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What about women who want to stay at home and be home makers?

(16 Posts)
Tumbleweed101 Sun 30-Jul-17 10:38:01

Has the fight to get women better educations and into the workplace failed those who are happy with a more traditional role?

I'm just curious as there are more and more women who want to stay home with their babies and toddlers being pushed back into going work because that's 'more productive for them and society'.

Have we taken away the choice for those women in the fight for work?

I agree we should all have the opportunity for good educations, decent pay, flexible working for everyone ... but has this push added towards a society where two wages are needed to run one household and babies encouraged into childcare institutions rather than at home with a parent?

Has the government slowly twisted what women want/need into something to benefit them instead? Ie more people to give taxes and children raised by state standards instead of family traditions?

This is something that I think about a lot. Since having dc I have worked full time, part time and been a sahm. I much prefer being at home with my children, but this makes me financially dependent on dh which doesn't feel like a very feminist position!

I have decided that despite the financial dependence I would still rather be a sahm, at least while the dc are young. I might have felt differently about this if I'd had a great career beforehand, but as it is I'm not losing much by having a few years out.

I would think that in a truly feminist society, all families would be able to choose whether a parent stayed at home or both worked. There would be an even split between mothers and fathers staying at home because women would have the same earning potential as men, and childcare would not automatically be "women's work".

Lottapianos Thu 03-Aug-17 15:10:47

I feel about this issue the way I feel about women changing their names when they get married. It can only really be a feminist choice when men start to make the same choice in any kind of significant numbers. Totally agree with OnlyHere that childcare and housework are seen as 'women's stuff'- not even 'work', but just 'what women do', what we're put on earth to do, no biggie hmm I don't think there are many men who are grateful to their stay-at-home wives for giving them the opportunity to continue in full-time work. I just don't think they see it that way

WhichJob Thu 03-Aug-17 15:15:15

Lotta, if my friends are anything to go by they really don't and see their income very much as their money. I have always worked bar 2x mat leave but I know my DH would welcome working part-time if we could afford it as a household but we can't. I think in an ideal world we would both work four days and have the children a day each - perhaps that is something we should all be aiming for.

Slimthistime Thu 03-Aug-17 15:22:19

"I would think that in a truly feminist society, all families would be able to choose whether a parent stayed at home or both worked."

but you can choose. I know couples where there's a SAHD and couples who mix part time and contract work in order to share childcare.

not sure what OP means by "children raised by state standards".

grasspigeons Thu 03-Aug-17 15:29:57

I'd like to see a world where both parents worked part time, say 3 days a week each and it didn't hold back careers too drastically. Just a bit of treading water for a few years for both men and women.

I don't see it as being financially dependant as looking after the home and children has value.(look at nursery/nanny fees) but I do think a stay at home parent needs to acknowledge their choice to stay at home depends on their partner sacrificing their family time to support that (they may be happy, they may just do because men are kids expected to work, they may be a bit sad about it)

I also have some hangups about how many adults I know have fantastic relationships with their Dad's who did very little for them as a child in term of hands on care (Obviously providing, food shelter and security is a big contribution) and they find their mum a bit dull/irritating. It just seems a bit unjust.

Countrygardener21 Thu 03-Aug-17 15:33:44

The gold standard for me would be seeing a society where it's not a big deal for men to play a completely equal role in child-rearing, both partners working part-time.

I do find the OP's post judgemental, implying that wohp's are giving their children an inferior upbringing rather than via 'family tradition'.

Women don't necessarily want/need to be at home rearing children- it would have driven me bonkers - and I personally never wanted to rely on a man for keeping a roof over my head.

Chestervase1 Thu 03-Aug-17 15:40:31

I think you may be on to something re two incomes needed to pay for a family now. It used to be that new matter how menial the job the man had it was possible for the woman to stay at home.

Tumbleweed101 Sat 05-Aug-17 09:22:24

By state standards I mean that children are raised by ofsted and government ideals - school readiness for example - rather than how a parent at home would raise them. There are a lot of activities in a nursery for instance but the children don't get to see and value at home 'work' - they might help with making beds, cooking, shopping, meeting people on trips out etc at home but in a nursery they have different activities that don't give them the same experience of being part of a wider community. Can't explain it exactly how I want to 🤔. Nothing wrong with childcare but it is different to raising them at home.

Just feel that if we could all still run a home and family on one wage there would be more choices rather than less. Some women are now having to do 'everything' which has added more pressure not less.

Seen so many threads on the net in general where women are getting frazzled by rushing to work, childcare, homemaking, cooking and if they want to take a career break to care for families they are quickly told that makes them unproductive members of society. As if raising a family isn't worth anything.

I'm not judging parents who work. I am a single working mum so am in the same situation as many others. When I was still with my partner we worked back to back shifts so one of us could be at home but that meant we never saw eachother,which I feel contributed to our eventual split. If one of us had been home to raise the family things would have been smoother, the house would have been more organised etc.

Believeitornot Sat 05-Aug-17 09:28:42

The issue is that what women do is not valued. Be it as a SAHM or WOHM.

SAHM are seen as lazy and entitled, especially once the dcs are at school. Or they're trophies for their partners. I was gobsmacked once as a friend told me merrily that her dh loved the idea of her being his little homemaker shockhmm

WOHM are seen as cruel for leaving their dcs in the care of others or money grabbing etc. Etc.

Our society really needs to accept that a) it takes a village to raise a child so everyone should play a part in that. Not just the mother and b) that we aren't set up very well to support families anymore as a society. Our children are quite literally the future.

I haven't yet formed my thoughts on this but it is rare to see anyone openly question a father's choices.

CSLewis Thu 12-Oct-17 18:02:11

". It can only really be a feminist choice when men start to make the same choice in any kind of significant numbers. "

But why? Why on earth should a choice by a woman/group of women need to be validated by men doing the same thing?

That sounds as if 'what men do' and 'how men behave' is the gold standard to which women will forever longingly aspire, but never quite achieve.

CSLewis Thu 12-Oct-17 18:03:50

"...has this push added towards a society where two wages are needed to run one household and babies encouraged into childcare institutions rather than at home with a parent?*"
I think you're right, OP.

Littleoakhorn Wed 30-May-18 20:57:53

It seems to me that although women have made gains in the workplace, men often don’t take on the work in the home that women used to do. The work we’ve always done in the home has never been valued in the same way. Looking after a household and raising children is seen as lesser than work outside the home.

In other countries (The Netherlands in particular), its very common for men with young families to work part time. It’s also more common to see men out pushing buggies and picking their kids up.

However, I don’t think we can really hark back to a golden era where we could “afford” to be single income families.

HerSymphonyAndSong Wed 30-May-18 21:05:34

The vast majority of women have for centuries done paid work (contributed to the family income) whilst raising children and looking after a home though - it’s only in small sections of society and short periods of time that “traditional” for mothers has been raising your own children and not doing paid work. I don’t disagree with the arguments here about valuing women’s (paid and unpaid) work and the importance of raising children, but it’s also important not to perpetuate stereotypes and ignore women’s work ourselves

Movablefeast Tue 18-Sep-18 05:18:25

It was really with the industrial revolution that work moved entirely outside the home and we moved from a majority rural to a majority urban based economy. Suddenly families were dictated to by clocks and rigid timetables and work that had been shared at home became even more strongly gendered. We all know our history and there is nothing inherently "natural" about our current set up. We are all trying to respond the best we can to the economy we find ourselves in. The main thing is much of the work women do is unpaid and unacknowledged. When more women went to work from the 1960s onwards instead of freeing up more cash for a family prices went up, so now it takes two full time workers to provide a decent standard of living and somehow we have to shoehorn pregnancy, breastfeeding and raising children into less available hours.

Movablefeast Tue 18-Sep-18 05:43:28

I should clarify to say that the caring work women provided for their own families remained unpaid and gendered female. Historically any area of work which is female dominated is generally considered of lower status and paid less.

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