Do mothers really want to work?

woman&childWell…not really. At least not according to this report titled ‘What Women Want and How They Can Get It’.The “overwhelming majority of women do not want to commit full-time to a job” says Cristina Odone the report’s author.

Ms. Odone also said notions of women’s progress over the past decade have been measured by the “wrong” things, such as more women in top jobs, a shrinking earnings gap and better state-funded childcare.

Victoria blogged on netmums and said:
“Why is being a full-time mother seen as such a lowly way to spend the day. It’s bad enough being looked down on by men who think you must be stupid to not have a job but I think the reaction from women, even my own friends, is worse. I’m always hearing ‘well, it’s ok for you, some of us have to work!'”

However this was an interesting response on the same blog from Tracey:
“…I work full-time and have two children – one at school, one at nursery. That’s my choice. I often envy SAHM (Stay At Home Mums) and wish I could want to do it. But I can’t, I am the way I am and that’s it. I also find it MUCH harder work to be at home through half term etc, as children are sooooo demanding, love them as I do.”

This report in the US says that despite being overstretched and feeling constant guilt, working mums are happy with their lives. The report also found that 75 percent of Americans reject the idea that a woman’s place is in the home.

This hits home in so many ways, I can’t begin to tell you! My mother is – well- was a high achieving workaholic. My childhood memories of mommy is of her on our dining table at five in the morning with her books and papers all spread out.

She’d wake up before dawn to put a couple of hours of studying before waking me and my sister up to get ready for school and then go to her job teaching at the University of Alexandria , come back prepare a meal for us get our school work done and then do her own studying.

She managed a Masters, a PHD, and a scholarship to the USA that opened doors not just for her but the entire family. I’m not using this as a chance to brag about my mother much as I love to. But with all those achievements came an endless amount of stress and worrying that was transferred to me and my sister all the time. I remember when my mum got her PhD, Shaza my sister wanted to burn all the books ‘because they made mommy sad.’

And now at fifty something, mom gave all of this up. Just like that, and just when she was about to get head of department she decided she’d had enough! I really didn’t understand her and when talking about my career ambitions with her one time she said ‘ I notice you don’t mention babies, why not? Afterall this is the most important job for you.’ I couldn’t believe it when she told me that and ended the conversation then there. That was three years ago and we don’t talk about it anymore.

I don’t have children so I can’t really say what I’d like to do if I did. But My best friend does and she works full-time and has told me so many times that she’d rather stay at home but can’t afford to.

Have we as a society failed to strike a family balance? Why is it difficult for some mothers to choose not to work now? Do you measure a woman’s achievement by her position at work or her successes with her family?

19 Responses to “Do mothers really want to work?”

  1. 1 scmehta
    October 9, 2009 at 14:19

    Much as women would like to devote as much time as possible to give the best of love and care to their kids, nevertheless, they also like to feel financially independent and out-going in their friends-circles to have some time to themselves.

  2. 2 steve
    October 9, 2009 at 16:01

    Who in their right mind actually wants to work? Some just realize they have to work.

    • 3 Dennis Junior
      October 10, 2009 at 15:03

      Steve’s remarks on 9 October 2009 at 16.01…Is very much true and
      accurate and should have been further with the information that was lacking, that,
      most mothers and (fathers) were not left with silver spoons in their mouths….

      ~Dennis Junior~

  3. October 9, 2009 at 16:13

    Our parent members have it all, as much work as they want on a flexible basis. It’s all about a balance – wage v’s childcare costs, career v’s time raising your kids. There is a huge untapped wealth of talent out there that business needs to tap in to and we supply that interface. With the rise of broadband society can embrace a new form of work that fits around our lifestyle. – Wise up mums and have it all.

  4. 5 John in Salem
    October 9, 2009 at 16:17

    I think most do. People need to feel productive to be happy and apart from the economic pressures the rewards of being a full-time parent are a long term proposition. Those who don’t work at something outside the home tend to become self-absorbed or depressed or both, and my own experience is that young stay-at-home mothers tend to get in trouble of one kind or another eventually.

    • October 13, 2009 at 12:14

      “People need to feel productive to be happy”??? Isn’t raising, taking care of children, their education, health, well being, food, clothes, etc.. “productive”? How do you measure productivity?

  5. 7 Kalai in San Francisco
    October 9, 2009 at 16:59

    I think many women are confused and caught between work and family life. One of my close friends quit her job to take care of her child, now she is so fraught with guilt that she is not financially independent when she can – that thought definitely gives low self-esteem.

    My only question for “stay-at-home” mothers is, what would you do if something wrong happens in your life? Like, what would happen if your husband (or whoever financially responsible) leaves? Or say, what would you do after your kids leave the house and go to college when they are 18? Unless you have some constant touch with the professional world, it is very difficult to make an entry into the job market.

  6. 8 Jennifer
    October 9, 2009 at 20:11

    If I was a mother I would not want to work!

  7. 9 Linda in Italy
    October 10, 2009 at 13:44

    I am a human being who happens to be female. I am, I hope, intelligent and have many contributions to make to many different communities within society. 20 years (nearly) ago I gave birth to a child, who is now happy, healthy and reasonably well-adjusted if not one of the world’s over-achievers. I gave birth but my husband also played his part in that act of creation, but did anyone ever ask him if he, as a father, really wanted to work so why should this question be put to me?
    Parents (of both genders) have an equal set of duties and responsibilities to their children and we ALL have to juggle a number of economic, intellectual and emotional factors to maintain some sort of equilibrium in our lives and those of our children.
    I’m very disappointed that this whole argument, i.e. women defined as “mothers” and nothing else, isn’t dead and buried – or is the world set on rewind?

  8. 10 anon
    October 11, 2009 at 00:24

    i dont think mothers should have 2 work not full time at least there are benefits there for single mothers. its not bein lazy its called being a mother. wot is the point of having a child if some child care worker is going to be the one bringing him/her up. wot is the point of having a child if u never spend anytime with them, the most important thing a child needs is love and attention. most children with everything money can buy but no attention or love cuz there parents too busy working say that all they want is to spend sometime with them. people need to stop thinking everything is about money and realise wot threr children really need.

  9. 11 rr
    October 11, 2009 at 09:03

    My mom was a fully career committed woman until she had me. There were times when I wished that she had gone to work and not stayed at home. And there were times when I felt glad that she had not gone to work.

    But I did not feel the impact of this until I saw my sisters trying to juggle motherhood and career, and more often than not, just completely break down trying to be a perfect mom and/or a great executive. These two aspects, motherhood and careers are mutually exclusive… you cannot have this cake and eat the other…

    October 11, 2009 at 18:31

    ‘WOMEN’ is a mordern concept that results from stereotyping tag which has failed to stick because it is simply not natural even though some women have labored with it for so long.
    Its not that women do not want to work. I don’t want to work either unless it is something that I really enjoy doing. Working for money means you are forced to undergo a routin wich may go against your grain. Staying at home is work enough. Worrying about finances is truly stressing. That said, there are some who luckily get out of the tredmill. These are the mothers, wives, anties and eventually happy grandmas. In short; the home makers. In the end, happiness is what counts in life.

  11. 14 patti in cape coral
    October 12, 2009 at 11:21

    Short anwer – This woman did not want to work when her children were young, but there was no choice in the matter, children need feeding.

  12. 15 Audrius Kviliunas
    October 12, 2009 at 12:29

    Thank to God I never go to kindergarten.I rise with grandmother.She read me books, help to play-I early learn to read and understand geographical map,I get essential principles of moral and thinking.All this was till school and I am sure that all womens or their mothers must rise childrens till school.In our Republic mothers get material help till 2 years.I am sure that with time this help will be prolonged..In soviet time I hear conversation of two kindergarten nurses-one of them say about many works and another answers-I have no problems only in cold weather a little longer open windows in kindergarten and after some time work only with half children.And I ask-are you always sure into whoose hands you give your children?

  13. 16 Miss Omondi
    October 12, 2009 at 13:28

    Women are the most under privilaged people in the society-since time began.
    They are not acknowledged,appreciated or even adored – unless rape or sex is required.
    Most men spend alot of their valuable time degrading and dehumanising women.They expect women to be like manoeuvrable objects that they can pick and dispose of whenever they like.
    Women only ask for one thing: to stay home and raise their kids for as long as they desire. Is that too much to ask?

  14. 17 Tom K in Mpls
    October 12, 2009 at 15:36

    Some love it, others would rather stick totally with the family. Most are somewhere between. Kinda obvious I would think.

  15. 18 nora
    October 12, 2009 at 17:29

    Mothers work all the time. Most of their work is unpaid.

  16. 19 Dasun Champika
    November 2, 2009 at 04:59

    I hope that mothers don’t want to do a job.

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