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Hot Topic (3/30): 'Mommy Wars' - Is staying home with kids bad for women?

 As reported by a few years back:

"An alarming number of college-educated women are leaving the work force to stay at home and raise their children, a trend that is a tragedy not only for the mothers, but ultimately their children and women as a whole.  So said law professor and working mom Linda Hirshman in a 2005 article for American Prospect magazine that has ignited an intense debate among mothers." 

* * *

Do you agree with Linda Hirshman that staying home with children is a "tragedy" for mothers and their children?

Do you feel like you have to choose between your career and your children? 

Do you judge other mothers who make choices different from your own? 

Is it possible for women to "have it all"? 


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by on Mar. 30, 2009 at 1:31 AM
Replies (61-67):
by Bronze Member on Mar. 30, 2009 at 11:37 PM


Census figures show 54 percent of mothers with a graduate or professional degree no longer work full time. In 2003 and 2004 Hirshman interviewed about 30 women whose wedding announcements had appeared in The New York Times in 1996 and who had had children. Five of the women were working full time, and 10 were working part time. The rest were not working at all.

I just copied this from the article.  Could you imagine what the unemployment rate would be if all of these women where in the work force? 

by on Mar. 31, 2009 at 1:59 AM

 No, it is in no way a tragedy.

Don't have to choose between my career and my kids, have no career and it would be no contest.

I never judge anyone for being different.


by New Member on Mar. 31, 2009 at 8:20 AM

Some women are better moms being home and some are better moms working.  There is no right way to chose everyone is different and everyones families are different.  I've been a sahm for 10 years and I know lots of women who sah who should really being working and vice versa.  I think u can have it all but let's not fool our selves somewhere along the line there will be much sacrifice whether it be sacrifices our children make or sacrifices that we make.  I am now looking for a job I am a college graduate and had a great career before I had my first child, but I must say I struggle with going back to be a "career woman" or just getting something part time.  I wish I could be a "career woman" and still be there for my children the way I am used to but I know I cannot do both so I've decided that a part time job would be best for me and my family.  Women should stop criticizing each others choices and start respecting them.  If your going to be miserable as a sahm then you would be a better mom going to work.  This person made a blanket statement and unfortunately things are not black and white!

by New Member on Mar. 31, 2009 at 8:26 AM

WELL SAID!!!  I'm glad u are where u want to b now. 

Quoting JJTaylor:

Let tell you a little story:

Once upon a time I was the gal that was just married to the greatest guy and we knew someday we would have a family, we were married for almost 5 years before we were surprised with our pregnancy with our daughter Sierra.  Before giving birth; I just knew w/o a shadow of a doubt I would and could be the mommy that was going to juggle it all and do it without any problems or worries.  I had myself convinced I would have no issues with leaving my child at a daycare and honestly was even that person looking through the window thinking "how hard can all this really be!?" HA HA HA HA!!!!  When Sierra was placed into my arms things changed, my life shifted and my love and protective instincts changed and I started to worry about leaving or letting her out of my sight.  3 months later, it was time to go back to work, I had just stepped onto the worse emotional roller coaster I had ever experienced in my life.  Hubby, wasn't yet understanding my feelings.  That month she was in daycare I spent every lunch hour with my new baby... every single day, I lost some weight because I wouldn't eat, instead opting to visit and hold my child instead.

That first month past, hubby's company had a major lay off, and he was one of the "lucky" ones... got laid off.  So, he took over being Mr. Mom; and we chose to attempt to make things better for us, he went back to college, I was working more then 40 hours a week; I was sick.  I was grateful that my husband/daddy was able to have that time with our child instead of a stranger.  We devoted our time to our child and worked hard around both our schedules.  2.5 years later he graduated, the job market was starting to slow down greatly.  I still had to work, and I was really laying my own self guilt daily onto myself.  My daughter was starting to talk and would call my work place "mommy's home" that was what sent me over the edge! 

4 years later, my husband found his dream job, I was able to take time off and I have been a SAHM for just over 2 years now.  Being a SAHM was never something I imagined myself doing, however, I must admit that it's not only the most difficult job of my life, but the most rewarding job as well.  Given that hubby had so much time with our daughter during those 4 years he also changed his perspective with regards to leaving her with strangers... She is almost finished with Kindergarten, she will go to full time Monday - Fridays next Fall for 1st grade, I may try to get a part time job during her school time. 

I was a lady that had always worked, I have been working in some form since I was 14 years old, I picked my fare share of berries, flower bulbs, and eventually when I got a little older I started working at the local grocers and so on.  It took some time to get use to not working, but, I know for me this was the best thing I ever did for myself and my family. 

I think being a parent and mother is the hardest job there is, regardless if you are working outside the home or not we all still mentally question our daily decisions and wonder if we chose right for us and our families!  IF we are out of the home working we question if we should be doing it and if we are home being a SAHM we question if we shouldn't be out there in the working force helping to provide for our families.  Damned if you do and damned if you don't.

This woman that wrote this is incredibly insane!  Honestly, when I read this it made me think she was pissy that she didn't think she had any options and therefore wanted to piss off or hurt other mothers because she didn't want to be alone in her pain.  I say screw her!  We all deserve a pat on the back, we are mothers and with that we hold so much of what our families are in the balances; how dare someone try to attempt to make anyone of us feel badly for making the decision that best suites our families and our lives!  Phooey on her!!!

by Member on Mar. 31, 2009 at 2:37 PM

Huh?! Staying home with my daughter is my career!

by on Mar. 31, 2009 at 2:50 PM

that women is dazed and confused.  Staying home with your kids a tragedy?  All I can say is INSANE!!!!

by Member on Mar. 31, 2009 at 3:15 PM

Thank you for restating your opinion. I'll admit, I was trying to read between the lines and understand more - to me it also came out as your a better mom than a working mom. I appreciate your clarification.

I support what a women chooses when she believes she is doing the best for her children. I also don't think all SAHMs are necessarily being the best moms and some career moms are not as well (all I can think of is the disgusting display on "Real Wifes or OC, NY, or Atlanta" LOL. It's always a tough decision to make. I also am sad that some people treat SAHMs as expendable and that they are not really  "working". Taking care of children is a HUGE job. It is the hardest job I have ever done, but it is the most rewarding. At the end of my day on my commute home, I can't wait to see my daughter and play with her.

We all have difficult choices to make in life and I think we should each respect that.

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