Yes, I am a stay at home mom. My husband and I chose this for many reasons. First, daycare is expensive here in Chicago. I would be working to pay for daycare. Second, my salary would put us in the next tax bracket. We would be taxed more if I went to work. We also decided that we wanted one of us raising our kids — not a daycare worker. Yes, I have a college degree. However, I will still have that degree once my kids are in school. I do not look down upon people who put their kids in daycare. However, I don’t get what gives others the right to do it to me. What really gets me going is that the feminist movement considers my choice dangerous. Why?
According to Gretchen Ritter, stay at home moms are “dangerous subversives and a plague on society.” Who is Gretchen Ritter? She is the director of the Center for Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Texas and as associate professor of government and women’s studies. She also states that staying at home with my children denies their father a chance to be involved, I lose a chance to contribute as a professional and community activist, it teaches my children that the world is divided by gender, it stresses children out, it victimizes women who work, and it makes it tougher for families with two working parents because schools and libraries will neglect their needs. “Full-time mothering is … bad for children,” she insists. “… the stay-at-home mother movement is bad for society,” she states.
Of course, she has no evidence to support these claims. The part that really kills me is that she is college professor who is teaching this to young women. Society already puts enough pressure on us, why must we do it to one another? I would love to know how my choice denies my kid’s father to be in their life? One of us has to work. If we both worked, then neither one of us would be there. I don’t understand how I can’t be a community activist. If you think about it, I would have more time for activities like this. As for the world being divided by gender, unfortunately, it is. My question back to her is what about daycare workers? They are primarily female. I would think daycare would stress out your children more than keeping them at home. Lastly, why is my problem that 2 working parent families can’t get free daycare from the schools and library? That’s what I read into that last statement.
I guess I don’t get how being a stay at home mom makes me any less of a women or any less of a feminist. I thought the feminist movement was about choices. Well, what happened to my choice to stay at home?