Yesterday during a play date, a friend and mum of another four year old, who’s starting school in a few weeks, told me she’s going to increase her hours at work. She was hesitant though because she said, “there’s a stigma against mums who work more than three days a week.”
I wasn’t too sure about that so I said, “Do you think so?”
“I think so,” she said, “because they think, ‘don’t you want to spend any time with your kids?'”
I told her that I think someone is going to judge just about any decision we make. Stay at home mums feel judged by some people, mums who work part time feel judged by others, and mums working full time feel judged too. You’re not going to find a way for everyone to agree with your decisions, because there’s such a vast array of opinions about life.
There was a viral video I saw a few times, and I didn’t watch it until the end so I’m not sure that I didn’t miss something important but it was of a woman in a bath talking about all the ways that women are judged; if they have an abortion, they’re judged for aborting but if they have the baby and go on benefits they are judged for being on benefits, etc etc. I’ve seen many people complain about this kind of thing before, as if there’s some kind of conspiracy against women. “We just can’t win!” they say.
I don’t think there’s any kind of conspiracy. I think the biggest problem is women being so sensitive to judgement. I’m not immune here, I don’t think anyone is completely, but we really need to just get to grips with the idea that we need to live our lives for our own and our family’s happiness and well-being, and to hell with those who don’t like it!
Children are better off at home, unless of course staying home full time makes you a very unhappy person. It’s like breast feeding; I’ve read online from mums who said they were unable to bond until they stopped breast feeding because it was so stressful. I find that sad and I think it’s mostly to do with an unsupportive environment and toxic culture we live in, but gosh if its making you miserable then it’s NOT the best choice. There’s a certain amount of weighing and measuring that needs to be done but we all have to find our way through.
Ideal would be a small village type environment; a co-housing Lilac Coop type place where no one has to do everything by themselves all day everyday and there are many close, supportive friends / family members to lean on when needed. But that’s a rare environment to find ourselves in at the moment so we must do what we have to do. Hopefully we’ll try to minimise the damage we do to ourselves, our children and the environment along the way.
But seriously, don’t spend a single second worrying about whether you’ll be judged for doing what is right for your family.
Featured image via Unsplash