Every so often the temperature spikes on the issue of working outside the home mothers versus stay-at-home moms. Last week the topic was brought up once more when DNC advisor Hilary Rosen said Ann Romney,"has never worked a day in her life." I've mostly heard people defend stay-at-home moms since the conversation was reignited, and that staying at home to raise kids is, indeed, work.
What I have also heard a lot of, and do take issue with, is that staying at home is a luxury (which implies it's not hard work) or that it's a gift only to the mom to stay home. I agree - it has been a gift to stay home raising my family for the past 10 years, but I am glad I also gave that gift to my husband and my kids. None of us would have it any other way.
However, it is a CHOICE to stay home - not a luxury. My husband and I moved 100 miles from the area we'd lived our entire lives so we could afford to buy a house for our growing family, which was impossible to do in the Bay Area at the time. If I'd chosen to work outside the home, we would still be in the Bay Area to this day. I wouldn't go so far as to say it's been a sacrifice, because again, I think it's been a gift to our family, but we have had to make sacrifices. We left everyone we knew and moved so I could stay home. I remember wanting to sign my son up for weekly gymnastics classes but they were more than we could afford. I remember budgeting for groceries in the early years of marriage, worried if I went over the weekly allocation. I certainly haven't had a luxurious life like some insinuate stay-at-home moms do, and 90% of the stay-at-home moms I know don't either.
Yes, there are people who would love to stay home but can't afford it, but there are also a lot of people who could stay home if they choose.
Julie Samrick is a stay-at-home mom of 4 young kids and the founder of Kid Focused, a site devoted to children and family issues. Subscribe to the free Kid Focused newsletter delivered weekly to your inbox and connect with us on Facebook too. Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com