Thursday, May 8, 2014

Why Aren't Men Criticized for not Staying Home with the Kids?

I'm prematurely writing this post. I feel as if I should actually have kids and actually have a career in order to have an opinion on this topic, but I'm taking that risk.

I follow a little instagram account called Humans of NY. I use the term little lightly. They also have a tumblr and facebook page, but I've somewhat dropped both those things so instagram is the way I primarily keep up with their posts.

This post ran not too long ago, and I particularly enjoyed it as I applaud any woman who doesn't let having kids stop her from having a career. It's not that I look down upon women who choose to be stay at home moms, but I do look down upon those who shame women who try to juggle the career/kid lifestyle.

I think that if stay at home moms really do enjoy staying home with their kids and cleaning/teaching/loving/cooking and all that jazz, then it's the same as women who continue to pursue their career whilst raising kids. It's when women quit their job that they love and try to make themselves love staying home with kids 24/7 when things get questionable in my eyes. I think that if you're doing what you love, it quantifies as being a career, whether you're a surgeon or a stay at home mom.

But back to the picture.

I did what no (wo)man ever should: read the comments.

Now, the Instagram account has hundreds of thousands of followers. 742 thousand to be exact. That's 742,000 people's ideas and beliefs and thoughts that could potentially be read through the comments of a simple picture.

"You're really going to miss out on a lot of your little girls life."
"You should be at home taking care of her."
"You'll regret that decision."
"She's going to wish you were at home with her."
"That seems like a selfish thing for you to do. Stay home with your girl, believe me you'll regret it."

Those are snippets of comments I read during a thirty second scan through.

And I wasn't sure if I was more angry at the fact that people disapproved of a woman following her dreams or that people still assume a woman's place is in the home. Or maybe that people think this little girl is going to regret her mom working, but not her (presumed) dad. No one ever says "you'll miss seeing your kids grow up because you work" to a dad with a normal 9-5 job trying to provide for his family, yet women have a different story. Granted, I've heard the phrase thrown around to men who work 24/7, but never to a man who works normal hours. The dad's contribution of being home between dinner and breakfast the next morning seems enough to society, yet if a woman doesn't spend every waking moment tending to her kids, some people see that as her being a bad mother?

I don't understand why some people continually push the wagon of "a woman's place is in the home" in this age. I don't understand why people assume that working moms are letting day cares and public schools "raise their kids" (that comment really makes me want to strangle someone).  I don't understand why when something goes wrong—in society, in the workplace, in this generation of kids, etc.—the blame is often placed on working moms. (Don't believe me? Look here or here or here for starters.) I don't understand why people say things like "I don't know why a woman wouldn't want to stay home and raise her babies" as if that is all we were made to do—carry and raise babies.

I'm a product of two working parents and I've never regretted my mom or dad working. I've never met a kid who told me they wished their working mom had stayed home with them. I'm not going to be a drug dealer or a serial killer because my mom didn't stay home with me all day and make me organic baby food and handmade clothes. Even if I do become a drug dealer, it'll probably be because college is as expensive as hell and it's either that or selling my left kidney.

But it's just another argument into the pot of the way our society sees women.


Have fabulous day.


  1. I agree completely .__.
    I mean, seriously, people tend to butt in too much into other people's business especially when it comes to women and their roles.

    1. Very true, too many people try to tell others how to run their lives as if they're incapable of doing it themselves.

  2. Awesome to see your feminist rants back on this blog!

    I think it's ridiculous that moms do virtually all the parenting (around here, anyway) and people just see them as naggy, bitch-y, menstrual, etc, but dads come home for one hour between work and the bar (Irish men have a strange fascination with bars) and are applauded, even if both parents earn money. Even then -well how it was with my parents anyway - the mother still ends up doing all the parenting, plus working, plus looking after a man. It's a suck-y deal, in my opinion..

    I've also never met a kid who wished their mom stayed at home with them. Does anyone seriously have such politically vehement opinions when they're 3 that they remember resenting their mom??

    Great post :)

    If you remember me asking if I could publish your post "The Reason Why Everything Works Out In The End" on TBC, sorry for the delay, and it will hopefully be up some time in the next 10 days!

    1. Thanks! And believe me I've got about five more feminist rants coming up. :)

      I couldn't agree more with you, it seems that even if a woman and the man both work, the woman always gets the short end of the stick. It's as if culturally she has to take care of the kids and the house and the husband even on top of a job.

      PS: It's all good, I can't wait to see it on one of my favorite blogs! :)