Sheri touched an important point on her blog; she shared her surprise about the claim that women who work outside the home are, in fact, better mothers than full-time homemakers. Please note that I'm not about to say that a woman who does this or that is a better mother, but I've encountered the same claim several times, and the argumentation usually goes like this:
1. Staying at home, I would be unfulfilled and unhappy. My husband and children don't need a stay-at-home wife and mom who is unhappy in this role.
2. By going out there into the world, I'm expanding my horizons. As a stay-at-home wife and mother, what could I give my children intellectually?
3. My children need things. They need new toys and furniture and clothes, trips and various activities. Without these, they will feel deprived, unhappy. The money I earn at work can buy that, and it's my only chance to give my children what they deserve.
I think these arguments boil down to:
- Being a full-time homemaker is not fulfilling and rewarding enough to dedicate myself to it.
- Money matters more than anything I can give my husband and children at home.
Well, what can I say? Our life at home is what we make of it. It can be very happy or very miserable. The beauty of being a homemaker is that it isn't a rigid path; many wonderful and beautiful things can be done at home to make you feel creative, productive, happy, fulfilled. No two homes – or even two days in the same home – are ever the same. And about a woman's education – who said the best way to be broad-minded and intelligent is to sit all day long in a boring office with boring papers? There are endless ways to enhance your knowledge.
A child needs to grow and develop, but who said children need all the expensive things money can buy? What about having their mother at home? Think about your own childhood. What mattered most to you? What made you happiest? What did you miss the most? As someone who was raised by a single mother who had to work full-time, I can tell you I missed most having my mother at home with me. Seeing her when I came home after school. Being able to talk to her about everything that bothers me. And sure, I did miss having those new clothes and schoolbag. But now that many years passed by, do you think I still think about that schoolbag? Of course not! But the pain of not having a real family, of not having my mother with me, will never go away. The real things stay with you for as long as you live, and no money can pay for them.