Moms Columns & Blogs

Another Option

It seems that there’s always a lot of discussion, hurt feelings, chest thumping, back patting and general emotion to be found on parenting sites about moms who work vs. moms who stay at home with their children.  What gets lost in all this emotion is that there is another option.

A woman can have a career and see her children raised at home with a caring parent.  A woman can have the satisfaction of earning a paycheck by the sweat of her brow while knowing that her children are being taken care of in a loving environment.  A woman can deal with a work crisis and not have to worry about the school calling to say that little Johnny just broke a tooth, has a fever, and threw up in the gym. 

How can she achieve these crazy feats?

Simple, clone herself. 

No wait.  There’s one even simpler than that.   Have dad stay at home with the kids. 

Now, clearly having dad stay home is not a viable option for either single parent families or those where both parents must work to make ends meet.  But I also suspect that the families working that hard probably aren’t out on the internet slamming each other for their choices.  Trolling websites to put others down is more of a pastime for folks with the luxury of time on their hands

According to a 2010 Pew Research study the percentage of husbands whose wives’ income tops theirs rose from 4% in 1970 to 22 % in 2007.  Additionally, more college graduates today are women (53.5%), so this trend is likely to continue.  Yet, in none of the discussions I’ve seen regarding mom staying home is there any mention of why in the devil dad doesn’t step up and do it.

As a society we’re clearly recognizing the value of females in higher paying positions.  Likewise, we see the value of having a strong male involved in a child’s life.  Yet as a stay at home dad I am still in the vast minority.  I believe it rather selfish for a father to assume that being an at home parent is strictly for the moms, but it’s equally selfish and increasingly presumptive for a woman to assume that she’s so great at everything that the choice is strictly between her job or her kids. 

The best kind of environment for a child or marriage to grow within is one where decisions are made for the good of the entire family.  The days where mom’s career is the only one that can be put on hold are clearly over.