It is wise to enter the Mommy Wars cautiously. The battles over the best ways to be a mother are fraught with tension with the battle over those who work “outside the home” (the new phrase to ensure that those who work inside the home are not offended!) and those that stay at home (is that still ok?!) being the biggest third rail. I’ll suggest that there should be common ground about reentering the work force after whatever period of time served the family for Mom to stay home.
But I will take a risk: I believe that most families in current day America require two incomes – again after whatever period of time one parent stayed home – for security. There are not too many secure jobs. 1 income families are fraught with peril. Family income drops from 100% to 0% with an ill timed lay off. Beyond that, I believe that work is good for all. I have heard far too many times: “I’m just a house-wife so what do I know.” “Plenty” is my response.
In the years running Career Counseling Connecticut, I have noticed that many women who approach us about reentering the work force have lost a great deal of confidence, not just related to work but also life. Going through a process with a career coach has proven to be rewarding both professionally and personally for our clients.
I suppose I have a personal mission here as well. My mom worked at the United Nations. To all those who knew her in her twenties, she was a vivacious, funny, smart woman who was full of life. She stopped working shortly after my older brother was born. By the time I was in my teens, she was a shell of the person that had been described to me. I always thought that her life would have been different had she gone back to work.