Staying Home After Baby: Still a Woman's Duty?

moms stay home

Photo by PrincessRSX03

In 2009, is it still safe to say that, after baby, women will become the stay-at-home parents? Does society still believe that if one parent is going to be giving up the career, it's going to be the woman?

Talitha over on Momlogic asks this very good question: Staying home after baby: Why me?! 


Of course, many families, especially in today's economy or in the case of single parents, don't have a choice to have a parent stay home—even for the first year or the first few months. Giving up an income is definitely a privilege not every parent has. However, when staying home with baby is an option, why is it still assumed that the parent who stays home will be the woman (or maybe more importantly, why do women accept this assumption?)?

Talitha at Momlogic asks: "Who's to say that I want to take on the new job of staying up all night, staying home during the day, and giving up my work for an uncertain amount of time? Have you asked me?" She continues: "I would like to be asked: 'Hey, are you OK with staying at home and giving up your job for X amount of months?'"

I know when the "Who will stay home with the baby?" discussion came up (and only because I initiated it) in my household, one in which I consider the marriage partnership to be very equal, my husband didn't even consider staying home or quitting his job. At the time, I made a higher salary than he did and threw out the option for him to stay home with our son, which he, without the blink of an eye, declined.

At the same time, I was pretty torn, wanting to find a way to balance work and family. I really enjoyed my job but felt driven to find a way to stay home with our son for awhile, even if that meant working part time. Many of my girlfriends felt the same, quit their jobs, and never looked back while their husbands (and mine) seemingly never even considered staying home for one second.

No matter what you chose or what you feel is the right choice about working or staying home, do you think society still assumes the woman will be the stay-at-home parent or even that women want to stay home with their kids rather than work?

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