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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Stay out of the stay-at-home stigma

<ir="ltr">If there is one thing that I absolutely hate, it is when people judge other people’s life choices when those choices don’t affect anyone other than the individual who made that choice. We are all unconsciously guilty of this sometimes, but there are people I know who have let their opinions of others get out of hand.

As much I love my parents, I can’t help but notice how guilty both of them are of the above problem, especially in regards to other people’s jobs. You see, I come from an interesting family work dynamic. When I was growing up, people thought my mother was a stay-at-home mom because she was always at home. However, the only reason this was the case was because her business was based at home. She was, essentially, a working stay-at-home mom. My dad, on the other hand, alternated between working at and away from home. My mom, to this day, loves to use her case as an example for why all women should work outside the home. A significant number of the families in my town have the father as the breadwinner and the mother as homemaker family. My mother thinks that our own family situation was simply the more acceptable option.

    “She’s throwing that law degree away to cook and clean? What’s wrong with her brain?”

    “How can a woman do that to herself in the present day? It’s not the ‘50s anymore.”

    “Just, no.”

These are things I remember her saying at one point or another during my childhood. Look, I’m not trying to terrorize my mom here. I just think her perspective on the issue represents some greater dynamics of our society. It’s been accepted that, especially in the last few years, that we are a severely polarized society regarding our opinions. Some people still believe in the traditional western model of men working out of the home and women staying with the kids and housework. Others, like my mother, are staunchly opposed to maintaining such tradition.

I, on the other hand, don’t believe I fit neatly on any area of the spectrum of beliefs, especially in this particular matter. As I stated before, it just irritates me when people belittle others’ life choices in this kind of way. The choice of someone to become a stay-at-home parent (regardless of gender, class status or any other factor) should be like any other career choice. One’s decision to pursue any career generally has nothing to do with how “progressive” or “backwards” one is. Ok, maybe if you’re campaigning for Trump, but that’s a discussion for another time. I personally don’t think I’ll become a stay-at-home mom. But if I change my mind, I desire for that choice to be respected by those around me.

So my final point is: be quiet about people’s life choices. If someone wants to be a stay-at-home parent, what gives you the right to judge?

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