Posted by: Deborah Drezon Carroll | March 22, 2010

Women in the Workplace or the Home? Really?


I just read an article on the Huffington Post that asks if successful career women can be good mothers. Seriously? Am I in a time warp? Is this 1970? Didn’t the feminists of yesteryear fight, march, lobby, cajole, work, fight, vote, and fight some more so that we could stop asking this damn question once and for all? I raised three girls. Most years I worked, and some I stayed home and worked there, too. I tried to be a good mother on all of those years. Some women can choose to work outside the home and inside the home. Some don’t have the luxury of choice. But, all can be good mothers. Mothering is about what you teach your children and how you make them feel and how you feel about yourself while you’re doing it. I hope my daughters know that the answer to the question in that headline is to stop asking the damn question. We don’t then and we don’t now ask, “Can Men Have Careers and Be Good Fathers?” Move on, people. The times they have a ‘changed. What do you think?

Tamra Writes:

It’s Women’s History Month and everyone knows that women already paid their dues to earn their equal rights. It’s also scientifically proven that women can multitask better than men, it’s in our brains. I just took a course on it, and anyone that wants to challenge me on that fact, I’ll send you an article.

Shira writes:

I’m sure there are plenty of successful career women that are not good mothers, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be. There are definitely stay-at-home mothers that aren’t good parents either. I don’t think the two are really related. Someone who is ambitious enough to have a successful career and a family, is likely to instill values of self-confidence in her children. Nothing wrong with that. Most of the woman I work with are mothers. Great mothers. They work hard and do their jobs well, but they still find plenty of time for their families.

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Responses

  1. The real answer is it depends – some people, male of female – working outside the home or not, just do not make good parents. And others do. Period. My mother worked and raised amazing children – even if I say so myself. I worked and although the jury’s still out on if my girls will be “successful” – they are civic-minded responsible young women beginning to make their lives their own. Heaven help them if someone asks if their SO is okay with “babysitting” the kids so they can enjoy a girls night out! I’ll explode. “Babysitting” seriously – it’s not babysitting when a father’s caring for their own children – it’s called parenting!

  2. Exactly right. Good parenting does not depend on who works and who doesn’t. It’s what’s in the heart, soul and mind of the parent. And, yes, I better not hear anyone talking about a dad “babysitting” unless he’s watching the neighbor’s kids.

  3. Great post. I returned to work full-time when my daughters were six months old. Working outside of the home helps me be a good mother because it keeps me balanced. My daughters benefit from having a happy mom. We still spend plenty of time together, and my daughters get an opportunity to socialize without their parents breathing down their necks.

  4. Well said. And, balance is the key, both mentally and physically. Thanks for making this important point. Your girls are lucky to have you.

  5. I grew up in the 60’s and raised kids at the turn of the century, and I’m one of “those” women “they” are asking about. I’m a great mother, a successful entrepreneur and have to shake my head over the stupidity of this question. When my ex was not working and at home, nobody questioned his parenting skills any more than they questioned his skill when he FINALLY went to work at a bank. Of course the stereotype of watching soaps and eating bonbons is perpetuated or else “they” will realize we already rule the world and make the majority of the decisions. They are just intimidated by the strength and ability of women then and now. They KNOW we do a great job at whatever we attempt and not one of them would ever dare to “dismiss their mother’s efforts” when they reached the pinnacle of their success. I say, forget “them” and keep on changing the world, one backward mind at a time.

  6. I always taught my son, “a woman’s place is in the House and in the Senate.” (Of course, I was an American Government teacher at the time.)

    • Right on sistah! The House, the Senate and, hey, why not the White House?

  7. Great article. I agree, it’s time to stop asking that question! Stopping by from Sits 🙂

  8. Thanks for checking us out. Especially since you agree. 🙂

  9. Excellent post! I have also raised 3 AMAZING daughters, too, and I have always taught them they can do anything and become whatever they choose. If they want to marry, have children and be a SAHM, then that is exactly what they should do. And/or if they want to become a doctor, lawyer or teacher, they can do that, too. The sky is the limit for them because they are strong, intelligent, awesome young ladies who can do whatever they put their minds to. I am so proud of them!!

    Stopping by from SITS! Hope you have a wonderful day!

    Blessings,
    Teresa <

  10. It’s true. We women do FINALLY have choices. Your daughters are lucky to have you. They are truly blessed with a mom who leads the way and lifts them up.

  11. amen, sister! Found your blog from SITS – I’m from a family of four girls so I look forward to subscribing to your blog!

  12. Welcome. Tell your sisters and mom to check us out too!

  13. I love it! I think that’s true. Some people are cut out to be parents (no matter what) and some people aren’t. Just because you work doesn’t make you a bad one.

    Stopping by from SITS!

    • I agree that some people are better suited for parenting than others. And, I also think that sometimes folks who don’t come to it naturally can learn on the job if they really have the will and the desire.

  14. True. And, for many women, working outside the home enables them to be better mothers. It’s all about doing what works best for you and your kids, not being mandated by others.

  15. Oh wow. Great timing on the article! I’m on maternity and will be heading back to work in a few months. I’m hoping for a three day work-week (I’m an IT Consultant) so that I can get the best of all worlds. I want to keep working so that I don’t lose all the money (school is expensive!) and momentum I put into my career to get to where I am I also need to keep working to keep my mind going – some adult talk is nice! Plus, I need it to feel good and whole as a person – I like the challenge and the contribution I make. I think my daughter will indirectly benefit from all these things. Too often women feel like they are being “selfish” when really they are just FINALLY putting themselves first for a change. Men do this all the time without guilt because society views it as a norm (i.e. assertive men are ambitious vs. assertive women are bitches). No man bashing here at all. Women can be their own worst enemies sometimes!

    I want my daughter to grow up knowing that she can have it all – maybe not all at the same time but if she wants something she can work and get it. I want her to know that she is strong, smart, independent and fully capable. What better way to teach her this than to show her through my actions?

    • I absolutely believe that a daughter of a happy and fulfilled mom grows up much better off. Part time work is wonderful. I was lucky enough to have it for a few years when my girls were young. It enabled me to earn some needed income and to also have some time to function in the adult world where I could speak words of more than one syllable! And, I’m also with you on man bashing. I don’t think that helps our cause at all. We grow from a positive place, I think, far faster than from a negative place. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Let us know how it goes when you return to work. Good Luck!

  16. I’m probably the odd ball here ! I am visiting from SITS! I have read several of your blog entries and I really enjoyed so far. I don’t necessarily agree with todays…but I am a working mom and I do know it doesn’t matter if you work in or out of the home, as long as you love and are teaching and nurturing your children you are a good mother. I do wish that more women would step out of that “feminist” position and let men lead…but that’s just personal conviction. For me – nobody else! Great blog! I will be following. Gorgeous daughters btw!

  17. Thanks for you nice words about my kids. And, I am so glad you shared your opinion, “odd ball” or not. And, I don’t see you as odd, really. You’re right about what makes a good mom, too. I’m happy you enjoyed the blog and hope you’ll come again!

  18. Being a good mom isn’t determined by whether you stay at home with your kids or whether you work. It’s determined by how much quality time you spend with your child. To say that it has to be one or the other always irritates me. It’s a personal decision and each person makes the decision that is right for them at the time.

    Visiting from SITS. Have a lovely day!

    • I couldn’t agree more that each person needs to do what works best for her and her family. So glad you stopped by for a visit!

  19. Wow, I love this blog concept. Stopping over from the follow for follow thread on the SITS blogfrog and I signed up immediately! Can’t wait to keep reading!!!


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