Day 4: STAY AT HOME MOM, SYSTEM WORKING MOM - Part 1
http://mscarolyne.blogspot.ch/2015/07/d ... rking.html
There have been countless opinions/perceptions in our world in regards to being a stay at home ‘working’ mom or a system working mom. A while back, I encountered posts on social media targeting either group of women or both. The comments themselves were made out of self-defense whereby, either of the woman defends her status of ‘work’ as of more or less value than the others’. This debates went on and on and I could see just how much of an emotional turmoil this point did trigger within the mothers. The system working mom perceives her nature of work/responsibility as very challenging because they must work both in the system during the day and be a mother to the children at home in the evenings and most of these mothers have the common assumption that, a stay at home mom has so much time on her hands to do pretty much what she wants and caring for the kids is not of so much value mainly because there is no reward in the form of an income at the end of the day. Another common perception is that, stay at home moms are lazy because they do not work in the system to become ‘independent’ women because in this equation, the man/husband takes care of all the financial needs of the household and everyone in it. Another perception is that, a stay at home mom is a waste of potential of who/what the woman/mother could have become if only she worked in the system.
Meanwhile, the stay at home mom perceives the system working mom as unfortunate in that, she has to leave her kids under the care and supervision of another person which in itself may be consequential to the child especially if the caregivers are not really as passionate in caring for the child as the own mother can. A stay at home mom at times thinks/perceives that, it is irresponsible of a system working mom to put career and money as first priority and mothering/parenting in the lesser priority category.
So there’s obviously this internal and external fight/conflicts among stay at home moms and system working moms. But does it really have to be a war? Does parenting have to be about competition on whose responsibilities are more valuable or should it be about the support of another being/child in the best way possible? What is being a mother then all about? What circumstances have we accepted and allowed both within and without that have shaped the very perceptions about raising children/being parents/moms/mothers? How can we as mothers stand up and step out of these self-created illusions as the perceptions/opinions/judgments we have created towards ourselves and towards each other as the responsibilities that entail being the best possible example for your child to emulate? How can we assist and support each other through sharing and uplifting each other instead of fighting through comparison and competition?
Let me open up these points further by going through some typical examples of a system working mom and a stay at home mom:
My mother was a system working mom, from what I see now, one of the reasons that she did this was because she had us 4 kids (later 5) and she had to fulfill the responsibilities of being a single parent to us. She had to ensure that, all our basic needs were met and the only way she could do this was by getting much more education and thus land a better job in the system to afford paying for all our needs. Most of the times she was not physically with us as she at some point had to go abroad to study for three years and once she came back, she got a job where we could just see her and spend time with her just one day a week. This was because her job was quite far away in the city and we at this time lived in a small town, so commuting daily to her would have been a big hustle as well as expensive. So clearly here, it was practical that my mother made such choices, it was commonsensical, the system she worked in gave her no other option to ease her separation
from her children until much much later when the government gave her a government house that was much more affordable and so we were able to move to the city. So here, from this memory that I have just shared, it is obvious that, my mother, as a system working mom had to fulfill all the financial obligations that come with having not only just 1 child but 4 (later 5) children. There was no one or nothing else that gave us monetary support at this time. So, her responsibilities of mothering us were done by someone else i.e. my relatives, teachers and maids. It was not an easy upbringing with adults that had no clue on what parenting entails. These were the people that we were supposed to learn from/emulate as children, the people that we learnt from, I learnt from. People that had no education experience or background of what being a mother entails and so there was an exceptional amount of abuse physically/mentally/emotionally. The caregivers always threatened not to tell my mother, or bribed us with candy if we don’t tell of the abuse, and so we never told.
So in this example, it was obvious that my mother needed to work in order that she earns some income/money to fulfill our basic needs. Here her role as a mother was not more or less, just different because in her circumstances, as a single mom, she had to, so if I judge/perceive her as having been uncaring, irresponsible and a bad mother for neglecting/leaving us under the care of others and not physically being there for us/with us, I would be self-dishonest. This are exactly some of the judgments/perceptions that are passed on to system working mothers.