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Are Obama's Stay-At-Home Mom Comments Right on the Money?

Posted by on Nov. 4, 2014 at 9:56 AM
  • 8 Replies

Obama's 'Controversial' Stay-At-Home Mom Comments Are Right on the Money (VIDEO)

stay at home mom
America, we have a problem. President Barack Obama was giving a speech in Rhode Island recently when he let slip that stay-at-home moms end up earning lower wages when they return to the workplace because of the decision to stay home with the kids. Anyone seeing the problem here? Anyone?

The conservatives are saying it's that the commander in chief has no respect for mothers because, holy moley, he said something negative about women staying home with their kids. Which is a load of hogwash. No, really. Just take a gander at what the president actually said:

Sometimes, someone, usually mom, leaves the workplace to stay home with the kids, which then leaves her earning a lower wage for the rest of her life as a result. And that’s not a choice we want Americans to make.

An attack on stay-at-home-moms?

More from The Stir: 8 Reasons Being a Working Mom Is Good for Your Kid

Nope. A commentary on the fact that women are penalized for being mothers? Absolutely.

Here's a fast fact for you: only one third of American adults say it's best for kids if mom doesn't work outside the home at all. The rest of them say a mom should be able to work -- whether it's part-time or full-time. And when Working Mother surveyed stay-at-home moms, they found more than half would prefer to be working.

So why are women staying at home full-time? Eighty-five percent of married moms who are staying at home say it's because of childcare concerns (including costs), and 64 percent of cohabitating moms said the same. And no wonder when childcare costs the average family MORE than the cost of food! What's more, in a Pew survey, some 6 percent of moms were at home not because they wanted to be but because they were unemployed.

Simply put: staying home is NOT a choice for many moms. And yet, staying home does cost a mom -- literally. 

While becoming a father was recently shown to up your earning potential by some 40 percent in a City University of New York study, the same study showed a 49 percent wage gap between the sexes. And it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that time out of the work world will not only reduce the amount you're paying into the social security system (and will eventually, hopefully, recoup) but also reduces the time spent climbing the ladder ... and the salary chain.

What's more, being a mother means having a harder time FINDING a job. A study at Cornell University found that mothers are rated significantly less competent and committed than child-free folks, receive about $11,000 less in starting salary offers, and make about 5 percent less per child. Oh, and less than half of moms get callback interviews as compared to folks who don't have kids.

Still think Obama is just being a meanie who is attacking mothers?

The fact is, moms should be able to choose between staying at home or working. Absolutely.

They shouldn't, however, be forced into staying at home because of outrageous childcare costs or be discriminated against if they do choose to stay at home.

Check out the president's speech:


Do you work or stay at home? Why did you choose what you're currently doing?

 

Image via © iStock.com/SolStock

by on Nov. 4, 2014 at 9:56 AM
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Replies (1-8):
littlemum41
by on Nov. 4, 2014 at 8:21 PM

 Yah, it was tough for us Moms who wanted to be a SAHM,. I went back to work when my kids were all older and it was tough explaining where I had been for 16 years. They think you have been sitting around doing nothing and they can be insulting sometimes. 

In my case, I was  a former USAF wife who was alone for months and a few years at a time . I was pretty good at paying bills, arranging moves, selling homes, home maintenance, car issues,everything, including being Mommy and Daddy ....that was a learning experience and helped me a lot. I felt that my kids needed me so it was not a difficult decision for me to be a SAHM. ( Financially, it was not easy and we always pinched pennies and did without luxuries and some things that people take for granted... but it was worth it . )But, after I went back to work,  it took years and some fair minded bosses to earn what I deserved at my job.

He does mean that women should not be devalued and paid less just because they were SAHM's for a while. Moms have a lot to offer and don't lose their abilities while being Mom.

 

 

bluefirewolf
by Bronze Member on Nov. 5, 2014 at 2:25 AM
I believe he was talking about women that want to work, not sahms
Imperfect_Faith
by on Nov. 5, 2014 at 3:08 AM

I work full time by choice. I can't even imagine being a sahm, that sounds like a nightmare to me. I think his comments are accurate, in that they negatively impact a woman's earning once she does return to work, and that that is not acceptable, and no, not a choice that is beneficial, if it leads to financial worries in the future. 

Sisteract
by Socialist Hippie on Nov. 5, 2014 at 8:34 PM


Quoting Imperfect_Faith:

I work full time by choice. I can't even imagine being a sahm, that sounds like a nightmare to me. I think his comments are accurate, in that they negatively impact a woman's earning once she does return to work, and that that is not acceptable, and no, not a choice that is beneficial, if it leads to financial worries in the future. 

I agree.

I do not think anyone should be without the needed skills and current resume to secure a position and support their family should the need arise.

I am recently retired, but not of retirement age, so I am techinically dependent for the first time in my life. It is a weird feeling not to have income and my own benefits package.

As a younger person and during the years of raising the kids, that was too many eggs in 1 basket for our comfort level.

funny_girl3
by Member on Nov. 5, 2014 at 8:41 PM

I have been a SAHM, then I returned to work, then I was a SAHM again, and now I've gone back to work.  I completely agree with the president's remarks.  Women are penalized in the workplace for being moms.  We are expected by society to handle most of the childrearing.  Employers have this expectation too, which means lower pay and lower status jobs for women.

rocketracer
by Gold Member on Nov. 5, 2014 at 10:56 PM
What did Obama mean when he said "...that's not a decision we want Americans to make..." Who is the "we" in his comment...the gov't???? He's all a it the gov't making decisions for individuals. He wasn't raised by his mother. He was left with his grandparents, who introduced him to Franklin Marshall Davis. Sure, Obama wants 6 million children enrolled in head start programs...the sooner gov't gets them the better.
shyanntech
by Member on Nov. 5, 2014 at 11:15 PM

Come Jan i Will start looking for work again.. but the hours i can work in a small town of 5,000 people don't leave me with much.. I can only work when the kids are in school since my oldest is only 11 years old. and my youngest is 5 years old.. so i cant leave them alone at home to work.. so that means i can only work from 8:00am to 3:00pm Monday thou Friday. and have school hallways off. 

why i say that is because when i trued to find someone to watch my 2 kids for the night. no daycare would work after 5:30pm and be open until after 8:00am.. my night class i wanted to take was at 6:00pm to 7:00pm.. you say family don't have any here. that i can count on.. my father in law is here but he will not watch my kids unless its his idea.. (long story there)(but can tell you that he would not watch my boys when i had to have surgery last  May so they end up in the room with me).. 

My DH is a trucker he is only home 3 mos out of the year then travels the rest of 9 mos out of the year..

so in short in my case i would like to go back to work but find a job that could work for me is going to be a trick.. im 30 miles from another town that has about 5,000 people.. im 190 miles that is a 3 hour drive to the good town that i could find a better job..  so we are trying to save up to leave this town so one my DH could be home for 6 mos plus i could find a job.. but its taking some time to save that money to move this family.. and no the CO he works for will not pay for moving.. i wish they would by they don't..  sorry it was so long.. and not about the pres. but i was saying for moms like me that face this its hard to get back into the work place.. so im one of the moms he might be talking about.. 

143myboys9496
by Gold Member on Nov. 6, 2014 at 12:10 AM

I worked, part-time, and around dh's schedule. As a nurse, I work shifts so I was able to work around dh, by working off shift (evenings and nights) and weekends. 

I stayed working for many reasons, primarily it was money. It didn't make sense to put the boys in day care when I needed day for my weekend and holiday shifts (dh worked weekends, I worked around his hours, he had a holiday req. too)when there was no daycare. So I cut my hours to 24, worked 2 12hr shifts a week, and worked around dh's schedule. 

About 8 years ago, I went back up to 36 hours. Still, primarily weekends. Now that they're grown, (20 and 18), I only work 1 weekend a month, mostly week days, still overnights, still 12 hour shfits.

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