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Don’t Give Up Your Day Job

Women everywhere have been struggling with two essential things in their lives. Raising a family and their day job tend to go hand in hand with one another. They believe that it is too difficult to maintain both and choose to be stay at home mothers instead. In Heidi Bruggink’s , “Don’t Give Up Your Day Job,” Leslie Bennetts sets two arguments in her book, The Feminine Mistake.

She first states that women should learn to be independent rather than depending on their partner. She believes that they will not always be by their side to support them. She states that many women whom she has interviewed have had an image of a perfect future but eventually realize otherwise later. Bennetts further states that she believes that women are capable of raising a family and maintaining a day job.  I agree with her statement, however women are not the only ones that decide to be a stay at home parents. Similar to our discussion in class and the videos we watched, men have also chosen to stay home rather than work. They cook, clean and take care of their children while the mother is at work. I believe both men and women are capable of maintaining a job and being stay at home parents. It is possible for both parents to have “a meaningful career and a stable marriage and wonderful children.”

Bennetts made a comparison between children with stay at home mothers and children with working mothers. She believes that working mothers are teaching their children to be resourceful and self-sufficient while stay at home mothers are setting a bad example for their children. I disagree with her statement and believe that there are many children that have stay at home mothers and are exactly what Bennetts describes children of working mothers. Their mothers do not need to work in order to teach them to be resourceful and self-sufficient.


3 Comments

  1. wahmad2013 says:

    Although we usually assume that mothers are supposed to stay home and men are supposed to work, many men have actually been choosing to stay at home rather than working. I believe both parents, whether working, staying at home or doing both are able to do both. We tend to place labels on each parent, however we forget that a mother can do what the father can and the father can do what the mother can do. The videos we watched in class clearly state that there are also men staying home taking care of the children, cleaning as well as cooking.

  2. analyg says:

    When we talked about this in class, I was really surprised that the men who stayed at home actually had similar feelings that women do when they stay home to take care of the kids. It’s hard to do both a day job and raise a family, but it is doable. I think the stereotype of the woman being the one to take care of the children will be changing in the near future, as women begin to gain a little more power in higher positions in the work place.
    The “rap” video we watched about the stay at home dad was funny, but I think he did actually mean it when he was saying he liked it. It’s hard work but it can be nice to hang around with the kids all day long and get to have a chance to raise them.

  3. Ronda Cosgrove says:

    I can only speak from my personal experience. I have been a teacher, a school social worker, and a children’s mental health therapist in private practice. I am also mother to a tween boy diagnosed with severe sensory integration disorder. I took time from my career to get my son services to help him learn to live and thrive in our world. I did the stay at home thing, but with the stress of a resentful husband, anxiety over doing “the right things” at home providing prescribed therapeutic activities, in addition to being present for all the physical, occupational, speech, and social therapies several times a week.
    My husband’s brothers are married to stay at home wives( the wives’ choice). I have since learned that both women decided to have additional children despite their husbands” wishes not to have any more children. Over the years, I have watched these women make their husbands and children (but not the daughters, interestingly) overly dependent upon them to the point that the sons literally do not know how to perform simple household skills such as sorting,folding, washing and drying laundry, vacuuming, cooking, bathroom cleaning, grocery shopping, all the things needed to live independently. As a result, the sons (the one daughter got out, went to college out of state and never looked back!) are still letting their mothers take care of them as adults, and are not contributing to the household, financially or otherwise. Needless to say, my brothers in law are pretty resentful, but they are so dependent on their wives as well and do not make waves. They have colluded in this dependency situation and are now paying the price. The men have “made their beds,” so to speak, although they have never lifted a finger to actually make up a real bed for many years.
    My son, with all of his challenges, at least knows how to make a simple meal, make his bed, and is expected to learn and perform many independent living skills developmental to his age. He groans about having to do chores and learning to cut up fruits and veggies for meals, but I know he is on the right track to live and share family responsibilities with whomever he chooses to make a future family life with. You would think that these sisters in law of my husband would have not been so selfish and short-sighted.
    Not all stay at home mothers are like this, I know. However, the tendency to allow their families to become infantilized in order to rationalize staying at home is always there and should be honestly addressed.
    I have a kind-hearted, responsible son, despite me working full time since he was three years old. Is my son resentful? What he wants versus what he really needs are very different things, are they not? My advice to women who choose to leave the workforce to raise their children: Your children and husband are not your employers. You should not strive to make yourself so indespensable that they can not function independently of you. Your goal should be to raise them to eventually leave and fly on their own. They WILL come back, but because they love you and want to be with you, not because they are overly dependent upon you.

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