Insanity of Motherhood

Motherhood, marriage, and midlife.


Question of the Day- Is Full-Time Motherhood a Thing of the Past?

Yesterday, I was browsing on my computer when I came across something.  I found out a friend of mine is employed.  She had been a full-time at home parent, like myself and now is back in the workforce.  I was surprised because she told me she planned to stay home with her son, until he headed off to elementary school.

People change their minds, but this friend returning to work was really a surprise.  She had difficulty getting pregnant,   Now, after a few years of being home, she was back to work.

Women often say they would love to not have to work, but the truth is more and women are seeking out employment, even if it is not needed for financial reasons.

Years ago, I brought a meal to a new mom, after the birth of her baby.  When I asked her when she planned to return to work, she mentioned in eight weeks.  I was surprised at her answer.  She mentioned she wanted to get back to work because it was what she was ‘good’ at.  She missed her work friends, talking with other adults and using her talents.

The new mom did not need to return to work.  Her husband worked and provided well for the family.   She clearly wanted to work for her personal reasons.   The benefits of working outside the home, far outweighed the benefits of staying home to care for her infant.

Finding out my friend had returned to work, reminded me of the new mom.  My friend clearly wanted to work.  I understand her thinking. The difference between us is I want to stay home with my little son, more than my desire to work.  I would miss him terribly.  I have yet to find a job that would fulfil me as much, as being home with him.

Trends show fewer and fewer women will be staying home full-time, to care for their children in the future.  As a matter of fact, I heard on the radio yesterday, women are slated to soon surpass men in becoming the main breadwinners for their family.  All of this information got me thinking of my question of the day.

Is full-time motherhood a thing of the past?

My career choice, to stay home, is not for everyone.  Most people I meet tell me they could never do it.  All my close friends, who are mothers, work at least part-time.  The main reason is financial, but also because full-time parenting is no longer fulfilling enough for women.  Women want to contribute in ways other than child rearing.

Growing up, my mother was one of only a handful of neighbor moms who worked outside the home.  She did not want work, but when my parents divorced she had no choice.  I was always envious of my friend’s moms who were always home for them.  I knew before I had my first child, I would stay home after the baby arrived.  What I did not know was how long I would do it for.

Full-time motherhood is my greatest joy and my greatest challenge.  I feel tremendous pressure to be doing more than ‘just be home’ for the family.  So many women work, volunteer and raise wonderful children.  I value what I do, but many do what I do and so much more.

So to answer the question, ‘Is full-time motherhood a thing of the past?”, the answer is no.  The reason is, people will continue to make their own choices about raising a family.  Some moms will follow their hearts, not trends.  There will never be a ‘right’ way to raise a child, only a way that works best for each family.  Hopefully, we will all learn to respect each other’s choices for child rearing and support it.

Do I feel like a dinosaur on the verge of extinction, working in a career less and less women are chosing?  Sure, but as long as full-time motherhood is valued, someone will still want to do it.

Besides, rumor has it dinosaurs still roam the Earth.  At least, that is what I am hoping.