Progress can be fragile.
Whether you are a working mother or a housewife, you will face double standards. It seems that society looks downs on mothers no matter what path she has decided or been forced to chose.
I don’t know how many times I got phone calls from the school who seemed shocked every single time when I told them I couldn’t drop everything and come over for a lost shoe or when volunteers are needed, because I’m working and my office is over an hour away from the school. Yes, it’s the 21st century and I, the mother, am working for a living.
I also don’t know how many times I get funny looks when I say that if I could afford to, I would be at home mom. Unfortunately, it’s not in the cards. Granted, struggling with health issues, mom guilt issues, with dreams of a clean home does come into line when I think of being home. Transferring the energy currently given to an employer to the well being of home and family.
“When a father puts in long hours at work, he’s praised for being dedicated and ambitious. But when a mother stays late at the office, she’s sometimes accused of being selfish, neglecting her kids.” ― Michelle Obama
When I was younger and healthier, I was the one to return to work, while my spouse stayed home to take care of home and family, and I can’t say I hated it. There are some major plus, to returning home from work and not have to find energy to take care of house chores. I also loved being the breadwinner.
Life changes and so do goals. It is okay to change one’s mind. Men and women, in a perfect world, would get to chose whether they want to be at home moms or dads or breadwinners, but the reality is of the situation is often guided by outside realities that are out of our control. So why so much judgement on top of financial realities?
In addition, businesses often won’t hesitate to hire a father, assuming that his wife/partner will take care of most issues relating to their children and won’t hire a woman with kids fearing that she’ll take to many days off to take care of the children.
These same business will hesitate to hire a man who has a gap on his CV distrusting that he actually took the time to raise children from home, but will be understanding if a woman said the same thing.