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Old 08-03-2004, 07:34 AM
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AnnaInOhio AnnaInOhio is offline
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Ohio
Posts: 16,238
Stay At Home Mom's Versus Working Mom's


Lol! This article was posted in a different forum and we thought it would be better to put it here. it is. i hope this dont get me into too much hot water. i couldnt find a sah or work debate page. sorry.
have a good day

By Cheryl Gochnauer
[email protected]
Copyright 2004

Dear Homebuddies:

I've been an advocate for SAHMs and SAHDs since 1995,
and have enjoyed watching at-home parenting emerge over
the past decade as a strong, positive movement in
American (and worldwide) society.

Unfortunately, there are still people who are mired in
sexist and prejudicial mindsets, and you might be
surprised (or not) to find such anti-family rhetoric
coming from community leaders who should know better.

The following letter to the editor appeared in the
Austin American-Statesman newspaper on July 6, written
by Gretchen Ritter, the director of the Center for
Women's and Gender Studies at the University of Texas
and an associate professor of government and women

"'Well, I could have just stayed home and baked
cookies.' In the firestorm that followed her comment,
Hillary Rodham Clinton learned that you should never
deny the virtues of stay-at-home motherhood.

"Nowadays, the candidates' wives prove their maternal
merit by competing in a cookie cook-off every four
years. In the decade or so since this line was uttered,
women's rights advocates have grown silent on the topic
of motherhood. Few dare to criticize the new stay-at-
home mom movement recently discussed on this page in
the Austin American-Statesman.

"It is time to have an honest conversation about what
is lost when women stay home. In a nation devoted to
motherhood and apple pie, what could possibly be wrong
with staying home to care for your children?

"Several things, I think.

"It denies men the chance to be involved fathers. This
is a loss for them and a loss for their children. What
does it mean when fathers are denied the opportunity to
nurture their kids in ways that are as important as
their work? What do the children miss when they don't
have fathers changing their diapers, picking them up
from school, coaching soccer, making breakfast or
dinner and doing homework with them? On both sides, the
answer is too much.

"Women who stay at home also lose out - they lose a
chance to contribute as professionals and community
activists. Parenting is an important social
contribution. But we need women in medicine, law,
education, politics and the arts. It is not selfish to
want to give your talents to the broader community - it
is an important part of citizenship to do so, and it is
something we should expect of everyone.

"Full-time mothering is also bad for children. It
teaches them that the world is divided by gender. This
sends the wrong message to our sons and daughters. I do
not want our girls to grow up thinking they must marry
and have children to be successful, or that you can
only be a good mother if you give up your work.

"Nor do I want boys to think that caring for families
is women's work and making money is men's work. Our
sons and daughters should grow up thinking that raising
and providing for a family is a joint enterprise among
all the adults in the family.

"The new stay-at-home motherhood movement parallels the
movement to create the `perfect' child. It's not just
that mothers are home with their children; they are
engaged with their children constantly so they will
"develop" properly. Many middle-class parents demand
too much of their children. We enroll them in soccer,
religious classes, dance, art, piano, French lessons,
etc., placing them on the quest for continuous self-

"Many of these youngsters end up stressed out. Children
should think it is all right to just hang out and be
kids sometimes. They should learn that parents have
interests separate from their lives as parents. And we
should all learn that mothers are not fully responsible
for who their children become - so are fathers,
neighbors, friends, the extended family and children

"Finally, the stay-at-home mother movement is bad for
society. It tells employers that women who marry and
have children are at risk of withdrawing from their
careers, and that men who marry and have children will
remain fully focused on their careers, regardless of
family demands. Both lessons reinforce sex

"This movement also privileges certain kinds of
families, making it harder for others. The more stay-at-
home mothers there are, the more schools and libraries
will neglect the needs of working parents, and the more
professional mothers, single mothers, working-class
mothers and lesbian mothers will feel judged for their
failure to be in a traditional family and stay home
their children.

"By creating an expectation that mothers could and
should stay home, we lose sight of the fact that most
parents do work - and that they need affordable, high
quality child care, after-school enrichment programs
and family leave policies that allow mothers and
fathers to nurture their children without giving up

"Raising children is one of the most demanding and
rewarding of jobs. It is also a job that should be
shared, between parents and within communities, for the
sake of us all."

The following response is written by Cheryl Gochnauer,
a graduate of Central Missouri State University
specializing in Mass Communication and Speech
Communication, author of three parenting books,
hundreds of published articles, a featured guest on
scores of local and national radio/TV/online programs,
a respected source quoted in publications such as US
News & World Report and The Chicago Tribune, and
founder of Homebodies (, a popular
parenting website and email newsletter that originated
in 1995 and presently reaches more than 30,000
subscribers each week:

Dear Ms. Ritter:

You're nuts.

I suspect this may be a result of too little sugar in
your diet. If you like, I'll ask my readers to mail you
some homemade cookies at your university address, along
with their insights on why deciding to become a stay-at-
home mom is as valid a career choice as any other.


Mrs. Gochnauer
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