Stay at home moms should get unemployment benefits. Whew! Gosh, it feels so good to say that. I know the idea is a bit “out there,” but recently I’ve been feeling more and more strongly about it and I think it might just catch on.
Here’s the thing. When you become a stay at home mom, it’s supposed to be a “gift,” “a blessing,” a “privilege.” Thanks so much, Society! What no one ever tells us and what we never want to admit for fear of losing our “maternal rights” is that being a stay home mom is a job! That’s right, a job. If there is any question of that, I ask you, if you don’t take care of your babies, do you have to PAY someone else to do it? You bet your butt you do, ergo job!
Now then, as the years pass and your little ones get bigger and you swim further and further away from any “real” work experience, a funny thing happens. Your offspring begin to grow. Finally, when your last kid reaches first grade a strange phenomena begins to occur. We like to call it, “The When Are You Going Back To Work? Syndrome.” “But I have been working,” you want to scream.
Nevertheless what was once hailed as “the hardest job in the world,” now seems to be “the not so hardest job in the world.” It’s at about this time that another phenomena creeps into daily life, we like to call this one the “What Do You Do All Day? Syndrome”
The “What Do You Do All Day? Syndrome” leads inevitably back to the “When Are You Going to Back to Work? Syndrome.” Round and round we go. It only seems fair for stay at home moms to go back to work now that the kids don’t really need them anymore unless of course, your kids: get sick, have a dentist appoint, have a dermatologist appt, have an eye doctor appt, have a half day off school, have a full day off school, need help with homework, need them to attend a teacher conference, back to school night, or award ceremony, need to be taken to a sport, activity, or other social engagement, have an issue at school, need art supplies for a project, need to purchase a present for a party, need to donate a can of fruit, or if they need supervision… for the entire summer! Nope, they don’t need us at all anymore. But I digress.
The truth is, most stay at homes moms are more than willing to get back into the workforce. There’s only one problem: Employers don’t want us... There is one place where employers equate the work of a stay-at-home mom to those who work in the workforce. That place is Fantasy Land. (This point is WAY more effective if you stretch it out, like this: FAAAANTAAAASY LAAAND) In summary, it may be fashionable and PC to term the stay at home mom as the “CFO of the household,” but the truth is, it doesn’t hold water outside in the real world.
I know of what I speak. I tried to get a full-time job. Although I explained to my interviewer that during my time as a stay at home mom, I also managed to create my own publishing company, write, publish and promote my first book, It Gets Easier! and Other Lies We Tell New Mothers (shameless plug!), sell said book to another publisher, work part-time as accountant specializing in Quick Books and Peachtree and maintain a CPA, it didn’t matter. All he heard were the words, “been out of the full-time workforce for 12 years.” “I just don’t think you’ll be able to handle it,” he said. “Not handle it,” I thought, “I could do it with my eyes closed compared to the schedule I’ve been keeping for the last 12 years.” In the end, you guessed it, I didn’t get the job! You now see the stay-at-home mom dilemma. Some have termed it, The Feminine Mistake, but I’m not willing to go that far…yet!
I do have a solution though! Unemployment benefits for the stay at home mom! Where there is money there is power, right? A check in the mail with our name on it would be the perfect solution. It’s a win-win. We get a check to contribute to the family coffers and the question of what we do all day is no longer relevant. Problem solved. Until this idea really takes root, we will just have to continue doing what we have been doing all this time since we first became at-home moms, that’s right, we’ll continue WORKING!
Any ideas, thoughts, suggestions? Could my idea take off?