There’s a lot of things that should be illegal…but choosing to stay at home and raise your children? Are you kidding me? Apparently, that’s the belief shared by an Australian magazine writer. Columnist Sarrah Le Marquand, a mother of two children, says it should be “a legal requirement that all parents of children of school-age or older are gainfully employed.” So, she’s not targeting the parents of little ones but still…it’s a little twisted to cite the reasons for this being 1) a loss to the economy and 2) untapped potential in the women who choose to not work.
I became a stay-at-home mom just before I had baby #2. It was fairly easy to make this decision because financially, we couldn’t afford to put two kids in daycare. Basically, I would be working just to send them to daycare. That became even truer when baby #3 arrived. When my oldest became school-age, I decided to homeschool. My reasons for that could be a whole other blog. But I did this for several years. In fact, the first time my children were put in school my oldest was in 5th grade, my middle child in 2nd and my youngest started kindergarten.
I didn’t run out and get a job. In fact, my first job was very part-time when my oldest entered 6th grade. When he was in 7th (the other two in 4th and 2nd grade), I tried full-time work. It lasted a few months. For our family, my immediate availability was most important. So, I went back to part-time work and eventually became a professional writer who worked from home.
Untapped potential? I found value in being a mom. Whether I worked or not, that didn’t change this truth. It doesn’t diminish anyone’s value, whether they decide to stay-at-home, work part-time or full-time.
Gender equality is something I tend to poke fun at, to be completely honest. When Donald Trump was elected as president, the feminists cried about how the women’s movement would be negatively affected. I have yet to see that happen. Women have a great deal of opportunity to contribute significantly to this world. In the workforce, yes. But also in in their families (and sometimes doing both!)
If feminists are all about equal rights, why do they squash the desire of some women to have that right to stay home and raise their children? They’re thinking is one-sided. If women are supposed to support one another, why aren’t we cheering on those who stay home? Those who work? Why aren’t we celebrating one another and the different choices made available to us?
Motherhood is one of the greatest privileges I’ve been granted. While I would never change the ability (and sacrifices made) to be able to stay home, I would never question another woman for choosing to do things differently. Equality is defined as “the state of being equal, especially in status, rights and opportunities.” Our status as a woman is not defined by choosing to work or not work. Our rights give us the choice to choose between working and not working. Opportunities means the ability to make full use of our skills in the workforce and/or in the home.
Feminists get frustrated with women who don’t do things the way they think it should be done. That’s not equality. Equality is found in Genesis 1:27, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”
I choose to celebrate the uniqueness of God’s creation, not only in man versus woman…but within my own gender and the advantages we have in choosing what’s best for our family. With His guidance and direction, we can’t go wrong, no matter what we decide.