Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A Personal Choice

To continue working or take a break is a question almost all women face when they have a kid. It’s a question that alters the course of a woman’s life.

While women who decide that the way their child grows up is much more important than their careers sometimes feel a twinge of regret about the lost opportunities, those who continue working feel guilty for not being around their kids more when they are needed, and overcompensate by indulging their kids.

Whether a woman decides to carry on with her career or become a stay-at-home mom is a matter of personal choice, and one should not make the other feel bad about the choice she made - which is what an article that I read recently revolved around.

The article presented the point of view of two women – a psychologist who quit her job to become a full-time mom and a marketing professional who continued working even after having a kid. The psychologist admitted to sometimes wondering what all she could’ve achieved professionally had she continued practicing, but she decided not to because she wanted to be hands-on as far as her son’s upbringing was concerned.

It’s the attitude of the marketing professional that bothered me – whenever her daughter would ask her why she can’t stay at home like some other moms, she’d tell her daughter that she was more educated and smarter than other moms who stayed at home, therefore she had to go to work. Her daughter has got so conditioned to this line of thinking - that women who work are smarter than women who choose not to - that she too wants to be a working woman when she grows up.

Feeding something like this to your kid is so wrong, I feel. You’re teaching your kids to look down upon other people and judge a person’s intellect simply by virtue of whether he/she works or not. And we know that impressions created on a developing mind stay on forever.


Spike said...

What you say is true about kids being impressionable, but I believe that that working mom is not wrong in telling her kid what she thinks is the best answer... She certainly cannot tell her kid that the other moms are more caring abouttheir kids and hence they quit their job... in her situation , this answer probably fits better... Just a counter-view to your line of thought...

Moonshine said...

This is something we were talking about very recently!!!!

I also read that article.. i do not agree with that lady's perspective at all!!! Its such a blanket statement.. and look at what that child will go around telling other kids who may have non working moms.. i agree with you totally.. its the choice one makes .. others cannot pass judgement on it..

Scarlett said...

@Spike - I still do not think the answer she gave was the best one to give to her kid. A very convenient answer, yes. But do you really feel that telling your kid that moms who choose not to work are dumber/less smart than moms who do, is the right thing? That is such a gross generalization, and not supported by even an iota of truth.

She could've given her kid reasons why she needs to work - it could be anything from contributing to the family income, to the need to be self-sufficient, to work being a major part of her identity & giving her a sense of accomplishment. Kids these days understand, and even if her kid is too young to understand, she would have with time. See what kind of distorted perception about people her kid will grow up with now!

@Moonshine - I think it was also immaturity on part of the woman. The other woman, the psychologist who gave up her practice to become a full-time mom, didn't say anything derogatory about women who continue working after having kids. She only gave reasons for why she made the choice that she did. She could've very easily accused working women of not caring enough about their kids & their upbringing, which again would've been incorrect.

Utopia said...

I totally agree that one cannot generalise to that extent. Maybe I would have thought the same when I was younger but as the years pass by I realise that we women have some very hard choices to make and being at home and deciding to take care of your kids doesn't necessarily mean you are not smart enough or not intelligent enough. Each to his own. But having said that sometimes women do stagnate if they chose not to follow their dreams and sacrifice all of it for family. Maybe one would get frsutrated sometime or the other. Depends on the individual.