Are Unemployed Moms Miserable?
I’ve long believed that all women should earn and control their own money.
My good friend Samantha Ettus says those who don’t are actually deeply dissatisfied and she argues in her new book, The Pie Life, that opting out should not be an option.
Take a minute to read my piece on Sam’s theory in today’s New York Post: http://nyp.st/2cFwryp
Tell me what you think below.
Get Sam’s book today. It’s filled with actionable advice and inspiring ideas to live a wholly satisfying life.
I believe women need to have at least a part time career to earn their own money, stay connected with the outside world, feel better about themselves, and be prepared for that inevitable divorce as it happens to fifty percent of us. While I believe that stay at home mothers deserve more respect for their choice and their children benefit in many ways other children don’t, in the long run it can hurt you in the future. I was a stay at home mother for years and I found that my children wanted to have the freedom that kids whose mothers worked had, so they would gravitate to these indulged kids and even envy their freedoms to go home and watch tv, smoke, and in some cases read some of the unthinkable books and magazines these people had out where their children had access to them. I had less control because of these “free” kids who came home to empty houses and invited my kids. It looked like a candy store to my boys. I do not think my sons were more anxious or lesser behaved than the others because I was a stay at home mom (I enjoyed it). If they were more problematic in any way, it had to do with problems in a changing society that is hard for many kids to cope with, and in my particular case, a marriage that was not as solid as I thought because my husband was not a full participant on the marriage team. It had little to do with my staying home. I think they liked the “security” and warmth of my being there at times. In the long run, if a divorce does happen, having a career will save you all. It’s just the sad truth of today.
I was a stay at home mom for 12 years and enjoyed being home with my kids immensely. It would have been even more enjoyable if my ex husband would have made enough for us to live comfortably. I have friends who are married to men who make good money and they love being at home. I also know some that have just learned to stay out of debt and manage their finances extremely well so they can stay home comfortably even if their husband is not a high wage earner.
However, I also agree that it is wise to have some form of income, even if from a home based business in case something happens to your spouse or you find yourself in a divorce. Been there-done that, which is what caused me to re-enter the workforce after 12 years at home. I will say, at least for me, that I did feel a certain disconnect from my family when I re-entered the work force and I would have preferred to continue to stay at home with my 6 kids until they were grown. I would also prefer not to work a scheduled position now that I have 5 grandkids. Even though my kids are grown, I would like to be available when my kids and grandkids need me. I do enjoy the sense of accomplishment and empowerment that I get from my own personal business however and it comes with a flexible schedule.
I gave up my career to raise my children full time and have never regretted it. We never had perfect meals and housekeeping was not a priority, so we always had time for fun. I used my professional fundraising skills for my community as a volunteer and brought in mega dollars for several organizations. Then, when I returned to work when my children were in college, I had no trouble finding a fundraising position with a competitive salary.
I think it depends on your profession and your individual temperament as to whether the stay-at-home fit is right for the individual. If you have a job that allows some flexibility, it definitely makes the choice easier. I just love that we have choices in 2016 and I can’t believe that we’re still trying to justify staying at home vs. working away from the home. If the parents are happy with their choices, the children will sense that happiness, which is contagious!
I understand and respect the numerous valid reasons why women stay home. I also understand the vulnerable spot a women is in if her partner is not committed to the relationship; a stay at home parent dependent on one income needs a dependable spouse and unfortunately that is not always the case. The couple has to work as a team or a single income home can feel inadequate.
I left my job almost 15 years ago to raise my children and not regretted it for a minute! I started with a Direct Sales company a few years ago, but it had nothing at all with my being unhappy as a stay-at-home parent or financial reasons. I am actually offended by the author’s idea that I “opted out”! I opted to stay home and raise my children! I am not sure in what world kids only need daycare for the first 5 years of life. But I feel her comment about childcare costs only being needed for 5 years is way off! Even as teenagers my kids need rides to activities and such, so I will continue to be a stay-at-home parent! The only complaint my kids have had is we don’t get to fly off on fancy vacations at the drop of a hat, but when I ask if they would have rather been in daycare the answer is always “NO”!
Someone women find enjoyment in being a wife and mother. That is their work and worth. I have a masters degree and if my life was a mother and wife full time I would be okay with it. I enjoy being a mother and seeing him all the time.
I work 85 percent out of my home and I do not wish that I in a corporate setting everyday. I’ve never envied the working woman. I always wanted to be home raising a family. I’m single more money would make us more secure but, being his mom is my best work.
I wasn’t the best worker on a clock.
It’s a personal preference….do what makes you happy.
I was 30 years old when my first baby came. 6 years my second baby arrived just as she started school. I loved spending 14 years at home with my children. We were active with story time at the library and ministries at our church. I taught them to count and Learn their alphabet, ride their bike, tie their shoes, house chores, doing things for other people. When I went back to work I missed my time with them. They have both graduated from high school, the oldest from college and she has become a teacher. The youngest just started college. I would still choose to stay home. There are so many projects I would like to accomplish. I am in my 5th year as a elementary school secretary. I see what teachers go through with kids. My kids were taught by me, not a tv or video or play group. I really don’t care about my future in business. I know I raised two wonderful people who will help this world be a better place!
I can understand why people, moms especially, have very strong opinions about this topic. I would have given anything to have been able to stay home full time with my kids, but my husband and I both had to work to keep our family going. We worked every hour on the clock so the children never had to be in day care. One of us was always home for them. As a society, I feel we need to be more understanding, compassionate, and respectful of the choices people make. Each circumstance is unique. It is not for me to say one person is right and the other person is wrong. Opinions don’t matter. Raising happy, healthy children does, no matter how it happens.
In reading most of these I would say almost women are happier staying at home. I was fortunate enough to be able to stay at home when my two babies arrived and went back to work when they were in nursery school and again, later, stayed home off and on. I always felt very bad for women who chose or had to leave their babies in day care at 6 months or so. It was my utmost pleasure to hear their first words, see their first steps, read to them, and more. It was more important to me than money at the time. I had few clothes and things then but it was worth it. To women who choose to stay at home, I recommend spending time in a hobby that will later get you a job or taking a course in school that will lead to a degree or a business. Something, ideally, you enjoy. Then if and when you need a job, it is there. Those who can work at home are very lucky. To me, that is ideal. I think if more women were able to stay at home, and enjoyed it, life would slow down, children would be better behaved and happier, more secure. It is the competition and vast differences between the stay at home moms and the career women that bring up some issues for all. I know today things cost so much so there isn’t as much choice. People also have to think of college educations for the kids as well.
I don’t regret having take time off to raise two newborns and travel with my husband work. I am now starting my own business. I know many happy stay at home mothers. I have to agree that a better financial provision should be available for these women giving up their salaries. I know husbands that continue to pay retirement accounts for the spouses. I also know many women that do not have any provision for retirement after having dedicated much to their families. I believe the issue is to have some budgeted amount that women can decide how to spend. Also survivors of 9/11 can assure you that money is nothing compared with being there for the people you love.