02 Oct The Job of the Working Mom
I recently became an official stay at home mom. My husband and I had our first child three months ago. About three weeks before our daughter was born I clocked out for my last day of work…well my last day of work at the office. I had decided well before I ever started school that when I got married and we started our family I was going to be home with the kids. Yes I went to school and I graduated with a bachelors in political science. On the day of graduation as we were waiting for the ceremony to start, we all began to update each other on our post-graduation plans. The majority of my fellow classmates had already been accepted to law school, a few had positions lined up working on some political campaigns, and others were set to work with some non-profit organizations. When I told them that me and my husband were having a baby and that I would be staying home with her they looked surprised and confused. “Well that’ a surprise” one of them said, “considering the kind of student you are”. And then the conversation moved on to another student with a “more exciting” future plan.
At that point in my schooling I was used to the snide remarks and the “oh your one of those” nods from people who heard about my plans. It was assumed that someone with my plans would be in another major or that I would drop out of school entirely. After all you don’t need a degree to change diapers. I have never been one to care about what other people think. However, in a dinner with the president of the university I had the opportunity to bring the subject up. He had opened up the discussion to questions. I raised my hand, explained what my major was, what my plans where, the kind of response that I was getting, and what he thought about it. The President, a man who prior to his position at this school had served as the dean of the Harvard school of business, turned to his wife and said she was more qualified to answer that question. She looked at me and with a very stern and determined voice said “every child deserves to have an educated mother.”
Often in movies the stay at home mom is portrayed as someone who feels unfulfilled, she needs to “find herself”, she is board with diapers, wrestles with her everyday tasks, and longs for the adventure awaiting her in the big wide corporate world. On TV the mom is usually the overstressed, overwhelmed, very grumpy character. Unfortunately those images that we are flashing to the world fail to show the true job of the stay at home, or more accurately, the working mom.
The work that the mom does within the home is essential. Children need nurturing, they need attention, affection, and they need someone to teach them what is right and what is wrong. If those needs are not met at home they will be met elsewhere. The public schools will try to fulfill these needs by offering children encouragement, trying to build their self-esteem, teaching them manners, how to behave in society, what is and isn’t acceptable, and everything else that a child might possibly need in order to survive in life. But those attempts at fulfilling those needs will always fall short. There is nothing this world can offer to a child that will compensate for what he or she should be getting from their mother.
Why does the work of the mother matter? The family is broken in America. Morality is no longer seen as a constant but rather an idea that is subject to social construct. Society no longer sees things as right and wrong there is just his point of view and yours. There are several reasons why we are where we are as a nation. I believe that one of the biggest reasons is because the mother has left her post. The success of our government is dependent on the morality of our society. The character of our society comes from the strength of the home. And the mother is the heart of the home. There are of course circumstances and situations that make it impossible for the mother to be home or perhaps the mother is absent from the home. But those situations do not change the need for the mom.
Do I consider myself a working mom? Yes I do. I am working at teaching my daughter what is right and what is wrong. Working at teaching her what love is. How we should treat other people. I am working at teaching her to stand for what’s right. That means I also have to teach her to be brave because she will most likely be standing alone. I am working at helping her to know her self-worth. I am working at making our home a place where a family can learn from and strengthen one another. Does that require me to be educated? Yes it does. That education does not have to come from a university. But it should be important to moms that they are learning. We working moms have a lot to teach therefor we have a lot to learn. The core of everything that our children will learn and the person that they ultimately will become is dependent on us. That is why every child deserves to have an educated mother.