“A woman’s place is
in the house and the senate.”
One of the biggest stereotypes that surrounds women is that we all love children and just can’t wait to have our own, but not all women want four-plus kids, and some women don’t even want kids. This stereotype is becoming more and more irritating to women everywhere. We’re used to the “women can’t drive” and “women are emotionally unstable” comments—which we shouldn’t be—but some of us were just flat out born with little to no maternal instincts.
The double standards need to stop. We either assume that all women want to be stay-at-home moms, or we ridicule them for having this desire. If you have the financial means, what’s wrong with wanting to be invested in your children’s future? Just because she doesn’t contribute to the family financially doesn’t mean she has an easy job. Until about 50 years ago, all women were expected to stay home and conduct the various “feminine” responsibilities around the house; such as cleaning, tending the garden, raising the children, doing the laundry, and make the meals. The only time it wasn’t frowned upon for a woman to work was when she was working to “kill time” while finding a husband, or to have something to do after all the children grew up.
We need to stop generalizing women, and mothers, in general. If you expect your future wife to be a stay-at-home mom—don’t. Just because that’s what you want, doesn’t mean that that’s what she wants. According to a New York Times article, a wife’s employment lowers a couple’s risk of divorce, and women who stay at home often experience feelings of sadness, anger, and depression.
Personally, I have no desire to be a house wife. I want a career. I will get my law degree to end up taking six years off to raise the kids until they’re old enough to go to school. Of course I want to see their milestones and accomplishments, but having them go to daycare isn’t a big deal to me. I’m not going to put myself into debt to go through graduate school only to potentially marry someone that assumes I want to stay at home with the kids for a few years. I had a single mom who worked two jobs, and there wasn’t an option for her to stay home. I was at daycare from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., and she didn’t miss a thing. I turned out just fine, with no feelings of bitterness toward the way I was raised.
Raising a family is no easy feat, and the typical family expectations are beginning to disintegrate. Stay-at-home dads are becoming a more common family aspect, contributing to the breakdown of gender stereotypes. For all the stay-at-home moms, or even dads, out there, I commend you. I am in no way throwing shade in your direction.
Staying home all day with the kids is definitely not for everyone. We need to stop making women feel like they are choosing between their children and their careers. There are women who cannot wait to get off of maternity leave, and there are mothers that never want it to end. Women no longer fit into categories because we have bent the guidelines and created our own sub categories for ourselves. We are all unique, with individual differences and talents.
Whatever it is that you want to do in life, male or female, don’t let society influence how you raise your family. You need to do what is best for them, but you also need to keep in mind what is best for you as well. You are not choosing your career over your family, or vise versa. How you choose to raise your family is no one’s business but your own. You can have a career and a family, so break the stereotypes and stigmas by doing it your way.