Listening to Q this morning on CBC a woman came on and declared that highly educated women have a moral obligation to work and that women who work part time or stay home are providing their daughters with a bad example. (ETA: You can listen to the conversation here.)
This hits home for me because I am an educated woman (a BA and a college diploma), I am currently working full time as well as working on other things, like this blog, that fulfill me, but I am considering switching things up and staying at home with my daughter. Iwould work at home, I don’t think I would be happy unless I did, but my main day-to-day job would be raising my daughter, and then re-entering the work force when she entered school, or starting my own company in earnest.
I am considering this, yes, because I am not giving my family my best. Things at work are difficult and it is affecting my health.
Do I think this makes me a bad example for my daughter? Risking my future employment success to stay home and experience things with her?
No, I don’t.
I think my daughter will understand, just as I do, that she has a right to follow her passion. If she chooses to be a mother, she can choose to stay at home, or work and put her children in daycare or have a nanny or have her partner stay home or any variety of things. She can be who she wants to be and she can succeed in life.
I think this ‘mommy track’ debate is just another way of women fighting women instead of supporting each other. Like the stay-at-home-mom vs. working-out-of-the-home-mom debate, it just ends up pitting us against each other and makes us forget about the real issues for women around the world.
I have friends who stay at home, work at home mothers, friends who, like me, are working full time and taking care of their kids, I know single mothers and married mothers, and they are all amazing. Why would I question their choices when they have been brave enough to do what they feel is best for them and their families.
I would rather we all get together and fight for better circumstances for all mothers and all parents, because our children are inheriting the world and they deserve long-term solutions rather than sort term thinking. I believe that our daycare and education systems need to be overhauled, and so does our health care system. I believe the environment needs to be a priority and public transit needs to be vastly improved, I believe that mothers, raising their voices together, can make real change happen but instead we’re on the radio debating whether women who decide to be mothers are failing society.