06
Aug
08

On air: Should women stay at home after all?

Tom is our presenter today, and has written this:

Yup, it’s a man who is writing this. But before you say, hah typical, read this.

A study by Cambridge University has found that increasing numbers of men and women believe working Mums are having a negative impact on family life. The suggestion is career and family can’t co-exist. Kids suffer. What do opinions like that mean for women’s rights … was gender equality just a flash in the pan?

Plenty of strong opinions on the BBC’s Have Your Say site.

Or why turn the question on its head: Isn’t it about time men started staying at home? And doing their fair share around the house … in Italy men spend on average an hour a day on household chores, a woman in full-time employment spends 6 hours a day doing housework.

Look at Scandinavia. Women there seem to manage both career and children. Don’t they? According to this article, it’s not the generous welfare handouts, but gender equality that makes this possible. Women can combine jobs and kids, because the men are pitching in.

Tom


157 Responses to “On air: Should women stay at home after all?”


  1. 1 Asad_Babyl
    August 6, 2008 at 14:19

    We cannot ignore innate differences between the genders. Women are born the with mindset of mother while fathers are not. However depending on the socioeconomic circumstances in which the woman finds herself, she may choose to stay at home or not.

    Personally, I always like to see women be independent and I would never date, much less marry a woman who is not. Women are human beings just like men and are therefore entitled to the same priviliges and rights but also to the same RESPONCIBILITIES.

  2. 2 Dennis
    August 6, 2008 at 14:25

    I think that a women, doesn’t have to stay at home after all.

  3. 3 Arnaud Ntirenganya Emmanuel
    August 6, 2008 at 14:44

    Hello Tom,
    I want to believe that this practiced about 90% in Africa where women even those who are employed close from work with their head in the air just heading at home to rescue the situation while men head at drinking places.

  4. 4 Melanie Chassen
    August 6, 2008 at 14:44

    This will definitely be a touchy subject. Whether a woman (or a man for that matter) stays at home with their children instead of pursuing a career is simply a parenting choice. I think we are all probably a little biased based on our own upbringings. My Mom stayed at home – not because she wasn’t interested in a career (she was part of a successful advertising company) but because there were several factors in our household so it just made more sense. And my Mom was happy to do it. The question is, did I benefit from my Mom being at home? Sure I did. But I don’t think this argument should be about choosing one side or the other. There is a middle ground. I envision having children of my own one day. And I would like to achieve a balance between raising my kids and my work. Maybe it means working part time or from home until they’re old enough to go to school. Or maybe the man I marry will be the one to work out of the house while I continue to work full time. In this situation, you can have it both ways.

  5. August 6, 2008 at 14:44

    Well, I don’t think there is a bad effect on a child if the mum works. Take my case, without my mum around me 24/7, I feel myself more independent and more responsible than my schoolmates!!

  6. 6 Angela in Washington D.C.
    August 6, 2008 at 14:52

    I think women should have a choice whether to work or stay at home. Some women have to work and others do not. Women that stay at home are usually sacrificing financially to stay at home. While women that work are sacrificing time with their kids to work. There are women that work and are able to still raise their children and some men are staying at home, while their wife works. I personally would rather stay at home while my kids are young. I realize that I would suffer professionally but that is a risk I would gladly take.

    Additionally, women must realize that there may be differences in pay if you work and have kids. A man may make more money and should if he can performs a better job than the women and is available more than the women is able to be avaialable.

  7. August 6, 2008 at 14:55

    I think it is time for men to stop thinking that this is a society in which women have to be submissive to the men. If a woman wants to work, then she should be allowed to do so.

  8. 8 steve
    August 6, 2008 at 15:00

    As Steve Martin said in Parenthood, “women have choices, men have responsibilities.” Not suggesting that staying home and raising kids isn’t a responsibility, but in all honestly, how many men have the option of not working? I know if I don’t work, I’m homeless. Nobody is going to provide for me.

  9. 9 Arnaud Ntirenganya Emmanuel
    August 6, 2008 at 15:01

    Hello Tom,
    Women who exercise liberty out of their home are seen as harlots, while to see men who stay at home and help their wives (families) here in Africa it’s very hard except those with western ideology (lived there).

  10. 10 parth guragain
    August 6, 2008 at 15:03

    here in Nepal men expect women to stay at home.women are treated as slaves in rural area of Nepal.if the society is to progress rapidly women should look beyond their four walls of house.

  11. 11 Melanie Chassen
    August 6, 2008 at 15:06

    Assuming that parenting is a partnership and that the parents are sharing finances with each other (which they would probably do) the man has just as much of an option as the women of not working. There’s nothing wrong with the woman being the primary breadwinner in a family and the man staying home to raise the children. It’s no different than if the woman stayed at home – it’s simply just not what society is used to.

  12. 12 nelsoni
    August 6, 2008 at 15:18

    Strike a balance, motherhood and career will go hand in hand without conflict of interest.

  13. 13 Robert
    August 6, 2008 at 15:19

    I don’t believewomen should stay at home but I do believe that a parent should be at home until the child is school aged at least, and perhaps even 10. Whether that’s the Dad or the Mother or both alternating depends on the family situation.

  14. August 6, 2008 at 15:23

    I’m not a fan of both parents working and pawning the child off on daycare providers, friends or relatives. At the same token, I wouldn’t expect my wife (if I were to get married) to be the one to stay home. We could weigh the pros and cons, who makes more money to provide for the family, and if she can provide better than I, I would be happy to stay at home with my child / children.

  15. 15 Melanie Chassen
    August 6, 2008 at 15:26

    @ Brett,

    Well put. My sentiments exactly.

  16. 16 Nick in USA
    August 6, 2008 at 15:29

    What a hornet’s nest of a title that is. I think the real question is: Does one parent need to stay home with the children, in order to raise them properly? To this, I would answer, yes. As Melanie noted, marriage is a partnership. Does it really need to be mum who stays home? Why not dad? If mum has a better career, then it should be dad.

  17. 17 Robert Evans
    August 6, 2008 at 15:32

    Rob I agree with you that the children should have someone looking after them. Although I think if the mother is in a an important job then it should be her husband who looks after the children. Although nowerdays both parents have to work because they both have important jobs. This means that the grandparents of the children if in good physical and mental health. This situation happened when I was younger because both of my parents had jobs.

  18. 18 gary
    August 6, 2008 at 15:32

    No doubt about it, children fare better in the care of someone who has vested interest in their future happiness. While it doesn’t need to be a loving mom or dad, good results occur if it is, and better if this responsibility is equally shared. Best results happen if the society understands its intersts are served by meeting the needs and facilitating the accomplishments of every citizen, including those who wear nappies.
    g

  19. 19 Asad_Babyl
    August 6, 2008 at 15:36

    I thought all of you decided not to have any more kids because the sky is getting polluted and is in grave danger of falling?

  20. August 6, 2008 at 15:40

    My wife is the main bread winner. I work and have a tiny pension. We have an 11 year old son. Does very well in school. Is a loving and good boy, happy as a lark.

    The important thing is we always enjoyed him. He knows he is loved and valued above all else. He is very affectionate.

    We also live in a great area by the sea. There are no bad peer influences upon our son, such as gangs, and or just aggressive people.

    Worse is welfare state, where mothers get pregnant out of wedlock, and have men stop by for their share of welfare money, and the single mother has multiple children by different fathers. Mother is stay at home, but there is no solid character instilling going on, usually in slum areas or project housing set up for the poor.

    Kids really do need two parents, male and female to raise with good intent, love and observe their folks being, honest, fair, helpful and generally good.

    troop on Oregon coast

  21. 21 Julie P
    August 6, 2008 at 15:42

    This is a decision that is made by two people in a committed marriage, if either partner decides to stay and take care of the child or children, then that is their decision, along with if parents decide to work our of the home. In either case both parents are still responsible from welfare of the child or children regardless of the decision.

  22. 22 Angela in Washington D.C.
    August 6, 2008 at 15:45

    I have met several men that would not marry a women if she didn’t work, even if they had children. They thought that a woman that stayed home was selfish. It used to be normal for a woman to stay at home while the man worked. I wonder why people think that philosophy should or can no longer apply.

  23. August 6, 2008 at 15:45

    The trouble is that this question is proximal, but not related to the problem at hand. Since WWII we have went from accepting women in the work place, to expecting them. Today in the US you have to have 2 incomes to get by. This creates a situation where children are being raised by various unreliable sources. That in turn leads to unreliable adults. For the best results to the benefit of the community, a child needs one parent at home. The only matter of which gender is which one is best suited for it. However, to do that would mean a drastic economical structure change where one income would be enough.

    To be honest, the father not being home is only existed as a common family structure for less then 120 years.

  24. 24 Melanie Chassen
    August 6, 2008 at 15:49

    @ Asad

    Do we really want to open that can of worms again? ;) haha…

  25. August 6, 2008 at 15:50

    It’s an ideal that women should stay at home to take care of their children, but this can’t be possible without a price as they are going to be denied the opportunities they can get through work. Today it is becoming increasing rare for a woman in a developed country to be financially dependent on her husband. In developing countries, many male workers and civil servants who have a low income prefer to marry a working woman to cover financial needs.

    The other changes concerning women is that a lot of them are now single mothers. It will be impossible for many of them to stay at home, as they need a job to take care of their children.

    It’s up to women to choose which is best for them, to be full-time mothers or part-time workers to come to terms with the financial needs to raise a family.

  26. 26 Nick in USA
    August 6, 2008 at 15:51

    @ Parth

    Put frankly, that is quite appalling. Perhaps the situation will change now that Nepal is a republic.

  27. 27 Drake Weideman
    August 6, 2008 at 15:51

    I think an important point is, that like everything in life, the more time, energy, effort and attention invested in something (in this case, children), the better the end result. For a society to be stong and prosper long term, its children should be very carefully nourished & cared for…treasured, as they are the future.
    I believe that each child deserves a lot of time invested and for that to happen, someone should be at home with the child…whether it is the mother or the father should be up to the individual family situation (I don’t believe in ‘one size fits all’ solutions).
    I believe that many children brought up in homes with working parents are very successful, but I also think that the odds for their success greatly increase with a caring, attentive parent present.
    If, due to money or life circumstances, a parent will not be able to stay at home with a child, then a LOT of thought should go into whether that family should have a child.

  28. 28 Julie P
    August 6, 2008 at 15:53

    @Angela,

    Women have been holding down paying jobs outside of the home for a very long time. I have documentation going three generations back of this on my mother’s side of the family. In fact, my mother’s mother was the breadwinner in the family.

  29. 29 jcheburet2002
    August 6, 2008 at 15:57

    Nowadays, there is little attention given to children by parents because the parents are busy ‘working’.
    On one hand, a wife can stay home and take care of the home and children. On the other, the cost of living is so high that the man being the sole bread-winner is a daunting task.
    So, for me, this an issue that should be handled at the domestic level by the spouses. They can sort it out through consensus.
    My wife has a full time job like me. I appreciate her contribution, particularly when things are tough.

  30. 30 Angela in Washington D.C.
    August 6, 2008 at 16:02

    @Asad

    That was hilarious, but true

  31. 31 Melanie Chassen
    August 6, 2008 at 16:02

    @ jcheburet2002

    I would just like to point out that your comment that “nowadays, there is little attention given to children by parents because the parents are busy working” is (in my opinion) a misunderstood generalization. It IS possible to be a working parent and still be able to be attentive to your children. It’s unfortunate that the generalization given to working parents is that their children automatically suffer. That is not always the case. There is a middle ground here (I mentioned in an earlier post the possibility of a parent working from home/part time until the child is old enough to be in school during the day).

  32. 32 John in Salem
    August 6, 2008 at 16:02

    The heart of the question is about choices and consequences. Things like gender equality and equal rights are great concepts but they are NOT free.
    If you choose to have children then THEY are the top priority in your life, and if you have made that choice without thinking it through or using only the logic of, “it’s my right”, or, “everyone else manages to do it”, then it’s your children who will pay the price.
    Yes, men need to accept more responsibility for maintaining the home, and yes, it’s near impossible to raise a family on one income, but those are not simply realities that have to be accepted – they are factors that have to be considered when making the choice to have a family.
    And if you can’t imagine what your answer might be in 10 years when someone asks you, “What were you thinking?”, then you’re not ready to make that choice.

  33. 33 Angela in Washington D.C.
    August 6, 2008 at 16:06

    @Julie P

    I realize that some women did work. A majority of women did not work in the early 1900′s. The women in my family worked also but they worked because they had to work. Although I think my grandmother just wanted her own money because my grandfather was cheap. Most of my relatives think I am stupid for wanting to stay at home when I have kids, if I am able to. I am truthful to myself and to the people I date. Most of the people I have dated would never want to stay at home but they would perfer their wife to stay at home when they had kids.

  34. 34 Vijay Srao
    August 6, 2008 at 16:07

    Isn’t that why there is maternity leave?
    The more generous the maternity leave and the better the child care provision is the more civilsed a country is ,look at the Scandanavian countries.
    Yes men and women should be able to have it all ,have a fulfilling job and enjoy time with their families.

  35. 35 jamily5
    August 6, 2008 at 16:14

    @troop,
    Wow! too many stereotypical comments to address.
    I would and have stayed home nourturing my children.
    I saw it as my responsibility.
    And, I gladly sacrificed for it.
    Children need to be raised by family and not child care workers.
    It is important that if the woman works, (as so many have pointed out for economic reasons) that she make time to bond with her children.
    Yes, this is also true for the father.
    But, I felt that it was paternally optional, but maternally necessary.
    Just because I have the right to do something does not mean that it is good for me and/or my family.
    Why would we be setting ourselves back a century (or so) if women stayed at home?
    Staying at home, caring for children, does not equal work that should be less valued.In fact, the idea that women would be turning the clock back by staying home is a bit offensive and I feel quite backward.
    it suggests that child rearing is unpleasant and undesired by most women and it puts more value on “out of home work.”
    The well being of the children should come before any career decision and should be discussed way before children are conceived.

  36. 36 Melanie Chassen
    August 6, 2008 at 16:16

    @ John in Salem

    Very well put. If people make the choice to have children, they should accept the responsibility of raising them. Unfortunately, people don’t all have the same viewpoints about how children should be raised. But that is a whole other argument….

  37. 37 Nick in USA
    August 6, 2008 at 16:17

    Has the cost of living really changed that much, since the times when a man could be the sole bread winner? Why has it changed? I agree, it is nearly impossible for the average 28 year old man to earn an adequate income to cover the costs of his wife and 2 children. I had enough trouble covering the costs of my wife and myself. The bloated housing market certainly doesn’t help the situation either. Are we just living beyond our means and expecting too much, or is simple survival actually more difficult now?

    @ Asad

    Did anyone claim the sky was falling?

  38. 38 Angela in Washington D.C.
    August 6, 2008 at 16:19

    @Julie P

    I just wanted to say that I agree with your earlier post. The decision to stay at home or not resides with the couple but they are both responsible for the welfare of the child.

    My uncles and father were the bread winners. They took some responsibility with the children but it was ultimately the woman’s responsibility.

  39. 39 Julie P
    August 6, 2008 at 16:20

    @Angla,

    I will sppeak for myself, I come from a working and/or middle class background, women from those backgrounds have traditionally worked outside of the home. I believe that what is taking place with women working outside of the home is a class issue.

    If you want to be a stay at home parent, and it is agreed to between you and your spouse, then that is your decision. However, I have had the same experience as you have; the men I meet want a woman who holds down a paying job outside of the home. Many have stated it is a waste of a woman’s mind not to.

  40. 40 Robert
    August 6, 2008 at 16:23

    Vijay

    Maternity leave is less than a year. Paternity leave is 2 weeks. What do the family do for the remaining 4 1/2 years before school starts is the question? Would you suggest that companies keep women on paid leave for possible a decade to have a family (say three or four kids) ? I could imagine last night guest having a few choice words about that.

  41. 41 jamily5
    August 6, 2008 at 16:24

    @Vijay,
    No, people can’t always “have it all.”
    In every situation there are good and bad consequences.
    Sacrifice is part of parenthood and why not?
    Do we just want things so easy that we can always do what we want all of the time and think that things are fine?
    When we have children, someone will have to take a significant amount of time out of their days to raise them — far past maternity leave.
    The parents must decide if they want to raise their own children or have someone else do it for them.
    Then, they will need to take the consequences of their actions.
    If I choose to stay at home with my children, then I can’t complain about my decision.
    Similarly, if I choose to give my time and energy to my career instead of my children, then, I can’t complain when my children are more independent than I believe necessary or when they bond to other individuals.

  42. 42 Anthony
    August 6, 2008 at 16:26

    Should the woman stay home? Of course, how else are pies going to be made and dishes aren’t going to clean themselves. I mean, whats next, they’ll start reading, then get opinions!?!?!?

    The truth is, the U.S. system is set up so that if you want to live comfortably, a family will need a second form of income. I envy the past when you could support your family off of a minimum wage income, but it’s all been changed.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  43. 43 sushil
    August 6, 2008 at 16:26

    that is the narrow concept
    but
    widely practical

    sushil bhatta
    nepal

  44. 44 steve
    August 6, 2008 at 16:27

    @ Angela

    Lot of men don’t like dealing with golddiggers. It’s no fun to be a walking ATM machine. Where I live, there plenty of women driving around in BMWs, that have no kids, that don’t work at all. These men are funding those lifestyles and then will have a HUGE alimony payment when they ultimately get divorced. By providing for a woman, you open yourself to financial hell in divorce.

  45. 45 Angela in Washington D.C.
    August 6, 2008 at 16:29

    @Dwight

    You stated “the father not being home is only existed as a common family structure for less then 120 years.”

    What exactly do you mean by that? Men generally worked and women generally stayed at home with the kids going back hundreds of years.

  46. August 6, 2008 at 16:32

    @ Asad

    Did anyone claim the sky was falling?

    Chicken Little? Maybe he has that mixed up with WHYS? *shrugs*

    Let him take things to the extreme, its amusing :)

  47. 47 sushil
    August 6, 2008 at 16:35

    that is the narrow concept
    but
    widely practical $ used

    sushil bhatta
    nepal

  48. 48 Asad_Babyl
    August 6, 2008 at 16:39

    No one is adressing my very reasonable post way up top. I guess that’s because we’re pretty much on the same page when it comes to upholding women’s freedoms, but also lament frequent economic and social obstactles preventing them from spending more time with the kids.

  49. 49 steve
    August 6, 2008 at 16:39

    @ Angela

    “What exactly do you mean by that? Men generally worked and women generally stayed at home with the kids going back hundreds of years.”

    Hundreds of years ago, pretty much the majority of jobs were just producing enough food so you didn’t starve. They didn’t have office jobs really back then, so you didn’t have a commute or go very far away. Boys would normally help their dads out in the farmyards. Girls would help too, as well as learn domestic duties. Remember, it wasn’t really possible to travel that far from home back in those days because the fastest method was by horse.

  50. 50 jamily5
    August 6, 2008 at 16:40

    Again,
    Somehow women staying at home is seen as backward or not fulfilling her full potential.
    Why is that?
    Do I need to have a career to be validated as a woman?
    Do I need to act just as career-oriented men do, to be taken seriously?
    I guarantee you that raising children teaches you lots about people and activity management.
    And, a good mother is always using her brain to teach the children and get everything done that is her work.
    Why is raising children looked down upon?
    My sister is a fulltime nurse and her husband stays at home with the children.
    They have done this for at least 7years and she is quite successful. She pulls in the bucks.
    Raising children and housework bores her.
    She is not very maternal.
    So, it works for them.
    So, how many of you see this position for a man worthy?
    Would you, as a man, find it immasculating?

  51. 51 steve
    August 6, 2008 at 16:44

    @ jamily

    I think the point is you can’t have both. You can’t both be a CEO and be a mother if you want mentally balanced and happy children. You have to pick one or the other. Kind of like how I can’t pick to not work or I will wind up on the streets. Life isn’t all fun and games and you can’t have the dream life, because it’s only a dream.

  52. August 6, 2008 at 16:49

    Hi gang ! ;-)… Men in general are not as good child care providers as women are, especially if the children were in the infancy and the early childhood period…To me the most adorable and lovely noise in this world is the noise of an infant crying, while (and I am talking from a personal experience here ), many men cannot stand such a noise for a long period of time… With my love… Yours forever, Lubna…

  53. 53 jamily5
    August 6, 2008 at 16:49

    @Steve,
    But, that is precisely what I am saying to Vijay.
    Yet, it does seem that in some posts, here, that mothering is not seen as a “real job,” which requires much mental capacity to do it.
    We are sacrificing one career for another.
    Somehow parenting (mothering) has been portrayed as an “easy” and “mindless” profession which is devalued.
    If my husband was the bread winner and I stayed at home, I would want both of us to see it as an equitable partnership.

  54. 54 Vijay Srao
    August 6, 2008 at 16:50

    On August 6th 1945 in Hiroshima when the Enola Gay dropped Little Boy,did it make a difference whether women were at work or at home with their kids?
    @Robert @jamily5
    Last nights female guest was a bit of a witch.
    There are countries which provide pre-natal, post natal ,nursery/KG care for their citizens .It all depends how you want to spend your tax dollars where does you society put its emphasis.Americans pay federal ,state and local taxes and do not get much for their money and their priorities are squewed.

    @

  55. 55 Melanie Chassen
    August 6, 2008 at 16:50

    @ Steve

    When you say that you can’t have both (be a CEO and a parent) are you referring to single parent families? I think it is very possible to have an extremely successful career and be a great parent, but you need the support from your spouse/partner to fill in the gaps for each other. In single parent families achieving both these things would be much more difficult.

  56. 56 1430a
    August 6, 2008 at 16:52

    hello everyone
    Quite a controversal topic.
    i think human beings are built according their requrements.Therefore there are some works which women are not capable to do(heavy works) because they are not built with the substance provided to that particular work.but yes there should be equality between both the sexes especially when the work can be done by both.the problem with equal pay between men and women is an existing problem in the mordern world.

    thankyou

  57. 57 steve
    August 6, 2008 at 16:54

    @ Melanie

    Well, if you were wealthy, you could just hire a nanny, and both parents could work. But then you’ll have distant children, it’s not in their best interest, and given that the vast vast majority of men work and are expected to work and not be stay at home fathers, a woman can’t both be a CEO and raise kids at the same time. she would need someone else to do it like a nanny, and that’s not really good for kids, unless you want your kids to be strangers and never feel very close to you. So again, you either can be a parent or a CEO, but not both. Passing your kids off to a nanny isn’t “parenting”. It’s delegating the job to someone else.

  58. 58 Jens
    August 6, 2008 at 16:55

    is this a seriouse question?

    of course women should stay at home prefereably chained to the stove and out of the reach of the remote control, so that they cannot watch/listen any TV/radio or read newspapers giving them ideas of developing their own thoughts and actions.

    is this a seriouse question?

  59. 59 Jens
    August 6, 2008 at 16:57

    Vijay,

    look how little americans pay in tax compared to other countries with better socail networks, like norway, sweden and even switzerland.

    as usual you get what you pay for, except for the UK where pay for what you have voted for, a bunch of buerocrats that line their and their mates pockets.

  60. 60 Angela in Washington D.C.
    August 6, 2008 at 16:57

    @Steve

    People have to be very careful with the people they marry. Most of my friends would want to work when they have kids because they don’t want to be a typical stay at home mom. I would love to stay home if I have kids but I would never dream of being married and not working, with no kids.

    You always discuss these golddiggers but the men get with these women. You do not seem like the type of individual that would ever deal with a woman like that, so you don’t have to worry about it. I know several men that are with real golddiggers but they get into the situation and love it while things are going well. When the relationship turns sour, they become digusted with the women. I know this guy who is dating this girl and when she met him she said that she only dated athletes or people involved in illicit activities. She is about to have a kid by this man, who plays professional football. She is a true gold digger but he doesn’t care or can’t see it. I don’t know whether to feel sorry for him or not because she is definitely going to take him to the bank and she has said it to people around him. However when people tell him these things, he thinks they are lying. In a situation like that the man is responsible for what he gets. I do not think you resemble this person.

  61. 61 Melanie Chassen
    August 6, 2008 at 16:58

    @ Steve,

    True, A mother or father can’t be a CEO and raise their children at the same time. But a PARENT can (assuming here that there is a partnership). If the parents cover for each other, there is no need for a nanny, and the parents can still have very successful careers.

  62. 62 Melanie Chassen
    August 6, 2008 at 16:59

    @ Jens,

    I agree… I think the question would have been more effective if phrased “does a parent need to stay at home in order for children to be properly raised?” This does not apply to women alone.

  63. 63 Dictatore Generale Max Maximilian Maximus I
    August 6, 2008 at 17:06

    Q: Should women stay at home after all?

    Preferably yes! If one looks at Nature it is the female which does the mothering or most of the mothering. In some species both the male & the female share the responsibility of feeding & protecting the offspring.

    For humans and in our current state of thinking and being the concept of a ‘house husband’ is okay too!

    The KEY point is: Is the welfare of the kid(s) paramount in the minds of the parent(s)? OR is the lifestyle, ‘parent(s) right’ to pursue a career, etc. more important?

    Based on my personal observation homes which have a stay at home mother have (by and large) kids who are:
    >better behaved,
    >more focused on studies,
    >emotionally more healthy,
    >less alienated etc. etc.

    This is what I have observed regardless of race, nationality, religion etc. However, it IS a broad generalisation and is NOT true for ALL cases.

    In traditional societies like India the man is looked upon as the bread winner and usually is. In such societies the issue of women staying at home becomes more pertinent when the society DOES NOT have 100% or close to 100% employment for the males (leave aside the question of 100% employment for all the adults)!

    Situation also varies from country to country in terms of the population. For example, Singapore has a total population of about 3 million plus (not counting the foreigners working here). As such I see that many or most households have a working mother and father. If this wasn’t happening there wouldn’t be enough Singaporeans to fill in the available jobs. The unemployment rate in Singapore is very very low!

    As usual and like most issues it is a very complex issue with elements of feminism, rights, and needs of the society/the country, ideal environment for the kids and so on.

  64. 64 steve
    August 6, 2008 at 17:06

    @ Angela

    Sure, in some cases, if it’s painfully clear she’s a golddigger, then yes, he sort of deserves what he gets. But I know plenty of guys who got married to women with successful, good paying jobs, and soon after marriage, they decide to quit or work part time, meaning he’s supporting her (even with no kids) and if/when she divorces him, the courts take the lifestyle he provided into account in the alimony, despite her ability to work and make her own money. If you elevate a woman’s standard of living, the courts will punish you for it.

    I feel very bad for this one friend of mine who married a foreign woman. He doesn’t make much money, has a government job, but his wife is pestering him to get a higher paying job. She was a lawyer, but quit to be a teacher (hence the gender pay gap myth), she works only a little bit. My friend is going to wind up getting a job he hates, having a kid, and getting divorced and having to pay alimony to a woman who comes from a wealthy family.. She pressures him very much to work in fields he won’t like just to get a bigger paycheck. When he married her, SHE was a lawyer.

  65. 65 Angela in Washington D.C.
    August 6, 2008 at 17:07

    @Melanie

    I realize that some woman can have a good career and be a good mother. Many times the job or the career will suffer. I do not think you can have a hugely successful career and spend the quality time you need to spend with your children, in most jobs. My auntie worked part time while her children were young and then started working full time when they were in high school. She has had a very successful career but she had her kids young and my uncle was the bread winner and still is.

  66. August 6, 2008 at 17:08

    Before World 2 which started in 1939 it was an accepted fact that women stayed at home and men went to work. Men generally were employed in nearly all industries wether it was TV, radio, factories, managing offices and the like. The war took men away from their work places and women were needed to fill their places, especially in armanents factories and other instituitions. Accordingly more women went to work and from then on it was an accepted fact that both men and women worked so that the income became two fold, hence they could more afford to meet household expences, as a result families moved into better houses and afforded a better standard of life. That was all very well, as a consequence women were more independant met other men and the opposite is true, from then on more and more devorces resulted with children living with one parent. However a successful marriage is when a man is working and meeting all expences whilst his wife is content in staying home with the children which is not often today. On the other hand if a man is not working and his wife is, so that she alone meets all expences, the marriage is doomed to failure and heads for devorce. Wether you agree or not this is generally a fact in life.
    To make another point in Scandinavian countries where a woman stays at home doing the usual chores and men work, for some reason or other, men usually tend to be too affecionate with their children and in many ways mother their children so that his wife gets psycologically depressed and feels not needed, Scandinavian men are pitching in much to much without knowing it.
    Where as before the World War, few devorces resulted. We called this ‘PROGRESS’.

  67. 67 jamily5
    August 6, 2008 at 17:09

    @melanie,
    The problem is that in most cases, a parent can’t always be home.
    For most careers to blossom, people usually have to put more than the 8hour day in.
    a mother and a father can’t both be CEOs of a company and raise their children.
    There is just not enough time.
    And, there will be times when career clashes with child responsibilities.
    If you choose career, then you are putting it first and distancing your children.
    If you choose children, then, you are, in effect not putting the effort needed into climbing the ladder.
    Parenting is a job, in itself.
    There are going to be sacrifices: it is just a matter of “who” will be making them.

  68. 68 Shaun in Halifax
    August 6, 2008 at 17:11

    If the question is “SHOULD women stay at home”, then my answer is no. It is a CHOICE to be made and considered by each family.

    If the mother feels she’d rather stay home and raise her child, then more power to her. If there are nearby grandparents or immediate family that don’t mind looking after the child for a bit before/after school so the mother can work a little, that’s fine too. However we shouldn’t force a woman to stay home. That’s just plain silly.

    And on the topics of stay-at-home dads. It’s not called “Playing Mommy” or “Mister Nanny” it’s called “Being a Father.”

  69. 69 jamily5
    August 6, 2008 at 17:14

    @steve & Angela,
    Sounds like your friends would have benefitted from a prenup.
    And, it does not have to be as harsh as people make it out to be.

  70. 70 Jens
    August 6, 2008 at 17:17

    Elias,
    Where do you get the idea that in scandinavian countries woman stay at home???????? thes countries are some of the most emancipated ones in the world, where equality is much more advanced than say the usa or uk.

    both men and women get time off after the birth of a child.

    you must be talking of a different scandinavia than i know

  71. 71 Melanie Chassen
    August 6, 2008 at 17:17

    @ Angela,

    I agree. I think it’s important for us all to remember that if one chooses to stay at home or not advance as far in their career because they are raising a family, this should not be viewed as a sacrifices (which has a negative connotation). Let’s be general for a minute: I’ll assume that people who have children, made the conscious decision to have them and are happy with that choice. If I were to go without a certain amount of success in my career because I was creating a balanced environment for my kids, I wouldn’t see this as a sacrifice because it’s something I would want. :)

  72. 72 Jens
    August 6, 2008 at 17:20

    Stve et al,

    the discussion of CEO of a comany and beeing a mother is futile. how many ceo’s are out there? discussion simpple jobs from working in a supermarket to working as an academic or teacher of craftswoman makes sense.

    i am very well educated and a faculty, but the position of CEO is way out of my reach. let’s say real here.

    women can have excellent chances in having a child and a career. i see it in my enviroment. it’s just a matter of how much EVERYONE is willing to participate, and yes participation also requires a sacrifice.

  73. 73 Angela in Washington D.C.
    August 6, 2008 at 17:21

    @Steve

    i remember you referred to this situation before. I think it is bad when you go into a relationship getting things out in the open. One of my friends is thinking about divorcing her husband because he wants to change careers, as well. He is an engineer but want to move back home and become a farmer. She went to school to become a teacher and after they had kids she stopped working, but he knew all of this before hand. Additionally, my friend has an inheritance that she will lose if she gets a divorce. Similar to your friends situation, she married him thinking one thing and now he changed. I think it is selfish for your friend’s wife to make her husband change jobs. Especially, since she knew what kind of job he had before she married him. That situation is difficult and hopefully they are able to resolve it. She married him for better or worse and richer or poorer, she just needs to realize that she choose to change jobs and not him. If she wants a different lifestyle, she can change jobs.

    I hope to continue the conversation but I have to go to a meeting.

  74. 74 Jonathan
    August 6, 2008 at 17:21

    I’m sure we’re all tired of me and my pronunciamentos, but I want to commend to the attention of everyone interested in this topic, or world population, demography, sociology, Europe, or really anything to do with people or lifestyle, the New York Times article cited in the intro to this page. The link is the phrase “this article,” in the last paragraph–the one that begins with “Look at Scandinavia.”

    Amazing. Profound. Huge. Seismic. Thank you!

  75. 75 Angela in Washington D.C.
    August 6, 2008 at 17:22

    @Jamily

    My friend is not married.

  76. 76 jamily5
    August 6, 2008 at 17:23

    @Shawn,
    If you believed the research that says that children do better with one parent at home:
    Would you sacrifice to stay at home?
    Would you have your partner do it?
    Just because I “can” go out and work, does not mean that I “should.”
    I think that in some ways the:
    “We have the right,”
    mentality has made us more self-centered and less understanding of the family’s needs.

  77. August 6, 2008 at 17:35

    We live in a different world now. Families have to do what they need to make a living. What about the impact of dead beat Dads?

  78. 78 steve
    August 6, 2008 at 17:37

    @ Angela

    “She married him for better or worse and richer or poorer, she just needs to realize that she choose to change jobs and not him. ”

    Wedding vows have no meaning these days. Most of the 50% plus divorces are due to “falling out of love” which are in the vast majority of cases, initiated by the woman. That’s part of the for better or worse.. It’s just an excuse used to get out of a marriage. Vows have no meaning anymore. The infidelity rates are incredibly high too.

  79. 79 sp
    August 6, 2008 at 17:39

    I can only speak from my own experiences. I’m only 25 years old, so I can still clearly remember all those times that my mom was too busy or too tired to attend my school’s functions or my lacrosse games. I often think about those kids who always had their moms with them. They seemed so happy. But, now that I’m older and growing up, I see those same kids sitting around bored and unhappy. They’ve been so smothered by their parents all their life that now that they have to go out and live their own, they have no idea what to do. Their social skills are lacking, they’re incompetent, they’re lazy. This goes for many in my generation but all I hear from most of these smothered kids is “I want it!” and “It’s mine!” and “Why can’t I have a brand new $50k car on my $30k budget?!?”

    This may not be very helpful to the subject, but I think there is a correlation between these strange adults and their parents smothering them while they were a child.

  80. 80 Luz Ma from Mexico
    August 6, 2008 at 17:43

    I am a full-time working mom in a very demanding job (I am the executive assistant of a Senator). I am married and have two children (7 years old and 3 years old). I have also been “stay at home mom”, “full-time student mom”, “part-time working mom”.

    In my experience and opinion, the only way that a full-time working mom can manage work and family life is by having a partner who equally shares family responsibilities with her.

    Good family networks and good childcare services also help a lot!

    My husband and I have equally share family and domestic responsibilities since we got married (8 years ago). We were both full-time graduate students with small children. Now, we are full-time working parents. I took time off my studies when my older daughter was born (for 18 months). But right afterwards I return to my full-time program. I did the same with my second daughter: after she turned 18 months old I came back to work.

    I am very happy with my life. My husband and daughters are very happy. I spent every minute of my free time with them. I have never missed birthdays, school events, etc. They do not feel neglected. The clue is: good time management.

  81. 81 jamily5
    August 6, 2008 at 17:45

    @Steve,
    you wrote:
    Wedding vows have no meaning these days. Most of the 50% plus divorces are due to
    “falling out of love” which are in the vast majority of cases, initiated by the woman.I would agree with your first statement. Wedding vows are not taken with the same kind of commitment that was apparent previously.
    However, I contest your second statement.
    Prove it!

  82. 82 Anthony
    August 6, 2008 at 17:47

    If a stay home mom consists of cleaning and cooking, then forget all that!!! Todays woman (my age, 27 and younger)can’t compete with the moms of yesterday. They clean-up, but not clean, they can cook eggs but thats about it.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  83. 83 Dr.Ajit Joshi
    August 6, 2008 at 17:47

    In the times when women stayed at home, there was not much she could do in terms of making a career or helping out the house financially. Women now have the choice and in India ,I have seen them not only manage the home but also look after a job as well as care for her aging in laws. Women are blessed with grit and determination and trudge on regardless. It is the men who should adjust to the faster pace of life and help the women at home. It is the need of our times.

  84. 84 Trinity, Trinidad and Tobago
    August 6, 2008 at 17:48

    People look fondly back on the days when Mum was at home and Dad was the sole breadwinner brining home bacon (mixed metaphor there or just an obsession with food?) When women were at home diligently cleaning, baking, child-raring and being perfect sex bunnies for their husbands did anyone stop to ask them if they wanted this? If it made them truly happy?
    The reality is that women had little choices in those days about what they could do with their life. It was expected that they stayed home and raised kids and this may have been ideal for the kids but for women who may have had greater ambitions I doubt this was the ideal.
    The difference today is that women have a say in what they do with their lives; for the most part. If a woman is in a position, financially, where she can stay at home and happily raise her kids she can – but she does not have to. And maybe women have become more selfish in their decisions choosing to have a life that is fulfilling outside of the home but this is consequence of educating females and allowing them to make their own decisions. I am not certain that it is all bad.
    I have seen it both ways with my nieces and nephews and I think, honestly, that those being raised by a full-time mom are better served…. But I worry about the emotional health of their Mom sometimes. So everything has a consequence. Why are women the only ones asked to make this choice? Last I checked having a kid was a 2-person job (well two sets of DNA are involved anyway).
    I am sure that there are many women who would love to stay home but cannot afford to do so and ont the other hand there ARE many women who can afford to, but would not dream of giving up their careers for their kids so their kids suffer (and what do we mean by ‘suffer’ anyway? These kids are not chained in basements are they?) The reality is that nothing is perfect.
    That said I do think that the role of being a housewife is not as highly regarded as is should be. Whether every woman can find it completely fulfilling is another issue completely.
    Just for the record I have a working Mom. My Mom is the smartest person I know and she may have been borderline.. something psychotic if she was forced to work at home which would not have benifited me or my six siblings. And in the end we have turned out just fine with two happy working parents.

  85. 85 Jens
    August 6, 2008 at 17:48

    steve,

    i have been married for nearly 13 years, no kids. we had in many ways for worse for many reasons, but always, as yet pulled through, in the hope that the horizon has for better.

    my wife often yelled at me in anger that she wanted a divorce, followed by an apology and an offer of divorce since she was unreasonable. the issue for me is to make her realize that she is an euqual to me, although I know I am the main bread winner, simply by earning power and not essentially by choice. for her it’s hard to come to terms with that, since her scumbag dad treat her like a piece of dirt, by telling her she is worthless and will only be the property of man.

    only after this long she realizes that her income and contribution is as valuable as mine. it is not the individual dollar amount or work at home that counts but the sum of it. plus she is now doing further education, which seems to give her a purpouse in life

  86. 86 Nick in USA
    August 6, 2008 at 17:50

    @ Jamily

    “Somehow women staying at home is seen as backward or not fulfilling her full potential.”

    This is part of our society’s skewed perception of success. Contributing to the financial wealth of the country is considered more worthy than contributing to the mental wealth (wellbeing) of the country.

    @ Melanie

    In my opinion, it’s not possible to be both a CEO and a successful parent. Proper parenting requires constant nurturing, attention, and focus. A CEO needs to dedicate a minimum of 12 hrs./ day to the company, and if the other parent works full time, there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to dedicate to parenting. Not to mention, being a CEO has an incredible amount of external duties, which occupy a person’s “free time”. It’s just not possible.

  87. 87 Shaun in Halifax
    August 6, 2008 at 18:00

    @ Jamily

    I’m unsure what your question relates to re: my previous point… I’m in favor of having the choice to stay home or not, but I’d rather not have it legislated.

    I was thinking in more practical, Real World terms. Here, if the government mandated that “at least one family member MUST stay at home” there would be lawsuits up the yin-yang, and everybody would run to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms screaming “it violates my right for freedom of employment (or something).” I was merely trying to frame my response.

  88. 88 Robert
    August 6, 2008 at 18:08

    SP

    A stay at home Mum doesn’t mean that you will be spoiled in future life . If the parent teaches the child respect and hard work they turn out ok.

    My Mum stayed at home but I had to do my chores, I had to manage my pocket money for the whole week with nothing else and I got disciplined if I stepped out of line. I like to think I’ve turned out ok, worked for all my grown up toys and have yet to ever have to take out anything but a student loan to pay for my comfortable life.

  89. 89 Shaun in Halifax
    August 6, 2008 at 18:09

    @ Melanie

    While I disagree with the blanket statements made about “CEOs simply CANNOT be good parents” I feel it takes a certain calibre of individual to successfully juggle those two responsibilities. Kudos to anyone who can.

  90. 90 steve
    August 6, 2008 at 18:09

    I don’t really see the big deal about this? In all honesty, working sucks. I do it becuase I have to. If I had the option to not work, I probably wouldn’t work. Feminism has been a dissapointment for many women, becuase now they work jobs they most likely hate. Hence why so many women start leaving the workforce by their 30s in the west. Most women I know hate working and pretty much all of them aspire to marry a wealthy guy so they don’t have to work. As a male, i don’t have that option, but can you really blame them? Do you enjoy waking up at 6:30Am every day? Sitting in a Aerochair for at least 8 hours a day? Working on boring things all the time, having to do that for the indefinite future?

  91. 91 Secouba Dembele, Mali
    August 6, 2008 at 18:11

    It’s not all the Moms’ fault. Children need more time to socialize; meaning with BOTH parents, siblings, and peers. Too much time in silenced classrooms, in front of televisions, and playing video games is robbing our youth of the most important skill: the ability to get along with others.

  92. 92 Melanie Chassen
    August 6, 2008 at 18:19

    @ Shaun in Halifax

    Many thanks for articulating that as well as you did. I never denied the person would have to be of a certain calibre to achieve that goal, but I did disagree with the general statement that it’s just not possible. Thanks for that.

  93. 93 Vijay Srao in Chattarnagar India
    August 6, 2008 at 18:20

    Women in this area tend to work in the home,in fact they are head of the household,in charge @home,men are head of the family and responsible for things outside the house.the neighbourhood kids will play with the babies ,”it takes a village to raise a child”and stuff.
    50 miles away in Haryana, women work in the home and also work in the fields,men play cards and smoke hookah(tobacco water pipe).

  94. 94 Emmanuel (Brussels)
    August 6, 2008 at 18:20

    I think the question here is wether or not you consider women and men to be equal.
    If you do, then you’ll agree that this equality can only proceed from freedom of choice, for women, being the same as for men.
    Of course no one is denying the biological “shackles” inflicted by childbaring, however, it should not be a social (as well as physical!) burden for a woman that CHOOSES to work ! Any society claiming equality of rights should offer the infrastuctures (nurseries and so forth…) permiting women to have the same choices as men concerning their careers.
    The choice of staying at home or to continue working must be precisely that: “a choice” not an constraint due to the lack of alternatives, for both parents.

  95. 95 Stella J Karavas
    August 6, 2008 at 18:21

    In answer to your question: Should a woman stay home to raise children?

    I believe that although men and woman are equal, we are very different on many levels. Both have their strengths and weaknesses and areas of expertise. Women have an innate talent for nurturing. Hence, I do believe that they should be the caregivers. The question in the US is can they afford to stay home? In most cases they cannot. However, when there is an option, they should stay home. Please note that affording to stay home does not include upgrades to BMW’s and 6000 SF homes. As Americans we have too many “things” which requires resources to maintain – just observe all the storage facilities popping up to store all our “stuff.” After two- three children, daycare is simply not a cost-effective option either. However, extended family (e.g. grandparents) caring for children is a wonderful option and would allow a woman to maintain her career and “have it all”. Hence, if a woman is capable of keeping on top of her profession while raising her children, she should do so. There are two very critical time periods that in child rearing – The first 6 year window of time that it is critical is between the ages of 0 and 6 where once the child enters the school system, the woman can pick up her career where they left off. The second critical period is the teenage years 12 – 17 where women should be home afterschool to monitor children, their social interactions, behavior and habits.

    I truly believe that the undermining of our society (e.g. crime, deterioration of morals, values) is due to the break-up of the family in which 70% of the time is the result of financial issues. We put all these social programs in place to help those less fortunate to help children progress, curb bad behavior etc…..all implemented in teenage years – a stage where the damage has been done reversing “bad” learned behavior is close to impossible. We fail to see that the real problem lies with the parents and their parenting. Our government cannot solve this issue. The Economist posted an article that compared two cultures, one with little to no resources and one with many resources and options at their disposal. Results strongly indicated that regardless of resources, the family who supported their children, having expectations, putting education first and investing time resulted in children with a higher level of education who will ultimately become contributor’s society.

    Parents need to view children as an investment, the more time you devote to this investment, the higher the returns. It is a long-term investment without a paycheck and rewards are delayed. However, in the long run they will be self-sufficient, respectable contributors to society – eventually eliminating the need for all these “government sponsored programs”, lowering our taxes and putting a parents mind at ease. If you don’t believe in making this investment or sacrifice, then you should reconsider bringing children into the world. Educating our children and teaching them that the ultimate responsibility lies with the parent is key. Unfortunately in many cases this depends on the level of education and/or cultural teachings or trends.

  96. 96 Sonny
    August 6, 2008 at 18:24

    I am a man who has opted to stay at home and look after my 2 young children (3 and 1 years old). Giving my wife the chance to study this has worked out well for both of us as Esther, my wife, really enjoys her studies and I really enjoy my time with the children. I find it interesting and a privilege to watch them grow and develop. I don’t think it matters whether it is a man or a woman staying at home as long as it is somebody who enjoys it. If working parents leave there children in care it’s probably less damaging than staying at home when they are not happy. I don’t see my children have suffered because I have stayed with them and not their mum. They are both very happy and balanced young girls. I am constantly perplexed because people think only a mother can stay at home and look after the children.

  97. 97 Emmanuel (Brussels)
    August 6, 2008 at 18:25

    Oh and of course that choice should be made considering the interests of the child… That is that parents should face their responsabilities, spend quality (not quantity…) time with their children and so on.

  98. 98 Alison
    August 6, 2008 at 18:26

    I think the problem today is the hours required to have a highly successful career. If you are raising a family, I don’t think you should be working 60 hours a week (man or woman). Those people say they want to provide the best life possible for their kids, but when I was a kid, I would have much rather had more time with my dad than another toy.

    I also remember that when mom was happy, we were all happy. If mom was unhappy, we all were. If she hadn’t had a chance to put her mind and energy into projects outside the home and take a break from doing laundry and changing diapers, I don’t think I would have had a very happy childhood. A woman should do what she needs to in order to feel fulfilled in her life so that she can make her family happy. But I don’t think going after a career that requires you to be on the road all the time or work 60 hours a week is being a responsible parent.

  99. 99 Anne
    August 6, 2008 at 18:28

    @ Steve

    Do you think staying at home and looking after babies/children 24/7 is as stimulating as sitting in an Aerochair for 8 hours a day? I think not. Try it some time. Working may ‘suck’ but at least you have adults to talk to and you have other things to talk about besides dirty diapers.

  100. 100 Jens
    August 6, 2008 at 18:30

    Sonny,

    and how exactly does it work for you to stay at home and your wife to study………..

    i mean somehow there needs to be some money to be coming in for like food

  101. 101 Melissa
    August 6, 2008 at 18:32

    Wow – I can’t believe all the posts saying that it harms families and children for women to work. I work and I have two wonderful children who I love. They love me very much. My turn to dig at stay-at-home Moms – many stay-at-homes spend much of their time volunteering, chatting with other Moms at playgroups, and/or running an in-home business bugging other Moms to spend money on their products. Also, is it better for a Dad to hardly ever be home or when he is to be consistently attached to his blackberry??? Children, especially boys, need their fathers as well.

    Stop putting down working Moms to justify your own existence.

  102. 102 Keith
    August 6, 2008 at 18:32

    I think that not only should women be allowed to work outside the home, they should be encouraged to do so. I benefitted from having a working mother.

  103. 103 steve
    August 6, 2008 at 18:33

    @ Anne. Looking after children doesn’t last for 30 years, a career does. kids grow up. How many years do you think you need to change diapers or watch them before they go off to school at age 6??

  104. 104 Jens
    August 6, 2008 at 18:35

    Alison,

    this is not the worse thing. many expect you to work 60 hrs on a 40 hr pay.

    i do probably 50 hrs, but 10 of them is me being interested in future research directions and i read at home or play with thoughts on how to do something, while helping out in the house, talk to my wife, play with the fur-kids. i am not too fond of travelling but it has to be done.

  105. 105 Luz Ma from Mexico
    August 6, 2008 at 18:36

    @Sonny
    I like your comment. Congratulations on being a staty at home dad and doing it because you want it.

    I think that you said it well: “If working parents leave there children in care it’s probably less damaging than staying at home when they are not happy. ”
    I have met many stay at home moms that hate being at home and their children suffer a lot.

  106. August 6, 2008 at 18:38

    I have a friend who is an administrator at a university. Her husband teaches there and they have a young child. I once asked her about the challenge of all the roles she has to play and she explained that at one point she learned that she only has about five good hours of mothering a day and begins to lose her attention span after that. Some women can be full time stay-at-home moms and love it, but some can’t. I would never be able to be a stay-at-home mom and I really value my friend for being an amazing mother, but also amazing at what she does for her career. Her daughter is an amazing young lady and has not suffered because her mother works. My friend and her husband have an amazing community and they all help take care of each other’s children when needed. I grew up with a mom who stayed at home until I was fifteen, but I have friends whose working mothers spent more quality time with them than my stay-at-home mom did. My mom wasn’t a bad mom, by any means, but her being a stay-at-home mom did not cause me to benefit more than my friends with working moms did.

  107. 107 John in Salem
    August 6, 2008 at 18:40

    Question~
    Does anyone know – do they still have “Home Economics” classes in schools anymore?
    Thinking back on the 60′s I remember some of my girlfriends being in what I see now as incredibly sexist “housewife-training” where they learned how to cook and sew and budget, etc.

  108. 108 Anne
    August 6, 2008 at 18:45

    @ Steve

    Being a parent lasts the rest of your life, from the day they are born to the day you die, not to the day they go to school or stop wearing diapers. A career only lasts ’30 years’. You never retire from being a parent.

  109. 109 steve
    August 6, 2008 at 18:45

    @ John, I took a home economics class in 6th grade, which was in 1986. Boys and girls learned how to cook and sew.

  110. 110 jamily5
    August 6, 2008 at 18:46

    Ann,
    It does not sound as if you have enjoyed your time in motherhood.
    I am sorry for that.
    You paint a rather drab picture.
    But, the experience does not have to be this way.
    Many times mothers get together and talk and socialize so that they do have adult conversations.
    There might be times (especially with books on tape) that the mother can read while doing dishes or laundry.
    (Whoops, Anthony, I have just ruined your perception of the ignorant housewife – see your post at 4:26 P.M.).:)

    Motherhood can be just as fulfilling as a career.
    Do I enjoy social work? Yes, without a doubt.
    But, motherhood prepared me for such a career and I enjoy it, still.
    There is no shame in childrearing!

  111. 111 Angela in Washington D.C.
    August 6, 2008 at 18:49

    @Steve

    I understand that vows don’t really mean that much to most people. However, if you are going to get married you have to discuss these issues and be sure that you are both in this marriage for the long haul. I am not sure if everyone is required to go through marriage counseling, or whatever the thing is called before you get married, but it generally helps decipher whether the individuals are truly ready to get married and and willing to stick through the long haul.

  112. 112 steve
    August 6, 2008 at 18:50

    @ Anne

    “Being a parent lasts the rest of your life, from the day they are born to the day you die, not to the day they go to school or stop wearing diapers. A career only lasts ‘30 years’. You never retire from being a parent.”

    Children are only dependent and helpless for a very short period of time. I’m 33, and believe me, my parents do not parent me anymore. If anything, I help them out financially now. My parents couldn’t claim they need to stay at home to work. I am an adult. You become an legal adult at 18. 18 year, even if you had to change diapers until the age of 18, which you don’t, that’s still shorter than a 30 year career. You techincally are still parents, but you don’t actually parent anymore, let alone not work due to your kids after a certain age. You saying that it’s justified for a parent to still not work even though their kids are 25 and 27 and living away from home? Sounds like an excuse not to work to me.

  113. 113 Alison
    August 6, 2008 at 18:56

    Jens,

    I apologize if you felt I was criticizing your parenting style. It sounds like you are a good father. Just sharing my experience from childhood of feeling bribed with toys in exchange for time spent together. Not saying I had a bad childhood, but if I had a chance to do it again, I would sacrifice that stuff he was buying me for more time together. I think most kids would.

  114. 114 Shaun in Halifax
    August 6, 2008 at 18:56

    @ John

    I got my home-ec training in Grade 7 and 8. Although they euphamised the term into something besides ‘home-ec’ (don’t remember off-hand what it is). And I think learning how to iron, sew and cook (all traditionally things moms do – because they looooove you) are valuable skills for everybody to have. ‘Specially for us bachelors.

  115. 115 Heather in Texas
    August 6, 2008 at 18:57

    I’m a single mom who works full-time. My daughter gets my full focus when we are together and I am fully engaged in every aspect of her rearing. She has excellent carecare during the day. At daycare she has positive experiences beyond what I could give her if we were home together all day.

    I’ve also taken care of foster children, who recovered, thrived and bloomed in my care, despite the fact that I’m gone at work during the day. Most of those abused and neglected children came to me from two parent households and homes where a parent stayed at home with them. Simple presence is not enough. What’s important is the love and nurturing that the children receive from parents… and that does not have to be full-time all day.

  116. 116 Angela in Washington D.C.
    August 6, 2008 at 18:57

    @K.R.Carson

    My mother stayed at home after I was 10 years old. Most of my friends mothers worked and were tried when they got off and they allowed their kids to do a lot more than my mother allowed me to do, which was beneficial because I could not hang out all the time. I am sure my mother would have been the same way if she would have worked and I know most of my friends parents would have been more restrictive if their mother stayed home.

    Staying at home generally helps during the child’s early years. I usually tell the difference when a parent stays home with the child. As someone stated earlier, kids who have a parent that stays home are generally more respectful and have a better start when starting school. This occurs when the parents actually take time to spend with their children.

  117. 117 Sonny
    August 6, 2008 at 19:02

    @Jens
    I live in Germany and the government has money available to support one parent to stay at home (it does not matter who) for the child’s first two years. My wife also gets student financing. We are not rich and do not have a lot of money to spare but we are very happy.

  118. 118 Angela in Washington D.C.
    August 6, 2008 at 19:02

    @Ann

    Everyone would not like to stay at home with their children and do housework but some people enjoy it. My cousin stays at home with her children and she acknowledges that it is hectic and annoying at times but she would not get the same enjoyment that she gets from watching her kids grow, change, and learn anywhere else or from any other job. However, I know several women that need to get away from their children for a few hours to enjoy their children.

  119. 119 Angela in Washington D.C.
    August 6, 2008 at 19:04

    @Steve

    Everyone parent is not blessed with a child like yourself. I know many people who are dependent on their parents until their late 20′s.

  120. 120 steve
    August 6, 2008 at 19:14

    @ Angela

    Parents aren’t legally obligated to support their kids after the age of 18. If they want to spoil and enable them, then they can continue to support their kids if their kids are not dependent due to being irresponsible. Irresponsible could be doing drugs, or willingly going into fields where they can’t support themselves. Ie, getting $100k into debt for a Philosophy degree, then having to live with parents becuase they only could get a job at starbucks. It’s not as bad as being a drug addict, but life’s not fair and you have to realize you can’t do everything you want. I don’t know if parents do more harm than good.

    I have a friend, who is 33, that STILL lives with his parents becuase he’s never wanted to get a decent paying job, despite him being highly intelligent, he outsscored me bigtime on the SAT…

    But in general, the diaper changing period is the first several years… You can only use that as an excuse for only several years. That time period is shorter than a career.

  121. August 6, 2008 at 19:14

    I just got finished reading the comments and most of my points were made, many by Steve. I am still shaken by the whole thing. Thanks Steve for answering Angela’s 120 year question. I would only add that when we moved into the industrial and serviced based economy structure changed, but not reality. Many of us feel that the best Americans are raised by their family unit. However with that change, the natural course that would allow for family unit raised children were interrupted. Yet nothing ever replaced it. Eventually we just accepted that mother should be the one to raise the children. Then after WWII we just accepted the best way to raise a child is to get rich and buy them stuff.

    I have lucked into a great occupation. It allows me to be home with my little princess for sometimes weeks on end. I am in the middle of a 6 day hilarious now. My wife works, and I am her major care taker in those times. It really gets under my wife’s skin but that is how things worked out. On the flip side I have to leave for months on end too. So far so good. My in-laws jokingly sent me and my wife “mother’s day” cards. We walk through the parks all the time and people stop and tell me how they have seen me and her walking since she was weeks old. They say they can tell I am “a good dad.” So Lubna and others who say dad’s can’t be equally nurturing, I contest. With that thought in mind, I thik I hear the sound of a poopy diaper calling my name :(

  122. 122 Shaun in Halifax
    August 6, 2008 at 19:14

    @ Angela

    I’m guilty of that unfortunately – though I’m only mid-20s.

    However my excuse is that I’m a full-time university student in a masters program, so that limits the amount of hours I am able to work during the school year to 10-15 hours a week. If it weren’t for parental help, I don’t know how I’d be able to make ends meet. And it’s not like I have the extravagant student lifestyle (read: spending the student loan on booze and drugs) either. Okay, maybe the odd party favor.

    It has been tough to swallow my pride and accept parental help, but I realize how lucky I am to have parents that are still able to occasionally help me out financially.

  123. 123 John in Salem
    August 6, 2008 at 19:18

    Steve/Shaun~
    That’s encouraging. The idea was always good but in my day those classes were exclusively female. Boys couldn’t even inquire without being labeled as, well, you know….

  124. 124 Luz Ma from Mexico
    August 6, 2008 at 19:24

    @Angela
    I have met very spoiled children that have stay at home moms. I have met many well-educated children who do very well at school that have working moms. So, in my opinion, the problem is bad parenting, not the amount of time that you spend with your children.

    My husband and I have full-time jobs. My older daughter (7 years old) was in the top-ten percentage of her class the past two academic years. My younger daughter (3 years old) does very well at daycare, she is very social and outgoing. I rarely get complaints from their teachers about bad behaivour or performance. What have worked for me and my husband is that we spend all our free time with them, doing family activities. So afternoons, evenings and weekends are sacred in my home.

  125. 125 Angela in Washington D.C.
    August 6, 2008 at 19:28

    @Shaun

    I think it is good that you are saving money and staying at home. I know several people who stayed at home throughout their undergraduate and graduate degrees. I ccould not stay at home with my mother and pursue my degree, since it was in a different state. My mother still treats me like I a in high school when I go home. She beleives you behave a particular way when you are in her house. Now that I am 25, I still cannot leave my mother’s house without telling her where I am going and when I will return. If I go out, I have to be back home before 1am.

  126. 126 Angela in Washington D.C.
    August 6, 2008 at 19:29

    @Steve

    If you eventually have kids you will help them out in any way you can, despite their age. If you are able to.

  127. 127 Julie P
    August 6, 2008 at 19:31

    Decisions that two married people concerning whther or not someone will stay home to take care of the child or children and the house is a decision that they alone can make. If they both decide it is in their best interest to both work, then they work out arrangements with rearing children. In some famlies children do remain living at home after the age of 18 for many reasons, to many to discuss. Being a parent never ends, parents worry about their children, are there for them in bad and good times, parents go above and beyond the call of duty for their children. When their child hurts, so do they, when that child is ill, so are they, etc. It’s a job to the grave.

  128. 128 Angela in Washington D.C.
    August 6, 2008 at 19:32

    @Luz Ma

    I realize some people are able to have a career and still raise their kids but most of the time something suffers. All parents do not take the energy to be involved in their childrens life, especially when they have been at work all day. However, if you take the time and commit it can work. I still think it is the exception rather than the rule.

  129. 129 steve
    August 6, 2008 at 19:34

    @ Angela

    I really hate to cite to movies, but you really should watch the movie Parenthood, starring Steve Martin. One of the aspects of it was that the father of Steve Martin would spoil his youngest adult son, and enabled him to get in all sorts of bad situtations by always bailing him out of crises. I think the father finally learned in the end that he had to stop..

  130. 130 viola
    August 6, 2008 at 19:37

    The question assumes every woman who wants to be a mother and stay at home to raise them will have a man who will happily accept that role. It also assumes that nothing will ever happen to such a man, such as alcoholism, drug addiction, sexual and emotional liasons with other women, or other types of happenings or illnesses which will prevent him from fulfilling that role.

    If a poll were taken, I wonder how many men would translate “Would you want your wife to stay home to care for the children?” as: “Do you want to lose your freedom and tie yourself down to one woman and her children?”

    It’s a complex world and simplistic “one size fits all” solutions won’t work.

    Canada

  131. 131 Shaun in Halifax
    August 6, 2008 at 19:40

    @ Angela

    I completely understand about the frustration with parents, but we have to remember “their house, their rules.”

    @ Steve

    I HAVE a philosophy degree. And I’m proud to be able to join one of the oldest disciplines on earth and to stand on the shoulders of great people like Socrates, Plato, Newton, Kant, Descartes, Nietzsche, the Dali Lama, Kierkegaard, Hume, Marx and Adam Smith.

    Because of my degree I scored in the top quartile on my LSAT. While philosophy doesn’t give you tangible skills like ‘programming’ or ‘chemistry’ you develop valuable real world skills like abstract thinking, debating, logic, critical thought, writing and creativity. If your friends with philosophy degrees can’t find meaningful work, I suspect it is not a deficiency with their degrees, but rather an inability to sell themselves and the value they bring to an organization.

  132. August 6, 2008 at 19:41

    Mothers should stay at home. Staying at home does not have the literal meaning that feminists have given to it in order destroy it as a domestic value and gain membership. Staying at home means being available to the needs of the family home, which include the necessity to keep the house clean and orderly, and meet the needs of the their children and their husbands.

    This means that women may work but the work should be such that they are close to their family homes and, therefore, they can respond to the needs of their children without having to obtain permission from any employer — who may turn the request down for income and profit reasons — and without having to take a long time to arrive at home.

    The duties of women at home are vital for the moral upbringing of children. This means the morality of the societies outside the family homes and the nation generally. Mothers also have the duty of moderating and moralising their husbands and helping their husbands cope with the stress of working and the emotional battery that are received from offices.

    It is clear that materialism, consumerism, corruption, violence, criminality and other social and societal vices have increased since mothers were caused to desert their dignified, honourable, noble amd respectable duties. It is also true that divorce, dislocations of families, loss of meaning for marriage, single parenthood, the population of unmarried men and women, gayism, lesbianism, and individualism have also increased and characterise the emphasis on career for women and mothers.

    It is not surprising that women are becoming more corrupt than the men whose attitudes and conduct or behaviour they ought to and should correct, as we have in Nigeria now and, indeed, all over the world now. The United Nations established to achieve globalisation for the USA now uses women for this purpose because of the corruption of women and in order to satisfy the demands of feminists. Professor Joseph Stiglitz, a Nobel Laureate in Economics, observed the appointment of a woman in preference to “his colleague” to be, in my words, based on emotionalism and corruption, his book titled Globalisation and Its Discontent.

    The duty of fathers in families is to work outdoor and provide the money that is necessary for all feeding, clothing, education, and medical and other needs of their wives and children, and to protect their wives and children against aggression by men, thieves, and other social nuisance. These duties are divine, just as the duties of mothers is divine. Fathers are not meant to carry out domestic duties. But they may do so based on choice or serious need for that; e.g, when their wives are sick. Fathers also have the duty of correct their children and enforce discipline when children refuse to subject themselves to the authority of their mothers. Mothers make such children’s unruly attitudes and behaviour known to their fathers.

    The role of women as primarily domestic and the role of men as primarily working outdoors were established by God as we read in the bible. Its rejection is anti-God, godless, iconoclastic and irresponsible. Nothing is homogeneous or monolithic in nature. The problem of morality, security and peace in the societies, the professions and in the international relations and relationships of governments is rooted in the desertion of the duty of bringing children up morally by their mothers. This is due to the homogenisation of the duties of fathers and mothers.

    Let it be noted that the old saying: “When you educate a woman you educate a nation”, means that a woman that is well-brought up gives that to children and the sum of the children of the individual families of the nation under this situation make the nation educated morally. Mothers who do not have proper upbringing and are not moral or virtuous cannot give what they do not have.

    The claim that when a father dies his wife suffers is due to the fact that feminists destroyed the traditional system that imposed the duty to care for a dead man’s wife and children on siblings of the man and the close and extended members of their families.

    Feminists, as the history of feminism says, was begun by the women who were deviant, immoral, sexually promiscuous and dissolute. The private capitalists took advantage of their activities to drive women and mothers to their factories and companies as their slaves to ear them fat, fatter and fatter profits and wealth.

    Women that I have discussed with in Nigeria say that a woman dos not feel fulfiled and responsible and respectable without a family of husband and children. The unmarried women and the divorced woman of Nigeria are really in agony but do not have the courage to say it. They are used as things for the gratification of sexual instinct and lust by men, for whom they are “public servants”.

    Prince Awele Odor
    Lagos, Nigeria

  133. 133 Angela in Washington D.C.
    August 6, 2008 at 19:47

    @Steve

    I completely agree. My mother is having that situation with my brother now. I was independent but my brother is very dependent. He refuses to get a job although he needs one for various reasons he caused himself. I told my mother to stop supporting him. All summer he has been at home and has my mother put gas into his car. He get some money since he is in school and our father died while in the service but he runs through it each month. He asks me for money when I am home and my mother the rest of the time. He also had a party at the house over the 4th while my mother was away. My mother found alcohol, pizza, and other items in the trash can. He told my mother they were from his friends truck and he didnt have a party. She beleived him. My mother is a perfect example of someone that jsut can’t say no to her son. He is the baby, 19, and despite everything still gives him money. I went to school out of state and my mother has spent more money on my brother and his problems than she paid for my tuition, for a year. She always said that she would never be one of thoise parents but she is.

    So you never know what you will do until you get in the situation.

  134. 134 Angela in Washington D.C.
    August 6, 2008 at 19:49

    @Shaun

    Exactly. If I was able to stay at home with my mother I would have saved so much money. I believe if you are able to stay at hom then do it.

  135. 135 Luz Ma from Mexico
    August 6, 2008 at 19:55

    @Angela
    I don´t think is the exception. I neither think is the rule.

    I could say I am fortunate because finally I have it all (good marriage, good children, good job), but it was difficult to get to that point. However, my children have never suffered from my decision to pursue a career. I enjoy working, so when I go home I am full of energy to spend with my children. I also enjoy playing and talking with my children. I am not the perfect mom, but I think that I am doing very well so far.

    My point is that we should stop labeling “working moms” as bad moms and “stay at home moms” as good moms. As I said before, I have met good mothers that either work or stay at home, and the opposite. The same goes to fathers. It is about responsability, love and commitment.

  136. August 6, 2008 at 19:59

    Another take,

    Here in the US the “lack of mothers” should be approached in the same light that lack of doctors, or scientist, or other professions are. A stay at home parent could go a long way to curing many of our societal ills. Less people driving to work everyday cold reduce our national MPG. Prison populations and crimes will have a reduction according to most psychologist who say a child who had a parent at home was less likely to commit crimes. That is bound to lead to more educated and dedicated students. That will surely lead to less dropouts. In the end that will lead to fewer conservatives. Which will in turn lead to less wars, corporate greed, and self-absorption (my word of the week).

    Just think, making it possible for a parent to stay home will encourage world peace. But that will require a complete overhaul on the perspective of how we compensate our workforce.

  137. 137 Jens
    August 6, 2008 at 20:13

    Sonny,

    i would be happy as well, if smucks like me are paying for you to stay home and your wife to study.

    NEVER FORGET, it is not the goverment who has the money, IT IS THE TAX PAYERS who pay for this.

    I am actually appauled by your attitued and quite frankly sickened. I have had no kids because I have not had a great income and my wife has been studying.

  138. 138 jamily5
    August 6, 2008 at 20:39

    After seeing Prince Awele’s post, I wonder why mine were sanctioned for length!
    Anyway, @luz,
    I agree that quality is important.
    But, the quantity of time is also quite important.
    Is there a term: “part time mother,” or “part time parent?”
    Many fathers have been repremanded for not giving enough time and energy to their children.
    The “emotionally unavailable father” has been quite a phenomenon since the late 80′s. And, at some point, the career of motherhood and the career outside the home will want the same spot of time.
    So, then, the questions become:
    Should I choose my career and relegate my children to a carer, minder or nanny?
    If I do, How much should this happen?
    If it teaches the child independence and self reliance, is this good or premature?
    Does it make the child feel as if he/she is not as important as the outside career?
    Does it make the child feel a bit insecure?
    Is the child either getting into trouble for lack of supervision or not emotionally able to handle the independence that has been placed on them?
    Are the parents placing appropriate responsibility on their children?
    Will the mother and child have a good bond?
    Should the mother continue with the career because it shows the child that the mother is well rounded and has a life outside of parenting?
    when is the mother being an “emotionally unavailable parent?”
    Who decides how much work is too much?
    If I choose my children,
    then:
    Will I resent my choice?
    Will my children feel my resentment?
    Am I being too cautious?
    Am I limiting myself unnecessarily?
    Okay, I’ve changed persons – from the third to the first.
    But, all of these are questions that parents should talk about before deciding who and how much one should work.

  139. 139 Jens
    August 6, 2008 at 21:35

    Prince,

    could you please summarize your ramblings. i am really not sure what you want to say.

    But let me say one thing. No rights are divine, in my opinion divinity does not exist. rights are grant on the basis that your rights do not infringe mine and vice versa. that’s all it’s a common bases for humans to interact with one another. we do not need a god to tell us what is right and what is wrong.

  140. 140 Pangolin- California
    August 6, 2008 at 22:06

    Women should stay at home until the youngest child is in secondary school. I used to believe all the feminist claptrap about ‘equal parenting’ until I tried it myself. A woman working while her husband is at home will divorce him eventually. Women will not respect a man who doesn’t earn more money than she does. Children at home without parents are disadvantaged compared to kids who have a parent at home.

    When a woman with children works the kids lose both the mother and the father. The myths of ‘quality time,’ ‘equal parenting,’ and equality in partnerships don’t stand up to reality. If you want an equal partner consider homosexuality.

  141. 141 Jennifer
    August 7, 2008 at 02:05

    I think it is ideal for a mother to be able to stay at home with her children if that is her preference but it’s not always possible. If it is a two parent household with the other parent (father) in a very well paying job then it’s not a problem, but on minimum wage, not possible to pay all the family expenses so it has to be made up for in some way. In single parent households, it’s only rational that mom would have to work.

    No matter who decides to work, I think children should share quality time with their parents. There are still people who think that moms are bad if they don’t stay at home with their children, but with society as it is, it’s not as harsh of a judgment as it would have been awhile ago. One parent working does take away from the time that a family spends together when a parent is at work and a child in daycare or etc.; but it has it’s advantages. Children should play and socialize with other children and parents, even though they are working, have some time away from their children.

    I grew up in a single parent household. My mom raised my brother and myself pretty much all on her own. She worked and she went to school. It was extremely hard on her I know because she was often really tired but she did what she had to do. It would have been so much better if my dad would have helped her but he did not. I remember when my dad did offer to watch us while my mom was working; she came home and I had gotten into the flour and chocolate syrup; put it all over myself, my little brother, and the kitchen floor. It did not go well especially for my little brother who had seizures. I do believe like Pangolin from CA said; if a woman is the main breadwinner and the man is not contributing the woman will divorce him eventually.

  142. 142 Roberto
    August 7, 2008 at 03:27

    Getting yourself fixed in advance fixes the immediate family problem.

    Of course, the nagging problem of who raises the clones would always remain along with all the tacky neighbors and their unruly brats breaking into cars at night and skipping school during the day whilst sucking up your property taxes.

    Who ever said life was gonna be a thornless rose garden?

  143. 143 Iris Bason
    August 7, 2008 at 03:44

    I have read all the posts and again and again, the ‘stay at home’ position is spoken of in such a contemptible way, The only ‘work’ is outside of the home when you earn a wage.

    Being a fulltime mom (I am one) is very hard physical work, not to mention emotionally draining. I cannot call in sick when I am ill, I HAVE to get out of bed and function, whatever. There is no-one who kindly takes over for me or deals with my duties while I am indisposed – I was a P.A. to a C.E.O. in my ‘respectable’ days. My husband is off early and comes home late – to a clean house, bathed children and a hot meal in the oven – he interacts with them at bedtime, all calm and sweet – the yelling, rounding up and general hard work of getting children homeworked, bathed and ready for bed, done – part of my job which I accept.

    I am certainly never bored, looking for something to do, idly chatting with fellow refugees from the great world of business or running some ‘home operated’ business. I am flat tack most of the time with household chores or driving around town dropping off and picking up various children (and their friends whose parents are borth working – what would they do without me I wonder?).

    The upside is we eat fresh, prepared from basics, food, no takeaways or instant frozen meals, my children always have someone to listen to their tales of woe (no matter how boring). I know exactly where they are, who their friends are and what is expected of them at school – there is time to have a quick chat to the teacher if needs be, when I pick them up. I made a conscious decision to have children and was prepared to make whatever sacrifices necessary to ensure I give the world a pair of well mannered, considerate, hard-working, law abiding people who will be a pleasure to have around. Children are not fashion accessories – they are everyone’s future and I think parents have a responsibility on this front.

    The downside is financial. We have to be careful with money and consider all expenditure on a ‘need or want’ basis – surely this is a good lesson for children to learn – you cannot have everything you set your heart on or your friends have got, given to you as a sort of right – life is not like that, so learning the lesson early is good, in my opinion. It might also inspire them onwards and upwards to bigger and better things.

    When I worked in an office I was frequently bored by the routine, tired, irritated by the antics of my colleagues, not to mention my boss who needed a lesson in manners. I had no time to myself, was constantly at his beck and call (that was what I was paid to do) and frequently had to fill in for one of my fellow workers who was ill or on holiday – absolute hell, two demanding men all at once! I therefore fail to see why a ‘stay at home’ mom is considered a demeaning role. When at home, everything you do is for your own benefit and that of your family.

    I suspect that the expectations of living have risen to such an extent that not having it all, now, is unacceptable, almost an admission of failure. People like myself are therefore thought of as stupid and ‘oppressed’, not doing exactly what others are, that is, doing the job they love and do well, by all accounts so far! My husband is also not such a fool, he enjoys all the comforts of home with no ‘domestic’ burdens – he earns the money and I take care of the home – that to me is a fair division of labour – he has his area of expertise and I have mine and no, I am not a religious zealot, the roles could be quite easily reversed – the bigger earner stays in work and the other becomes domestic! The overwhelming aim should be the best possible care and environment for the children.

    I do want to make it clear that I understand not all women have the option of staying at home even if they want to and others prefer office work to domestic chores. I am just tired of having my choice denigrated again and again – I am not stupid just as you do not think you are stupid giving your life and soul to a faceless company.

    By the way, we do have an excellent pre-nup, drawn up by a brilliant lawyer. If my husband decides to run off with his 22 year old secretary I will not be left destitute and starving nor will he be required to fund my new life style should I decide to trade him in for a younger model – a very expensive initial exercise but the peace of mind, priceless!!

  144. 144 parth guragain
    August 7, 2008 at 09:32

    @nick in USA
    THANKS for your response.I WANT TO GIVE YOU SOME overview of condition in Nepal.recently a hot debate is going on in NEPAL regarding conducting miss nepal women are in forefront to not let it happen.HEre in Nepal who are in showbiz are not regarded good by publi and women have more disrecpect for them.SO it is women in politics who will decide in which field women should go.which is a bad thing regarding progession of women .what do you think is these beauty contest helps progression of women or these contest help in commersiliging women body .on oneside there are women who doesn’t have any human rights and on other side women are restricting freedom of women.

  145. August 7, 2008 at 09:33

    I took a look at what people have written on the domestic duties of men and women as this is a very important area of my research into values in Nigeria and I saw two comments on my contribution.

    The first comment was posted by Jamily5 who wrote: “After reading Prince Awele’s post, I wonder why mine was sanctioned”.

    Jamily5, I share your feeling and logic. It is a violation of your right and freedom of speech. I have suffered such violation many times before. I have never had the opportunity to contribute verbally after many efforts to do so. The person who received my call always demanded that I told her what I wanted to say first. That is, you would agree with me, uncivilised and amounts to the violation of transparency, my right not to be censored, and my right and freedom of speech.

    I have since given up trying to contribute verbally. I have thought about giving up writing also, but I have not decided on that yet. In essence, I just write in order to speak to their conscience and I do not care whether I am posted or not.

    They accuse, criticise and condemn governments and people but they are worse than the people that they accuse, criticise and condemn. So, make your decision.

    Jens, another contributor, wrote

    “Prince,

    could you please summarize your ramblings. i am really not sure what you want to say.

    “But let me say one thing. No rights are divine, in my opinion divinity does not exist. rights are grant on the basis that your rights do not infringe mine and vice versa. that’s all it’s a common bases for humans to interact with one another. we do not need a god to tell us what is right and what is wrong”.

    My response: I took time to cover most of the issues that I have come across in my research into the issue of man-woman duties in marriages and family life. This is why it was long (Jamily5), but certainly not a “rambling” (Jens).

    By the way another important issue that I did not deal with is family income if a man loses his job. My response to that is that employees — my government and individuals — are now forced or very weightily influenced to employ women in preference to men and to sack men first in preference to woman (in Nigeria). Women heads of ministries and personnel managers of companies prefer to employ not less than 95% women. Women now pride themselves as the bread winners. Therefore , men losing jobs and lacking employment are owing to the fact that employment of women has knocked down and out the employment of men. If women stayed at home men would have more chances of employment and job security.

    The best summery that I can provide now, without being too lengthy, is: Marriage is sacred, being the only institution that God Himself established and because he forbade interference into marriages by any one, government, organisation, ideological or philosophical groups, in any may, time and manner, and for any reason. Refer to: “a woman will leave her parents and join her man and they would be one”; and “What God has joined together, let no man put asunder” .

    Therefore married people should live by the laws of God in marriage — women to bring up children morally, keep the house clean, neat and tidy, moderate the attitudes and conduct or behaviour of their husbands, and provide food for everyone, including themselves. Men should work outdoors, provide money to their wives for food, provide housing, medical, educational, and other necessities for their wives and children, and provide security for them also.

    Married people should not live by the philosophies, laws, convention, treaties, beliefs, models, practices, standards, ethics or values of any government, organisation or person. It is anti-God, anti-religion, iconoclastic, and anti-marriage for governments, organisations or any person to dictate, make rules, laws, or conventions for married people or interfere into marriage in any way, manner or form and at any time.

    On the existence or inexistence of God: If there is not God there is no Jeni. If I should repudiate God, I should repudiate Jeni. Indeed, I should repudiate Jeni even if I uphold God. If Jeni is Godless, I have a God. If Jeni is irreligious, I am religious. If Jeni lives by feelings and romance, I live by reason, faith, feelings and logic. If Jeni has no traditions, I have traditions.

    It is contradictory to assert: ” i am really not sure what you want to say’; and to assert: “But let me say one thing. No rights are divine, in my opinion divinity does not exist”.

    Prince Awele Odor
    Lagos, Nigeria

  146. 146 Pangolin- California
    August 7, 2008 at 09:54

    @ Iris- Try doing all that and being a man. People give you dirty looks and the other ‘mommies’ won’t talk to you. The pre-nup was a good idea and some sort of amendment to a marriage contract should be considered before a man ever stays home with the kids.

    I was a stay at home dad initially due to a back problem then later due to economics as I was working on a degree at Univ. As I had a previous incarnation as a sous-chef my children never ate food from a box. It was three cooked meals from scratch and the farmers market 365 days a year.

    As to the importance of caring for children. At some point you are going to look up from a hospital bed and your life will be dependent upon somebody else’s childrearing. You should be very concerned that that child had everything he or she needed to grow up to be attentive, caring and conscientious.

  147. 147 A.R.Shams, Pakistan
    August 7, 2008 at 11:43

    Working women should avoid marriage or mothers should avoid working out full time, especially if they sincerely care about welfare of the children who are in need of constant monitoring and training of the ideal mothers to help them grow up as decent personalities of the future.

  148. 148 jamily5
    August 7, 2008 at 12:14

    @Iris,
    You said it better than my attempts.
    I hope all of those WHYSERS come back and read your response.

    @Prince,
    Agree about sensoring!
    Once I sent a post three times, thinking that it was my computer: but, it was my length. :).
    And, I never name-call, etc.
    And, I have never been on the show, but I usually can’t arrange my schedule for that.
    Sorry about your luck, in that regard.
    I just assumed that the show producers etc looked for strong debators on both sides of a subject.

  149. 149 Leo Roverman
    August 7, 2008 at 12:56

    Look here, this issue about women at home is a bit of a red herring. I am of an age when I can look back and say wether we did the best we could for our family. I come from a half continental background where the man is head of the family and the woman is respected as head of the household. I say that quite deliverately because you can do nothing without the other half. Once you have a family your own needs go to the bottom of the heap. If you want a lifestyle you will have to work and that will impinge because its not time for the family. The balance on the other hand is that if at least one person stays at home you haven’t got the extra costs of farming out the offspring, but you don’t get the money either. If a new car, 2 hols in Spain a Year and exobrbitant mortgage is what you want, then you’ll have to work. They weren’t important to me. An old car, older clothes were all I NEEDED. Result two children that were monitored and are balanced people with roughly the right rpioities. You takes yer Choice as it were.

  150. 150 Ernest
    August 7, 2008 at 15:55

    I think the question of whether a woman should stay at home can not be answered with a simple YES or NO. In my case, I was raised in a home where both parents worked full time. However, they always found time to listen to our childhood disputes and point us to the right way to live. Although we would have loved our mother to be there all the time, we knew she had to work if there was to be enough income to cater for all our needs.
    My point is that there is a middle groung in this issue. All family members have to be understanding, supportive and willing to compromise if the family is to survive. Indeed I would never have wished to stay at home with a mother who was always sulking about how she would have been happier if she could go out and pursue her career. Compromise, love, understanding and support, based on every family’s individual circumstances, is the key to happy and successful families -not forcing women to stay at home.
    Ernest, Uganda

  151. 151 A.R.Shams, Pakistan
    August 7, 2008 at 16:55

    An ideal mother would never prefer working out leaving home at any situation except in very rare unavoidable circumstances.

  152. 152 CARLOS DAVID PELISSARI FRANCA
    August 7, 2008 at 21:26

    Well, if women do not stay home who should stay? men? At least here, in Brazil, things happen this way: women go out to work and pay another woman to take care of their houses. We have an old say in Brazil, “trocar o chico pelo Francisco” what means something like “to change Bob for Robert”. After all, someone has to stay home.

  153. 153 Iris Bason
    August 8, 2008 at 00:10

    @ Pangolin: You gave me food for thought. I have seen a group of men standing, usually alone, outside the school when I pick up my children, generally excluded from the group of ‘mommies’. I shall now make a point of greeting them and, if possible, talking albeit briefly, when I pass by. Cold comfort I know, but the mommies usually ignore me too as I am really not interested in the latest and greatest in the world of soap operas, celebrities or ‘body alterations’. I prefer to keep myself updated on world affairs (keep BBC World service on the home and car radio most of the time – there’s a plug for them!) All important for talking ‘intelligently’ to your children! On the food front, I am sure you are aware as I am, that eating from real, fresh basic supplies is actually cheaper – something I am amazed that a lot of moms do not seem to realise!

    @ Jamily5: Thanks for the positive comment.

    @ Leo Roverman: Hear, hear!

  154. August 8, 2008 at 19:03

    Children whose mothers work out mostly are spoilt drastically.

  155. 155 wintersmith
    September 10, 2008 at 14:24

    I don’t care how a family divides up the huge work of raising a kid, as long as they produce a responsible, considerate human being.

    C’mon people, what’s important here is the result, not the means!

    Why would you want to make families you don’t even know conform to your own parenting ideas? If you want to that badly, maybe you should feed ‘em too.

  156. April 10, 2009 at 16:21

    Well, I’ve read all of your comments but find nothing in support of “women should stay at home”, cause I am preparing for a debate competition next week on the topic. can any one help me?

  157. 157 Kgill
    August 17, 2009 at 00:30

    I don’t see why it should be the woman, but I do think that it is best for families if one person is home. Staying home is not doing nothing. I stay home. We save a lot of money because I’m always careful to plan household expenditures and I contribute my ‘work’ so we can save. IE I cut up my own chickens, make our laundry detergent, take care of chickens and garden, and cook mainly from scratch. It lets us live a more bio-friendly, healthier lifestyle. My husband has less stress because mostly he just has to work – if something comes up during the day like a need to go on an errand, I can handle it. Our children seem happy and are healthy. Our animals are too.


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