Are You Wait At Home Mom?
I love new catch phrases. Vicki Glembocki, columnist and author of the book “The Second Nine Months” has come up with a new catch phrase – The Wait At Home Mom – in her latest front page feature in Philadelphia Magazine. The column is called “The Existential Crisis of the Wait at Home Mom.” Glembocki pithily describes what many moms who gave up a career to stay home are experiencing . These stay-at-home moms are waiting for the kids to come home. I believe the article can be a “heads-up” for moms who are in the midst of making the decision to stay in or “opt-out” of the workforce and what some of the long-term effects can be to “opting-out.”
I loved the article. It is on-point and interesting. The thrust of the article is that the women who have “opted-out” are now unsure what do to with themselves once the kids are raised. Glembocki compares this uncertainty to the uncertainty of the generation of Moms before us. She invokes an interview by Betty Friedan with a housewife almost fifty years earlier who said, “I’m desperate. I begin to feel I have no personality. I’m a server of food and a putter-on of pants and a bed-maker, somebody who can be called on when you want something. But who am I?” Interesting, isn’t it? I could name five girlfriends off the top of my head who have said something similar to me over the last three years.
Now, before you get all indignant and want to scream at me that any mom who has the ability to stay home should be grateful for the chance to stay home and quit complaining, I’m going to ask for you respectfully to cool your jets. I know that not every woman has the choice to stay home. I know the women who don’t have the opportunity to stay at home would jump at the chance. I know. I know. I know. Let us put those feelings aside because, I’ll tell ya, the feelings of the at-home moms are no less valid than that of the women who didn’t have the choice. Ok? Just because a woman is lucky to have the opportunity to do the job doesn’t mean it is an easy job. Capice!
So.. back to the issue at hand. According to the article, the gals who have “opted-out” are lost. They don’t know what they want to do with the rest of their lives. They don’t know who they are, what they are capable of doing, or what they might have the opportunity to do. Their concerns are real. In the midst of describing this phenomena, Glembocki asks a provocative question. What would these confused women tell their daughters to do? I want to answer that question for the moms who have just decided or are deciding to stay at home – the new moms!
Heed the warnings ladies. Listen carefully. This article could be telling you your possible future. If you have decided to stay home after having a baby, if you already are home with a baby, or if you are trying to decide whether or not to stay home, consider this article. Once in the midst of childcare, it is very difficult to see the forest for the trees. Taking care of a baby is a lot of work. The thought of adding outside work to the taking care of baby equation, especially if you have a spouse who puts in lots of hours and travels, is a scary one. I suggest, however, that you at least consider holding on to a job at least part-time. Perhaps you leave your current work situation and find a better fit either part-time or full-time. Even if you work just one day a week, in my opinion, it can add to your being able to return to the workforce with confidence. Keeping hold of a job now may reduce confusion and uncertainty once the kids are all grown up.
Thanks, Vicki Glembocki and Philadelphia Magazine for accurately describing what our generation of moms is going through with honesty and sensitivity. Did you give up a full-time job to stay home with your kids? Did you stay in the workforce part-time? Have you considered the issues that Glembocki raises in her article?