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Stay-at-home mum, working-from-home mum, working mum, and so on and so forth--why do we have these tags for mums? A mother is a mother, whether she works inside the house or outside the house.
Notice how these labels are only for women. Have you heard of terms like stay-at-home dad, working-from-home dad, and working dad as often? Do interviewers ask the father how he plans to manage his time working as well as taking care of his child?
A working mum is no less of a mother than the mum who has chosen to stay at home and spend all her time with her child. She should not be made to feel guilty of her choice to continue working at her job, furthering her career. Why is it a given that a woman's career will take a backseat once she becomes a mother?
People have all sorts of things to say about the mother who continues working:
a) She is career-minded.
Now, why is that a negative attribute in a woman?
b) She feels that her career is more important than her family.
Again, so untrue, because with smart time management, she can give her best to both her job and her child.
c) She is being selfish, putting herself before her child.
There's so much wrong in this statement that this could be the subject of another blog post! Also, why isn't the father selfish if he doesn't give up his job?
By saying that the child needs his mother the most, we are negating the influence and importance of a father in a child's life and unfairly burdening the mother with more than her share of parenting duties.
On the other hand, a woman who puts her career on hold to bring up her child is also not spared by society. She gets to hear another set of comments:
a) She has a good life--just staying at home and playing with the child.
Again, too many things wrong with this statement to be put right in a few sentences! There's so much to do in a household, apart from the innumerable tasks that make up child rearing. It is grossly unfair to say that a mum who stays at home is free.
b) She can just depend on her husband to provide for the family. Why will she bother working?
This is demeaning to all mums. By saying this, we are belittling all the hard work that goes into bringing up a happy, healthy, and well-rounded child. And we are also assuming that she has no ambitions or life goals.
Mums who have the choice of telecommuting are able to satisfy the needs of both job and child. Correct? Society does not seem to think so.
a) She gets money for sitting at home all day.
If only there were jobs that paid for sitting around all day, we wouldn't have to work toward earning a degree!
b) Why doesn't she answer my call? After all, she's at home all day.
We may be at home, but we aren't lazing around watching television and polishing our nails. We're struggling to demarcate home life from office life. We have one eye on the nanny while we're preparing for that super important presentation. So, please excuse us if we don't take your call to chit chat.
I wonder why a woman, who does nothing short of performing a miracle in the form of giving birth, is so maligned. Shouldn't we be worshipping the living image of our goddesses in our own homes?