This is in response to an article written on Forbes based on research published by Pew Research Center, but my frustration is borne out of a long-standing cultural issue. The study stated an increase in stay-at-home moms in the Millennial generation. My problem was not with the data but rather with the way in which it was presented in the Forbes article.
Underlying the whole article seems to be this assumption that there's no way Millennial women could possibly be choosing to just be a stay-at-home mom. There must be some other outlet for them, another employment or career outside of motherhood.
The article discusses the moms who are choosing to work outside of the home while balancing being a stay-at-home mom, which is great! However, they do so in a way that demeans those who would rather choose to stay at home completely.
One sentence, discussing the SAHM's who work as well, reads, "Women are mothers in the home, but in a way that the patriarchy never dared dream."
But wait. Remind me, when did being a stay-at-home mom become equivalent to bowing before the overpowering male patriarchy?
These women are shaping the next generation of leaders, writers, employees, teachers and parents. Why are we stuck on labeling them as slaves to the patriarchy for working a full-time job of incalculable value and worth?
Another line discussing moms working online and staying home says, "Technology's evolution allows modern women the empowerment of joining tradition with innovation."
We talk about empowering women all the time, in everything they do. So why don't we allow women the empowerment, not only "of joining tradition with innovation," but of choosing tradition over innovation if that's what they want?
With all this talk of empowering women, it's about time we get rid of the stigma that surrounds moms choosing to stay at home with their kids. I can't understand what is "not enough" about a job that takes up your physical, mental and emotional stamina 24/7 all year long.
Being a mom is hard, stay-at-home or not. It's hard enough without the cultural commentary of stay-at-home moms being weak vessels propagating the cursed patriarchy, not living up to their full potential and never being enough.
There. That's been on my chest for a while.
And to my (stay-at-home) Mom, your work has been of more worth to me than I think you'll ever know. I hope you never believe a word of the lies society throws at you. You have been and always will be more than enough for me.