Viral Blogpost Stresses Motherhood Should Not Be Equated With Martyrdom, But a Choice
By Vittorio Hernandez | February 14, 2014 6:55 PM EST
A mother holds her baby outside a children's hospital in central Beijing
Between full-time stay-at-home mums and career mums, the grass appears to be greener on the other side.
Many working mums are guilt ridden over their choice of career over taking care of their kids full-time, while stay-at-home mums feel lonely and miserable. Whatever were their decisions, both choices perpetuate the long-held belief by society that motherhood equates to martyrdom.
That should not be the case because the decision to work or not should be based on the woman's choice and not out of need, wrote Dr Carolyn Ee in her blog post titled A Letter From a Working Mother to a Stay-At-Home Mother, and Vice Versa.
The blog has become viral and had gotten about 300,000 likes in Facebook. Many FB members have positive comments about the blog for moving them.
The two letters seek to have a better understanding of the two types of mums.
On one hand, the stay-at-home mother is often portrayed as a selfless individual, always happy and outwardly showing joy, but she is actually deeply unhappy, Ms Ee wrote. She usually does not make demands on her hubby out of consideration that he is tired when he comes home at night and just want to rest, even if she herself also needs one.
On the other hand, the working mum often deals with guilt feelings because she spends more time in her job than with her kids, so to compensate she gives up leisure time. Her sacrifices include being productive at work to the point of eating lunch at her desk.
Ms Ee then pointed out that being a mum does not make a woman a type of hero "who never yells at her family and is the ideal work. Whether you work or not, you are still going to be pretty much the same person you were before you had kids. You probably have less time, sure."
But in many cases, choices are made out of necessity and not out of passion for work or motherly tasks. Financial concern is a major driver of decision to work, while in some cases, despite willingness to be employed, the woman (or even the man) couldn't find one or gets offers that pay not enough to even cover day care bills while mum is at work.
But there are some women who do make their choice not out of need. Ms Ee proposed that if society would stop treating mums "like some separate class of angelic person," then the guilt and judgment would be gone.
One indicator of that guilt is that working mums even secretly enjoy taking care of their sick kids since it gives them more time with their children, Ms Ee wrote. However, Slate contributor and book author Jessica Grose debunked that myth, pointing out that "working mothers and SAHMS may have many differences in their day-to-day lives, but we can all agree that no one likes to be home with sick kids."
One good thing about the information technology age is there is a third choice now which is being work-at-home mums. Web site such as work@homemums and working from home mums are full tips and ideas how women could benefit from this arrangement which more and more Australian and New Zealand mums are going into.
YouTube also has a lot of tutorials on how to succeed in work-from-home jobs.
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