The Stay-At-Home Mom Stereotype

The Stay-At-Home Mom Stereotype

We need to stop generalizing women, and mothers, in general.
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“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.

Cover Image Credit: Winnie Forbes

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17 Empowering Bible Verses For Women

You go, girl.
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We all have those days where we let the negative thoughts that we're "not good enough," "not pretty enough" or "not smart enough" invade our minds. It's easy to lose hope in these situations and to feel like it would be easier to just give up. However, the Bible reminds us that these things that we tell ourselves are not true and it gives us the affirmations that we need. Let these verses give you the power and motivation that you're lacking.

1. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed with strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future."

2. Psalm 46:5

"God is within her, she will not fall."

3. Luke 1:45

"Blessed is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her."

4. Proverbs 31:17

"She is energetic and strong, a hard worker."

5. Psalm 28:7

"The Lord is my strength and my shield."

6. Proverbs 11:16

"A gracious woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth."

7. Joshua 1:9

"Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

8. Proverbs 31:30

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised."

9. 1 Corinthians 15:10

"By the grace of God, I am what I am."

10. Proverbs 31:26

"When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness."

11. Psalm 139:14

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made."

12. 1 Peter 3:3-4

"Don't be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God."

13. Colossians 2:10

"And in Christ you have been brought to fullness."

14. 2 Timothy 1:7

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline."

15. Jeremiah 29:11

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord. 'They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'"

16. Exodus 14:14

"The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm."

17. Song of Songs 4:7

"You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way."

Next time you're feeling discouraged or weak, come back to these verses and use them to give you the strength and power that you need to conquer your battles.

Cover Image Credit: Julia Waterbury

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I Wish As A Child I Understood That Sometimes Two Houses Are Really Better Than One

A broken home isn't always a bad thing.

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I can't sit here and pretend to know anything about marriage. I've heard that "marriage isn't easy; it requires a lot of give and take." I can, however, tell you about divorce. Growing up you never think that your parents will fall out of love. How could they? And while you may always be too young to understand the ins and outs of your parent's relationship, divorce affects more than just the people married. Researcher Judith Wallerstein proved in her well-known study on divorce that an unhappy marriage is better than no marriage for children. Not only are kids oblivious to the flaws in the marriage, but no marriage at all can have negative long-term effects on the children, especially in future relationships. However, a limitation of this experiment was that Wallerstein did not study high-conflict marriage, where divorce is not a problem that needs to be fixed; it's a solution.

Parents often tell their children that "mommy and daddy don't love each other anymore," even if there are other reasons for splitting up. Divorce is difficult for children to understand so this is the line that is fed most often to them. Therefore, the one concept children struggle with the most is how could parents fall out of love? To answer this question we have to define love. The internet defines love as "an intense feeling of deep affection," but I think TIME is more accurate with their article titled "We Are Defining Love The Wrong Way," in which Rabbi David Wolpe states that Too many women have told me, bruises visible on their faces, that the husbands who struck them love them.

Since they see love as a feeling, the word hides the truth, which is that you do not love someone whom you repeatedly beat and abuse. You may have very strong feelings about them, you may even believe you cannot live without them, but you do not love them. When I was growing up my mom always told me that it was her job to teach me to distinguish between "a man who flatters me and a man who compliments me; a man who spends money on me and a man who invests in me; a man who lusts after me and a man who loves me." I never realized how important it is to be able to distinguish between lust and love. These two words are so different, but society uses them interchangeably.

So how should love be defined then? I believe that 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 says it best: "Love is patient and kind. It does not envy. It does not boast. It is not proud. It does not dishonor others. It is not self-seeking. It is not easily angered. It keeps no record of wrong. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with truth. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. Love never fails."

So now try to put your spouse or significant others name as a substitute every time those verses refer to love. Can you do so without laughing? If not, then your relationship might be based more on lust than love. This doesn't mean that it will never have a firm foundation of love; it just means that it will take time to build this kind of sturdy foundation. The problem is not divorce; the problem is the lack of willingness to foster the type of love a marriage requires. The biggest misconception about divorce is that it causes a home to be broken when in reality the home was broken, to begin with. Divorce allows there to be two strong support systems that are much healthier than one dysfunctional family unit. Coming from a divorced family, this is something I wish I understood as a child.

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