childless woman in a professional, college educated work environment. What strikes me is how deep the belief runs that being a stay-at-home mother is in no way a worthy or fulfilling job. I recently had a conversation with a young woman expressing my empathy for a woman that recently returned to work after being on maternity leave. Her reaction was more of relief that the new mother is probably excited to get back to work after 3 months of boredom. What this statement says is that her belief is that it is much more important and fulfilling sitting at a desk, typing e-mails, answering calls, doing presentations and interacting with people that have no real emotional connection to you than it is to guide and care for the everyday needs of the child you carried for 9 months in your womb. It is better to close that sale than to see your child’s first steps. I understand that financial situations often cause the mother to have to return to work, and not to mention a single mother’s burden. This is not a statement on either of this situations. I am commenting on the bias that so many young ladies have toward being a mother. This bias is so strong that so many woman are waiting until they get older and older to have children. Our dropping birth rates support this belief. We have scared woman into having children and shamed them for wanting to stay at home. I get excited any time I hear of a woman that has gone on leave and decided to not come back. I am so thankful that we have been blessed to be able to have my wife stay at home. We do so at great sacrifice financially. The work she does at home will pay off for generations to come.

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