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Is it socially-acceptable to be a stay-at-home mum?

by Vee (follow)
Parenting (216)      Work (104)      Women (53)      Social norms (8)     

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It was once the norm for women to put aside their careers and care for their families. But, today, the opposite is often true.

Is it socially-acceptable to be a stay-at-home mum in today's world?

#Social Norms
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My wife stays at home. Some people have made some negative comments because she is highly educated but it is whats best for us.
by Rice
For financial reasons', I returned to work at 6 & 4 months' respectively.
There was no such thing as 'maternity leave', at the time.
Children went to daycare. They obtained 'more' of everything (except my love) than I could give them at home, especially, importantly, learning to 'socialise'. That's what they need more than ever these days', in the workforce.

My daughter, & I were discussing this yesterday, as her 7 month old daughter is starting daycare, one day a week.

Both my children grew up to be normal, well adjusted, successful persons' in their lives.

I'd noticed over the years', that 'home raised' children were more 'mamby-pamby' than mine! I'm talking '90's.
Life was different when I was a child, '50's-'60's.

But the base line is, what suits the child's parents.
It's really nobody else's business.
I think people are more surprised these days if you are but I also think the tide has turned and you are more likely to be considered the odd one out. Forty years ago the working mother was almost frowned upon and now the stay at home mother is getting the frowns. Lord, we are a weird bunch. I was so lucky to be a stay at home mum and I enjoyed every minute,
by Rice
EVERY minute? Really? I enjoy a lot of it, but there are some pretty crappy minutes (with the poo and the screaming, and the isolation etc.) But your mileage may vary.
Yes, I was very lucky. I fear that may have been what led me to only do it once. I figured the chances of getting another one so good were pretty much slim and none. Even when my daughter was sixteen people were STILL asking me if I would have another one! That old conker gets tired real quick.
by Rice
It is my Opinion that a child NEEDS their Mother.

I always laugh when people have a child, then return to work after a few weeks.

Then it makes me want to cry, because a little baby 'knows' who is their mummy.

Of course there are some circumstances that it can not be helped.....and for them I feel quite sad.
I have to agree with you, my heart tells me so :-)
by Rice
Err, I would prefer a solid..."a child needs parents, mother or father or both, because we fathers are always left out, yet we are still the 'other' parent. Also, there are many children brought up by a house husband only, and or a single father, so please even though we are outnumbered, we need to be included too.
Dave I understand what your saying and take your point.
Truth be told, many Fathers are not into the kid minding.....you may be of the
men who do....But it's is not the Norm, many would rather be at work, and there is also not anything wrong with that.I was just trying to say the Mother-child thing is very much important, than her going off to work....if you know what I mean. :)
by jonaja
That's an interesting question.

I don't think there's really any way for women to win this one. People criticise women who work and choose not to have kids or have them but don't stay home with them (though such criticism is rarely if ever directed at fathers who do paid work) but those of us who stay at home with our kids are often criticised or looked down on for not being ambitious enough, or have the work we do devalued and unappreciated. I guess the best you can do is just get on with whatever is right for you and try to ignore the haters.
I think your point about the work mothers do being devalued is spot on. It seems to me that, if you stay home, you are perceived to be having a great time, partying on, watching soaps and doing SFA. I definitely felt that others thought I was on a great wicket. Not my fault that I had a very hard working, well paid, thoughtful husband who was happy for me to raise our daughter.
by Rice
That is an interesting question as working seems to be the new norm, and those mothers who don't are considered odd. I stayed home with my kids and often got disapproving looks from other mothers for not going back to work. The good thing is that I could work if and when I wanted, unlike them. Sometimes I would work nights or afternoons if my husband was home, just to get a break from the kids, and help with the cashflow, especially if a lot of bills were coming in at the same time. My wage was a lot higher than my husbands. So, yes, I felt that those who chose to stay home were treated differently. They were expected to get back out there as soon as the baby had been born. Those who didn't were letting the family down, and not contributing to the household income. Some were even considered lazy. I didn't care what they thought. I worked if and when I could and to heck with the rest.
Yes if one can afford to forgo returning to the workforce immediately.
I believe those first few years are the most formative and needy for a child.
Then return to work part time before returning full-time.
Again circumstances affect making these decisions.


I say it is acceptable, for either parent to be the stay at home parent, if that is what they choose. It so depends of those particular parents, their values, their socio-economic standard of living, employment history and or prospects and needs/wants, the other family members and their needs, and their mom, who might have something to say.

Both my parents worked, all seven of us have grown into reasonably normal people, none brilliant and none criminally insane, but wonderful in our own right.

Take away what the do gooders think, take away what the snotty nose rich or lazy non working or the poor but happy opinions, and my opinion also, because it is such a personal choice.

Take away the cost of day care being extreme, take away maternity leave and all the fiscal factors, and let parents be parents to their children as best they can, whilst still being loving, caring and responsible for all their childrens welfare, and all will be good for their up bringing, working parents or not.
Of course it is.
It is or was the "NORM".
my wife and I discussed about her return to work and both agreed it was better to remain at home until our son was old enough to go to school.
Then we had a neighbour look after him at her home (across the street) until one of us got home from work.
My wife and I missed the money, but it was more important to give our son a close relationship with his mother in his most formative years prior to school.
These days married couple and those in a similar arrangement should consider what extra value is put into being with your new born until he or her reaches school age.
Sometimes I wonder if it is all about money or excuses to get out of the home.
Perhaps it was the accepted thing in my younger days,
Yes my wife was a skilled person, in case people thought she should not give up her career.
The career was just put on hold, and we made do on the lesser money coming in to the household.
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