For the most part, feminism has heightened the empowerment of women. But not without a price.
We applaud female lawyers, politicians and scientists. But, in the name of “feminism,” we’ve also invalidated and degraded one particular profession: the stay-at-home mom.
Our culture has gained the idea that voluntarily choosing to be stay at home is somehow a lesser fate.
I don’t agree. Feminism should be expanded to once again recognize this role as being equal to any other career a woman chooses.
If we can recognize women who juggle motherhood with a career, surely we can give full-time mothers the same credit. But society is too afraid of appearing politically incorrect by suggesting that women might want to be stay-at-home moms.
Instead, women who choose to stay at home are thought to be wasting their potential.
Growing up, my mom stayed at home with me and my two siblings – only working one or two nights a week. She was there for us 24/7 – able to read to us, play with us, teach us how to write, bandage our scraped knees and raise us to become the people we are today.
And yet, career-minded people treated her with skepticism and doubt. They could not imagine how someone could keep themselves occupied at home all day. They didn’t understand how she could find her work satisfying or fulfilling.
They wondered why, in a society where women are free to choose any career, would she want to stay at home instead? They did not realize that by staying home with her children, my mom was fulfilling what she wanted to do. It was more important to her to spend her days raising her kids than to have a professional job.
I think we need to realize that there is a big difference between acknowledging this as a viable occupation and saying that “women belong in the kitchen.”
It’s great to be forward-thinking. It’s great to see women taking on influential roles in so many career paths. But in the process, let’s not reject a profession that women have held since the beginning.
And one we do a bang-up job at.