“Negative perceptions around women who combine paid work with parenthood have been comprehensively demolished in a major study by Harvard University, which shows the daughters of working mothers enjoy better careers, higher pay and more equal relationships than those raised by stay-at-home mothers.” Please click on the link to read the entire article.
First I must say that the article is very well written and has a few points in its favour. However, I become weary when articles are filled with generic statements such as the above; statements that serve no purpose other than to increase the social divide promoting a particular sect above the other. We are better off promoting principles that cut across all lifestyles, social class, community or personality. I would rather teach my daughter the following principles:
1. If you want something work hard to get it : this is important whether she works from home, at an office or is a stay-at-home mum.
2. Decide what success means to you and make it work: if it means having a career, or being a stay-at-home mum, or both, pursue it by yourself. Don’t impose whatever choice you make on your own child.
3. Always strive to attain balance: don’t become so career driven to the point where other aspects of your life suffer or your personality changes to one you detest in the future. On the other hand, don’t become a laid back stay at home mum with no dreams or ambition. Get involved in activities that allow you spend time with your kids as much as you wanted.
4. Whatever you get involved in do it excellently: this is a principle my husband has helped me apply even to house-chores. Whether it’s cleaning a cup or spilled milk strive for excellence, when you model this in front of your kids they take that into everything they do in life. With excellence comes success.
5. Add value where ever you are, don’t become a burden to family or society at large. Don’t take out more than you put in.
Rebecca Allen a senior academic at UCL’s Institute of Education and the director of an education data research thinktank was quoted to have said “In some ways [the study’s findings are] a comfort to women who do go out to work – and a signal to women who don’t that they have to think hard about how the role they have within the household is going to impact their children’s perceptions of what it means to be a woman and to be a mother,” she said.
Again a generic statement which struck a nerve, sorry it’s not a signal rather its a statement that totally ignores the right of a parent to choose a parenting and family lifestyle suited to them. It ignores the myriads of choices and decisions every parent has to make before choosing what path to follow. I would love to give examples, but I am not arrogant enough to assume that every parent has the same factors mitigating against them, thus I will suggest you make the choice that sets you and your family on the right path for success.
Rather than focus on getting more women into the work place, why not focus on ensuring that the work environment is optimally family, breastfeeding and children friendly globally. I am a stay-at-home mum; I am neither ashamed nor proud of it. It is what it is. And, if tomorrow comes whilst am at work, I will neither be proud or ashamed. It is what it is.