On moms who “don’t work”

Posted By on April 28, 2012

I realize we’re well past the Rosen “stay-at-home moms-don’t-work” kerfuffle (rainy season in Kenya means lots of power and Internet outages!), but there are several good commentaries I wanted to share. I’m still working on a long article about the whole false “work vs. family” debate. As anybody grounded in reality knows, all moms work. What Rosen’s remarks illustrated was the fact that feminists have co-opted the word “work” to mean “any career for any institution other than one’s own family.” Work done in and from the home doesn’t count in this worldview, so we shouldn’t be surprised when it is dismissed out of hand. Here are some of the better commentaries that came through my newsfeed over the past ten days:

  • Feminists Are Waging War On Family Finances ~ As tax burdens escalate, it becomes increasingly challenging to cope on one income. Why discourage stay-at-home mothers by raising taxes to finance social engineering? Why dilute the economic benefits from tending the hearth through subsidizing daycare? Government deliberately skews the scale.
  • The Real War Against Women Is Being Waged By Feminists ~ Rosen’s gaffe was no mistake; it is what the feminists really think about any mother who would say, as Ann Romney said, “My career choice was to be a mother.” The big mama of feminism who is revered in college women’s studies courses, Simone de Beauvoir, famously said: “No woman should be authorized to stay at home and raise her children. Women should not have that choice, precisely because if there is such a choice, too many women will make that one.” That’s what feminists think. The strident voices that demand “choice” do not believe women should have the choice to be a homemaker rather than work a paid job in the labor force.
  • Dirty Little Secret: More Women Want to Stay Home to Raise Kids ~ For decades now, feminists have argued that stay-at-home moms were the equivalent of plantation slaves. Or they were sellouts – Betty Crockers who drank The Stepford Wives’ Kool Aid. A “real” woman wanted a professional career, just like a man.
  • About feminism and moms: It’s worse than you think ~ It should surprise no one that a self-appointed advocate for women (as if their opinions and interests were monolithic) should dismiss stay-at-home moms so casually and even coldly. It has been a major tenet of the feminist movement that women who raise their children rather than enter the workplace are precisely the problem.

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About The Author

Jennie is the wife of Matthew and mother of ten children, all of whom keep the household bubbling with life, learning, and levity. Jennie co-founded LAF in 2002 with Lydia Sherman and has been delighted to hear from women all over the world who enjoy their femininity and love to cultivate womanly virtues.

Comments

4 Responses to “On moms who “don’t work””

  1. MurphyFamily says:

    I am looking for a past article that referenced a study showing that ‘70% of working women would want to either quit work or work less hours in order to spend more time at home’.

    I’m certain it is from the LAF site or linked from LAF. I’ve spent hours looking for it but am unable to find it.

    If a fellow reader or an author knows which article this is, could you please reply in a comment with the link to the article? I would much appreciate it! Thank you in advance.

  2. Hello! There have been a lot of surveys and studies posted over the years on this topic. I’m not sure exactly which article you are trying to find (we’ve had a lot since 2002!). Below are links to a few studies about the desire most women have to be at home with their children. Note that a lot of respondents said they would rather work part-time than full-time. What isn’t mentioned is that most of those moms prefer to work part-time from home rather than going out to a job. This is really a return to the household economic model that thrived for millennia before the industrial revolution. All women “work” — and always have. ;) But what most of us desire is work within the context of our homes and families–not at the expense of either. Having a family business that involves our children is a wonderful gift and a great way to teach children a super work ethic. That would count as a “part-time career” to the survey takers, but there’s a big difference between a career devoted to a business away from home and family and family-based, home-centered work that involves the family. Hope this helps!

    Links:

    http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Working_mothers_common_problems – “Nearly eight out of 10 working mothers would quit their jobs if they could.”
    http://pewresearch.org/pubs/536/working-women (2007 survey) – “Among working mothers with minor children (ages 17 and under), just one-in-five (21%) say full-time work is the ideal situation for them.”
    http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2012/04/13/women-work-and-motherhood/ (2012 survey) – “Only about one-in-ten moms (12%) say having a mother who works full time is the ideal situation for a child.”
    http://news.sky.com/story/619381/working-mums-want-to-stay-home (2008 UK survey) – “Research found that 62% of mothers who work full and part-time and have children under seven would like to leave their jobs.”

  3. MurphyFamily says:

    Jennie,

    Thank you for taking the time to respond and include those links. I have been telling several people about the “70%” study and regret not having saved the article. The articles you linked are very helpful.

    Everyone I have talked to about this growing movement towards home has two reactions: the first one is amazement, because the MSM keeps telling us that the opposite is true-that women want and deserve their own selfish ways which includes working full time; and the second reaction is relief, because what they have always known deep down (because God put it in us) is proven to have been true all along, that mothers want to be and are needed to be at home (not only needed by our children but by our husbands and society as well).

    As a note of encouragement … My hairdresser is always amazed at me because my husband and I have eight, going on nine, children (yes, all within the context of the same marriage to each other), I stay home full-time, we eat three meals each day at the table together, the children have chores that each are responsible for, and all the other “weird” things that we do. My hairdresser is a single young lady who is a nominal Christian who has it in her heart to stay at home one day with her future children. She purposely chose the profession of hairdresser because she knows it is something she can do from her house one day, and from her work, she has saved tens of thousands of dollars in order to help relieve her future husband of some of the financial burden of purchasing a house. When we started talking about women staying home, our conversation almost went to a whisper because of not wanting to offend the other women in the salon. And when I told her of this study that shows that the majority of working women actually want to stay home, I could see the relief come over her, her shoulders relaxed, and she was immediately justified in her thoughts all along. It strengthened her resolve to keep doing what she knows is right.

    Thank you for your most important web site, a ministry. The information shared here is vital. I pray that God will bless you and your work.

    Linda

  4. Glad this was helpful, Linda! And I’ve had the same experience with women asking me about my “unusual” family and lifestyle choices. When I tell them I’m not going back to 1950 but 1750 and the ways of our hard-working, thrifty, and creative foremothers, they really start asking questions. When they start to connect the dots, suddenly all the “work-vs-family” conflict melt away and they see that it is a legitimate and wonderful “career” to be at home and center the economy around the family. I love it, and I’m thrilled that more women are seeing the wisdom of working creatively with their own hands while they bring up and teach their children at the same time. :)

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