Stay-At-Home Moms Are Working Moms, Too
There is a worrying tendency nowadays to judge stay-at-home moms. But women who dedicate body and soul to their sons and daughters are working women, too.
Around the world, we commemorate International Women’s Day on March 8th, an occasion originally known as International Working Women’s Day. As we celebrate the achievements of women in the workplace, we must be careful not to exclude mothers who choose to stay at home to care for their children.
Sadly, this important day has a tragic history. On March 8th, 1911, a large group of women died in a fire at a textile factory. They were fighting to gain equality, or more specifically, recognition of their rights.
The goal of these activists was to improve conditions for all workers, whatever their gender. Today, we remember them as a symbol of the history of feminism.
But is it right to say that women who dedicate their lives to homemaking and raising children are not also worth celebrating on International Women’s Day?
Of course not. Stay-at-home moms deserve the same recognition as those who choose a professional career. Caring for a home and a family is also a difficult task. Unlike formal work, it is unpaid and unending.
Women who stay home to care for their children don’t put a price on their labor. They don’t get bonuses, or paid vocations. For many people, they don’t even count as workers.
However, without them, we wouldn’t be where we are today. For many of us, they are our mothers, sisters, grandmothers, aunts and friends. And all of them deserve the same respect.
It doesn’t matter that they get to stay home. It’s not as if they are on permanent vacation. This is something that society needs to begin to acknowledge: Mothers who care for their children full-time are also working moms.
Stay-at-home moms are working moms
The days go by, and there is always work to be done, with no material reward. Only love. She might spend hours just picking up toys and cleaning furniture. At other times, she is a multi-tasking machine.
She doesn’t stop for a single second. There are always meals to be made, clothes to be washed, and messes to clean up.
Days or even weeks can pass without a conversation with another adult, other than her partner. Being a full-time mom can be much harder than it might seem. If it seems like a simple life, just think about the day-to-day monotony.
Of course, it’s not a matter of competition. It’s not about who’s more tired, who has bigger bags under their eyes or who makes most sacrifices.
In fact, many mothers work twice as much as anyone else: both outside and inside the home. So, why not include everyone? In our own way, we are all working women.
The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.
In any case, there is another sad reality behind discussions of working moms. Once you are a mom, it can be much more difficult to find a job.
People will judge your life, without having lived it. It’s enough to hear the testimonials of women who have taken time out to care for children to know that going back to work is hard.
And of course, if a mother doesn’t find the work she needs, society condemns her. Moms take flack from both sides. All because she is a mother, and one who has chosen a slightly different path.
We are all working women
Women who care for children are working women, whether or not they get paid to do it.
Whatever the path they take, all mothers are worthy of respect. Work of all kinds brings dignity. We must value the labor of each and every one of them.
Caring for others has never been an easy job, and is even less so today. Having the responsibility of bringing up a child is something very difficult, and not everyone is up to the task. It takes a big heart, and tremendous patience.
Care is more than just a word. We often ignore the fact that many people genuinely want to do it. Although often overlooked, the decision to care for another person is one made out of love.
Affection, selflessness, dedication and effort. Tiredness and exhaustion. Above all, the sacrifice of always putting the children first.
A child who grows up with the full attention of a parent will not lack for anything in their emotional life. And that’s something that benefits all of us.