Do It for the Children!

ChelseaPro Life, Women4 Comments

Wow. These ‘mommy wars’ just don’t stop. Hot on the heals of this article, which I wrote about earlier today, Cherie Blair, wife of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, said in a speech recently that every mother should work outside the home – for the good of the children:

“Every woman needs to be self-sufficient and in that way you really don’t have a choice – for your own satisfaction; you hear these yummy mummies talk about being the best possible mother and they put all their effort into their children. I also want to be the best possible mother, but I know that my job as a mother includes bringing my children up so actually they can live without me.”

Ok, this time I’m reminded of something from Chesterton:

I do not deny that women have been wronged and even tortured; but I doubt if they were ever tortured so much as they are now by the absurd modern attempt to make them domestic empresses and competitive clerks at the same time.” (What’s Wrong With the World, p. 148)

That might be a bit of an overstatement, but not by much. Perhaps Mrs. Blair hasn’t heard, but despite 40 years of feminism and an ever-increasing number of women working outside the home, women today are more unhappy than ever. For the good of children, you say? Hmm…how does that phrase go? If momma aint happy…

Look, everyone here really needs to get a grip. Parenting is not a one-size fits all vocation. Except for the fact that we know children thrive best when they have both a mother and a father, there is no standard for how that should work. Every family needs to decide for themselves what’s important to them, what they think is best for their children and what they can afford to do based on their own circumstances.

Not all stay at home moms are your stereotypical “yummy mummys”. Most of the ones I know work hard everyday, and their husbands are not financially wealthy by any stretch of the imagination. Many stay home because it actually saves the family money – on day care/school costs, etc… – more than a double income would, and/or they make sacrifices – a smaller house, no brand new cars, video games, etc… – because it’s just that important to them. And that is great and it works out well for many, many families.

And then you have the mothers who work outside the house, whether by choice or necessity, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, either. My sisters and I actually had it both ways growing up. Both my parents worked outside the home up until I was in middle school (maybe a freshman in high school) when my mom quit her job.

As long as the kids are being cared for and no one’s being neglected or abused, who cares which parents are working or not (let’s not forget the SAH dads!)?

4 Comments on “Do It for the Children!”

  1. Ohhhh Chelsea, you said it right! I want to ask Mrs. Blair if my children should have to “live without me” while they’re still children? I know too many mom friends who quickly buckle their children in their car seat, hand them a toaster strudel (dual income families can afford the “good stuff” so no more pop-tarts), drop them off at daycare, pick them up at 5, make dinner (chicken nuggets only take 15 minutes in the oven), throw a load of laundry in, give quick baths and MAYBE still have time for a bedtime story before lights out…and then do it all over again the next day (only it’s DiGiorno’s pizza…once again, the “good stuff”). Excuse me for being content w/ driving a mini-van instead of the newest hottest SUV that you pay for by unloading your kids off onto someone who gets paid minimum wage to “keep happy”. How irresponsible of me to see the importance of cooking healthy meals for my family. My husband is thankful that he can come home to everything being “squared away” with a wife who still has a little energy left in the day to have a little mommy-daddy time after the kiddies go to sleep. I also might add that because of the healthy meals, he’s pretty darn excited about mommy-daddy time still since his wife and mother of 3 is still a size 6. How? Scroll back up and read the part about cooking for my family. He’s a better husband, father AND employee because I AM A HOMEMAKER!! He goes to work the next day feeling refreshed and supported which creates confidence and competence which in turn creates promotions! And BTW, what in the crap is a “yummy mummy”? I’m so annoyed.

  2. Okay, just read what a “yummy mummy” is and I’m proud of it! Even the “appearance” part doesn’t bother me. It’s like a blog that I read one time that about pro-life women being prettier than pro-choice women. It’s not their actual appearance, it’s what they radiate that makes them more beautiful.

  3. Dear Mrs. Blair,

    Allow me to let you in on a little housewife’s secret: You can stay home and enjoy the fun parts, and still have the children make their own lunch.



  4. Chelsea, you have such a wonderful bolg. 🙂 I love what you said about parenting not being a one size fits all vocation. It works differently for every family.
    I am not normally a commenting on comments type of person, but after reading I really felt I needed to say something about the above comment #1 from Gina- I have two small children and work full time. My husband also works full time. We have opposite schedules so we are lucky enough not to have to send them to day care. However, GIna’s description of the working mother is offensive. I work because I have to, not to but the “newest hottest SUV.” It is extremely judgmental to suggest that just because a women works outside the home, she must be feeing her kids crap and not spending any quality time with them. Just as stay at home moms should not be judged as a group, neither should working moms. Think before you speak or you may come off just as bad as Cheri Blair.

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