Should Moms Work or Stay at Home?
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In present society if you ask a woman what her career is, and she is known as a stay-at-home mom, people have the tendency to look down on her. However, if she is a working mom, they might ask, “how does she manage it all?” This problem with many women makes it harder for them to choose between their children and work. One cannot be the best career woman and the best mother at the same time; a woman has to choose one over the other. There are some married women who are economically strong and their husbands work, these women must make a decision whether they should work or stay home. Family life would be better if mothers choose to stay at home.
One of the toughest decisions of a woman’s life comes with motherhood. The question is – stay at home or pursue a career? Both types of mothers deserve credit, but the question remains, “What is best for the children?” Many mothers have different reasons and feelings about working outside of home. Some mothers want the self-fulfillment of having a career; they assume their children will be more independent and more mature than children with full-time mothers. They work for their own psychological well-being, and deal with double duty by balancing work and family. Unlike stay at home moms, working mothers have high self worth as they are working equally as men, and their lives are not limited to just children and husband.
Most importantly, the money earns by working mothers are advantageous to both their children and families, and they can afford sending their infants to day care centers or having a governess for them. Shannon Brownlee and Matthew Miller in an article states, many working parents commit that they both work because they need money (Brownlee and Miller 1), but, they should also concern on an old truth – children need love and attention that money can not buy.
On the other hand, stay-at-home moms have different perspectives towards family relationship. One perspective is the relationship between the spouses and the other perspective is the relationship between the parents and the children. Early childhood is a very important stage in the raising of a child, and the mother’s role at that stage is greater than that of anybody else. For a great purpose that God has determined, the only nourishment of the baby at this stage is by nursing from its mother. This does not only medically affected the health of the child, but also has psychological effects. Research proves that breastfed babies have a lower incidence of serious chronic illnesses, and it also provides some important health benefits on mothers (GBG 1). For these reasons, doctors always advise mothers to nurse their babies themselves, and if for some account a mother could not, she is advised to keep it close to her and take care of it all the time.
Therefore, one can realize how serious a mistake a mother makes when she leaves her baby at this stage to a day care or to a governess who takes care of it. It is also very painful for a mother to leave a crying child, sharing the role of motherhood with a stranger, and neglecting the child’s emotional needs. In such a situation, a baby misses a lot of the psychological care it needs. John A. Coleman, a professor of Social Justice said:
One real danger in day care is sickness. Children who attend long day-care and after-school programs get sicker and come under greater stress. They also exhibit aggressive behavioral problems. Studies have shown that the level of cortisol (a stress-related chemical) in day care children reverses the normal pattern. For most humans, cortisol levels are highest in the morning, then level off. For day care children it becomes higher as the day progresses. Apparently, their internal stress mounts during their institutionalized day. Perhaps these children are not getting enough “lap time” (Coleman 1).
This suggests that a mother can leave matters of cooking, house cleaning, and similar chores to the maid, because a baby will not receive as much tenderness and care from a maid as from its own mother. According to the psychological perspective, infants without a bond are likely to grow up with some serious character disorders as well as become depressed and neurotic. On the other hand, infants who receive enough attention and admiration from parents from the beginning are most likely to succeed socially and emotionally. For instance, my sister (who has a daughter, 10 months old) started work on weekends which made her daughter stubborn and depressed. The daughter always remains worried if her mother leaves her.
Even though her grand mother and aunts take care of her, it negatively affects the personality of child. Then one can imagine how adverse could be the effects of leaving a child to day care. Not only infants, children also need special care in their teen years as this is an important stage in their life. As fathers are usually busy, a mother therefore should spend most of her time with them. A mother can be more aware of the affairs and activities of her children. Thus, in this way the children would be able to get enough affection and mother would be more likely to discover problems that her children suffer from. Their values and morals can be guided and the children can be disciplined more consistently.
There is no doubt that it is extremely difficult for a woman to work outside and take care of the child at the same time as raising a child is also a full time career with its own ample rewards. Because every person has the limited amount of time and energy so the women with competing demands suffer from overload and inter-role conflict, which make their life stressful and less satisfied. On the other hand, stay at home moms receive gratification and inner satisfaction from knowing they are giving their children a strong moral foundation and are being able to watch them grow. When mom does not work children develop tremendous feeling of fulfillment and thought of being important that makes them feel more secure and more confident.
There an issue arises, which is why can’t father stay home with children? A woman is born with the nature of making her house and children her first priority whereas men are expected to be protectors and caretakers of the family. Also, children do not feel comfortable when their father stay home instead of mother. Kari Simpson, president of Vancouver’s Citizens’ Research Institute and the mother of four children states, “a mother working away from her children is working against her natural urgings” (as quoted in Ko 1).
The above information on this subject is controversial, but it also demonstrates that majority of married women have a lifestyle choice instead of an economic choice. It all comes down to women’s satisfaction, if they are happier working or staying at home with their children. It is an important decision that all mothers must make, but how it influences their children is still debatable. In short, both the quantity and quality of time spent with children are better when mom is at home. There is not any job as challenging as raising a perfect child, which is a full time career.
Brownlee, shannon, and Matthew Miller. “5 Lies parents tell themselves about why they work.(balancing child-care and work)(Cover Story).” U.S. News & World Report 122.18 (1997). Self numbered 1. InfoTrac OneFile. Thomson Gale. Nova Southeastern University. 19 April 2006. .
Coleman, John A. “Separation anxiety.(Home-Alone America: The Hidden Toll of Day Care, Behavioral Drugs, and Other Parent Substitutes)(Book Review).” America 192.17 (2005). Self numbered 1. Military & Intelligence Database. Thomson Gale. Nova Southeastern University. 07 April 2006. .
Ko, Marnie. “Leaving their heart at home: a new study says working moms are more likely to have high blood pressure.” Alberta Report 26.17 (1999). Self numbered 1. InfoTrac OneFile. homson Gale. Nova Southeastern University. 18 April 2006. .
“The Get-Real Breastfeeding Guide (GBG): It may be natural, but it’s not always easy. Try these secrets and strategies for feeding your baby the very best.(Breastfeeding).” Baby Talk 5.2 (2004). elf numbered 1. Health Reference Center Academic. Thomson Gale. Nova Southeastern University. 07 April 2006. http://find.galegroup.com/ips/infomark.do?&contentSet=IAC-Documents&type=retrieve&tabID=T002&prodId=IPS&docId=A118903458&source=gale&userGroupName=novaseu_main&version=1.0>.