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I can't possibly agree with this statement. I think that it is definitely possible for a woman to be a good mother and to have a career. It may be harder if she is trying to be something like a member of upper management in a large company, but for most "normal" careers, there is no barrier.
I also think that the whole question only comes up because of our outdated expectations. Men can and should do just as much of the work around the house as women if both have jobs outside the home. So the question should apply just as much to men as to women.
It's possible, but it sure is difficult. It will require a lot more effort on the part of the mom than being a stay-at-home mom. Instead of being like a working dad, who usually comes home and kicks back, moms of small kids will probably need to spend more time and effort with the children when they are already tired.
Of course, it can be made a lot easier if dad steps in and does his part too. Maybe the secret is a good, strong parental partnership that equitably divides the parental load at home.
It is certainly possible to balance both home and career. There are many difficult aspects to this balance, but then there are many difficult aspects to any path we take in life. There are plenty of women who balance both very well. My mother always had a career and was still able to manage the house and children. In fact, she continues to balance her career with helping to care for grandchildren and two sets of aging parents.
There are many, many ways to achieve a balance between home and career. Some women choose to work from home. Others hire help around the house in terms of cleaning, yard work, etc. Some men stay home while the woman goes to work. Each family will find a way that works for them. It is unrealistic and unfair to say the women cannot find a balance. I would argue that most of the women I know are finding that balance every day.
The Republican candidate for President feels that women with children should work. This is his most recent statement about mothers who need welfare support:
We will do everything in our power to make sure that people who are on welfare have an opportunity and an obligation to go to work, not after two years but from day one if we could.
(I assume he means women since they are the ones who have the children.) I am not sure what he means by the day one. Hopefully, it is not the day after having the baby. No woman who has a child should have to work if at all possible. If the woman is married, that has become their number two most important job...now I know that the husband comes first. I wish I had known it in my first marriage.
As a wife, mother, and teacher, my life probably represents the 1970-1980's generation that really did not know what the woman should be doing. My mother did not work outside the home, so she did not clue me in on my obligations. When I left my daughter at the babysitter's for the first time, she was three months old. I only taught half day, but I felt very guilty leaving my little precious one.
In fact, I would have given anything not to have worked. I married a teacher and in 1970, when my daughter was born, my husband was making $5, 700 dollars a year. We were poverty stricken. I really do not know how we paid the bills. Anyway, I can honestly say that I was not prepared to be a wife and mother; and I did not want to be a working woman.
As much as I was educated in my career field, I was oblivious to groups that might have had information to help a woman cope with the problems that I faced as the wife, mother,,,,
Foolishly, I can remember grading papers night after night (I taught high school honors English) with everyone else watching television. We ate a lot of fast food meals during the week. All the housework was saved for the weekend. Where did that leave my husband and daughter?
In the beginning, my husband helped with the housework. He never cooked, but he did run the vacuum and pickup. When my daughter was about 8, my husband announced that I had a built in helper; so he was done with housework.
My daughter and I were extremely close, sharing things that probably should have been shared with my husband. He was more interested in coaching (I coached too.) her to the league championships in softball and soccer. That ended his involvement.
I also went to school a lot to get my masters degrees. So obviously, there went more of my time. It did force my husband to take my daughter to eat once a week and spend a little personal time with her.
Here is the important part: On the day my daughter graduated from college, her father said, "Better get a job because I am divorcing your mother." After twenty-five years of marriage and without any preface, the man was ready to move on to another pasture (figuratively).
I attribute my story to working outside the home. If I had been able to be a better wife by working at it harder and being there more, my marriage would never have ended. My daughter and I are the best of friends. I was a good mother...I do not how, but I was a success at that.
Can women make all three jobs work together? Yes, it happens everyday. In my ancient world, we did not know how to divide up the time. I know this because so many of my friends did not have successful marriages either.
Of course, a man who communicates his feelings would help as well. Anyway, I agree with the discussion, but....oh well, you know my story.
I'm sorry to hear the story in post 5. I have to disagree, however, that the divorce was solely the result of your working. That's a pretty big assumption/conclusion to draw.
While I agree that working and being a mother, at the same time, for me, is not ideal, I do think it can be done, when both spouses or partners are equally committed to both career and home. There is certainly a sacrifice in care, as children are at the mercy of daycare or a babysitter for much of the day, but again, I have seen several families make it work, and children grow up as well adjusted and healthy as many whose mom or dad stayed home.
I think single working mothers (or fathers) probably have the number one hardest jobs/lives of anyone in America.
I have experienced both working as a mother, and staying home as a mother. For us, the financial sacrifice for me to stay home has been absolutely worth the time and direct connection I get to have with my children while they are young. Though there are many luxuries we sacrifice in the face of being a one-income family, the other benefits have been better for us.
Another consideration for us, was the fact that daycare for two or more children was so expensive that the "worth" of my salary was greatly reduced. In fact, to put three children in full time daycare would have meant that I was working for nothing but health insurance. As a degree and license holding teacher, I was looking at less than minimum wage after the price of childcare. This, to me, was the deciding factor to stay home for the years my children are not in school.
Men cannot successfully combine both home and career -- agree?
I think it would be very difficult for ANYONE to juggle between a career and take care of your own household.
Normatively, the answer is that they *should* be able to have a career and a home-life. But in the real world, I think people who try to do both end up extremely stressed and without much sleep!
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