Moms who stay home with their kids do make a difference, but if you decide that working outside the home is the right thing for you, you are by no means ruining your kid’s life.
Stay at home mom
I’ve come to learn that a part-time job for someone like me is hard to find. I’m overqualified for most part-time listings, but I’m disqualified from most of the jobs that interest me because I’m not seeking full-time work.
In the US, we defend our lack of quality part-time jobs with several flawed assumptions. Abandoning these mistaken paradigms will help us build a society that is better for everyone.
Elizabeth Jacox had a prestigious academic career, completing a PhD in genetics at Yale. While she had a meaningful maternity leave, a part-time schedule, and affordable child care, Elizabeth still found herself distracted and missing time with her baby. When she became pregnant the second time, Elizabeth evaluated her priorities and realized that she “didn’t love science” enough to stay. Elizabeth remains frustrated at the lack of social support for care work and winnowing options for scientists like her who would like to re-enter the working world after time caring for young children. Still, Elizabeth is making her own sunshine by connecting with adults through mom groups and church, and by building her own small business making clay jewelry.
In Being There, Erica Komisar pushes back against the prevailing commentary on what a mom should do once she has a baby is “find childcare and get back to life as normal.” Instead, Komisar argues that mothers should spend significant time being present with their children in the first three years of life—quitting their jobs if necessary. While this is obviously a big ask, Komisar maintains that a mother’s contribution to her children’s emotional health is invaluable, and she says that she is “not ready to give up on mothers” just yet. However, in the process she paints the commitment to “be there” in such extremes that she manages to offend just about everyone in the course of the book (including stay-at-home moms who are purportedly doing what she recommends).