Are all working mums superwomen?

There was a survey done recently which said 70% of office working mums feel guilty about the fact that they leave their children in the care of somebody else. Is this a natural emotion? If it is natural then surely going out to work whilst having children under two is not really that natural. Can I even say that out loud without the feminist lobby ganging up on me and accusing me of setting back the feminist movement?
The society we live in, in Britain 2010, it is actually considered rare or unusual when a woman chooses to be a stay at home mum otherwise known as a ‘SAHM’. It’s now considered the norm to have a job and raise a young family at the same time. Even if you can afford to stay at home and survive on one income it is still expected that a women will go out and work anyway, perhaps part-time. How did it become this way? Sure financial pressures and risk of unemployment play the biggest part in this- majority of women with a child under two will work so that all the bills can be paid and to enjoy the level of financial stability they had before having children. But some women also work because they like working and would go stir crazy being at home twenty-four hours a day, which is perfectly reasonable in it’s own right. Being a mother of two young children that’s something I can understand. Women are under a lot of social pressure to be able to juggle their career and children. How these women do it, fascinates me. They are superwomen in my eyes but as it is so commonplace now, can all these women be superwomen?
Society has laid out a persona, a model of what a modern day women should be like-and this is how it goes. She should have a good job, raise children, be a good wife and ofcourse look immaculate whilst doing it all. The pressure that women are under is slightly absurd. I myself have in the past felt slightly embarrassed when a working mum asks me, what do you do? I say ‘I’m not working right now as I’ve got two small children’. Why do I have to say that? Why can I not just say ‘I’m a full time mom, full-stop’ Without giving a justification about how my daughter is a handful and I possibly couldn’t cope with a job and that I don’t have adequate childcare and when they’re at school I will get a job. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not rich, but am fortunate enough to stay at home for now. And the truth of the matter is, I do plan to work but just not yet, and definitely not full time. I just feel slightly disturbed from the expectations that are put on the 21st century mothers these days. When did staying at home and devoting all your time to you children, become a less favourable option?

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2 thoughts on “Are all working mums superwomen?

  1. I am really glad you have the courage to write about this issue.

    As someone who has only recently given up work, I have to say that I am absolutely relieved to have been given the opportunity to become a stay at home mum. I love my life; but that's probably because I have never been as passionate as some people about my 'career'. For me, watching my mother be a 'SAHM' as you call it, has always been the most attractive option, and I've always wanted to do it as far back as I can remember. I love playing with my baby, and developing my own character along with hers. The best thing is that I don't have to wait for my monthly pay cheque to be rewarded for my work, or for my quarterly appraisal to be told how well I am doing, or not as the case may be.

    Having worked in Early Years for a brief period before having my daughter, I have to say I learned a lot. Call me old-fashion but I think there was and still is a lot of wisdom in staying at home and raising your child the way you feel is best for him/her. For me, these days, school is merely glorified childcare, and none teaches a child better than a parent or guardian (I include grand-parents into this.) A child character formation takes place between 0-3, which including morals, manners, ethics, and religion – and if you miss out on those years, due to whatever reason, you've lost out on a hell of a lot.

    I agree that those women who work due to financial difficulties should definitely be congratulated; for being able to juggle a career and raise a young family (and especially so if they have demanding children), but in my opinion, mothers who work out of boredom really need to ask themselves why they chose to have children in the first place? Was it social pressure? Was it because of the biological clocking ticking away? But one thing I really think people should consider is the detrimental effect of staying away from young children and babies during the early years. There are so many more activities available nowadays for parents and children, and people should make the most of those opportunities.

    I personally think you are doing a great job with your family, and you have very intelligent children. That may have something to do with the fact that you are home – or perhaps not – but I think it does. It is great if you decide you want to go back to work some day, but in the mean time just make the most of what you are doing right now, because this time won't come back.

    It's time people started congratulating women who have decided to sacrifice their own 'boredom' for the sake of their children, because it is hard work keeping it together with children (no matter how many you have!) and it is the biggest career you will ever have. After all, you are nurturing the great minds that will lead tomorrow; just like your parent's did for you, and that's why you have been able to articulate yourself with such insight through your blog. So to summarise – Well done you! x

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  2. Well can I just say a big thank you for your compliments and feedback.
    I was a bit hesitant writing this as I have many friends and family members who are working mums and did not want to offend any in the slightest, and I hope that I haven't. I truly admire those who are able to work and raise small children, but personally it's not for me and I thank god I have the option to choose.

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