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By October 13, 2011 1 Comments Read More →

Are working women the root of the problem?

This very question should be irrelevant nowadays if we want our daughters to have children in the future.

It is relevant however, because many people think that a stay-at-mom relieves tensions.

Women who are totally dedicated to their family, and only dedicated to their family is an obsolete concept. And I truly believe this is for the best.

Why is it obsolete? First, financially, very few families can afford to have a stay-at-home mom. Expenses do not stop to rise when incomes are reducing. Without doing anything fancy most couples need two salaries to cope with their expenses.

Second, you can’t expect a highly educated woman to enjoy ignoring what she is qualified for all day long. Sooner or later, she will feel that she has sacrificed her career, her life, for the sake of husband and kids. And when finally she has the time to consider a career after 10 or 15 years, her diploma has almost no value. She is then stuck with a market value that is close to none, and that is legitimately unbearable. Difficult times for these women will then be on their husband’s shoulders at a time when he is not in the best position either, unless he is a successful business owner.

Last and most importantly, we need women in work environment, in politics and anywhere where major decisions are made. Men and women are different and complementary, the more they will work together the better for all.

In developed civilizations women have gained an expanded view of the world and they have the opportunity to express their unique skills throughout. This is a wonderful thing.

A working woman has a lot of pressure, less time; that is for sure! And she very often deals with two days instead of one, one at work and one at home. So is she stressed? Yes indeed.

Is the solution to bring her back home? Certainly not.

Let me explain.

Her work is a critical part of her balance. Her work makes her feel alive and independent. In this world where community and family are both reduced to their nucleus, working for a woman is a way to be part of. It is a way to count and make things move.

I believe that working women have a better self-esteem than non-working ones because they have a social role to play that is acknowledged broadly.

Does that mean that stay-at-home moms are socially useless? Definitely not! In fact, they have the most difficult job: their day never ends, they work non-stop from morning to night. They don’t get any salary for that, so they rely on their partner financially. They are responsible for their children full time. And if you have children, you know how difficult it is to raise children these days. In addition most of them do charity work at school or elsewhere.

From a partner perspective it is not a good deal to have a stay-at-home mom:

She will expect from him only, reconnaissance and acknowledgement. According to her self-esteem, she may need more or less acknowledgement. And guess what, after a day at work, the last thing that comes to a man’s mind is to praise his wife because his home is tidy and clean, because a meal is ready for him, because his shirts are all back from the dry cleaner …etc. First, he is tired and all he wants is to be able to relax in front of TV. The only thing that could motivate him at that time is sex…Well, sex is probably the last thing on her mind after fixing dinner, getting the kids showered, cleaning up after them, and preparing school lunch for the next day. (I always wonder where guys got the idea that domestic duties could ever possibly turn any woman on!)

Second, does he get any praise from earning money that sustains the family life style every day? No. He does his job. So does she! The only difference is that he can be praised at work through a promotion or salary increase, or even a simple compliment from his boss or a client.

She rarely gets any praise ever: children, these days more so than ever, consider that whatever she does is totally normal, expected and due. And considering how hard he works he is not far from agreeing with the children.

As unselfish and dedicated women can be, it does not work. Or if it works, soon it won’t. At one stage, she will be tired and sick of being the dependant one, the one her own children will look down at when they are aiming for these great careers that mom can’t possibly have any clue about! This, by the way, is so deeply wrong that I will dedicate a full article on these stay-at-home moms and their wonderful skills.

In our belief system, independence is financial independence before anything else. Depending on somebody is fine but it does not show a fully-grown state. Even if you have the most delightful, understanding and generous husband, his spending choices will prevail on yours. In recession times, this shows even more because ultimately he is the one who decides, being the one who makes money.

Interestingly when I was in Singapore, I have seen the opposite situation where she was working full time while he was at home taking care of the family. This couple seemed to be working well. He was an exceptional man with little ego and a solid self-esteem. And she seemed quite exceptional too, praising his skills in taking care of the house and the children.

Maybe it could be a route to explore when she makes enough money to support her family.

At least it would be a good opportunity for men to picture exactly what is asked from their wife under the similar circumstances…

When it is true to say that a woman who has a job has more external pressure than the one who does not, there are many benefits to the fact that she works besides the ones stated above:

For him in particular, she has a better understanding of what his life is like and more importantly, what his stress can be. Therefore she is necessarily less “nagging”. Nagging in women’s term is nothing more than repeating herself.

The first reason is that she uses more communication she would use at work. Communication in the work environment is very often under male dominance: that means that messages are straight forward, using no circumlocution, very first degree.

The second reason is that she feels entitled to do more; she is more self-reliant.

In addition, the couple enjoys more financial freedom, which gives the opportunity “to throw money” at domestic issues to sort them out. This is a big stress reliever!

Last, what a great example she gives to her kids! Gentlemen, for those of you who are working your head off to save for your daughter’s college, don’t you see how contradictory it can be to push your child to go far when you are perfectly happy with her mom staying at home? Let me throw in an anecdote that happened many years ago when my eldest child was in kindergarten: it was at the end of a school day, we were several mothers waiting for our respective child. When the kids joined us we were discussing jobs/career; naturally one of the moms asked the kids what they would want to be in the future. To this day I think we all remember the answer of this little girl, my son’s age: “ I want to be a nothing like my mom”. The mother who had to give up a job in California to follow her husband to Singapore felt outraged and hurt. How could a six year old consider that a stay-at home mom was a nothing? I still wonder.

For the moment it is true that working women are struggling to combine their career and their personal life. But it can be manageable and fulfilling if stress is under control. And when stress is under control, these women will not only be a great role model for their daughters, they will also be fun partners to be with both emotionally and physically.

And gentlemen, if you lower her stress level, she will ease your life and she will give you what you want!

About the Author:

Anne is the author of Happily Ever After In The Real World and the founder of EZcouple.com. She focuses on long distance relationships and life improvement.

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