Thursday, April 12, 2012

Women's War

Perhaps it’s time for those of us moms who have “never worked a day in our lives” to start lining up for unemployment benefits. That ought to make the joblessness numbers more interesting! Maybe then we could show we care about the economy.

If a woman is not in the “work force” does it mean she cares less about economic issues? Does it mean she is less aware of the terrible economic problems facing our nation, more particularly her own family? Does it mean she is out of touch with how the economy impacts hers or her family’s life?


If a woman is not the one bringing home a pay check, she still has to worry about that pay check.

Right now my husband’s company is going through a hostile take-over. It is not my job at stake. I am not the one dealing with the intricacies of such transactions. The share-holders do not even know I exist. But am I concerned? You better believe it.

My husband and I made the choice nearly 20 years ago that when children came to our family I would care for them full-time, even if it meant financial sacrifice and sacrifice of my own time and career, among other things. For the last 15 years, this is exactly what I have been doing. I know many people think that’s crazy. I know many people, including other mothers, put very little value on what I do and the choice we made.

Several years ago, when we tried to get life insurance for me, the first insurance company we went to refused to insure me because I “didn’t contribute” enough to our financial well-being. When we sat down and calculated my “contributions” we quickly discovered that were we to have to hire out the “work” I do (if I were to die or become incapacitated), we wouldn’t be able to afford it! This was just for the basic cooking, cleaning, laundry, yard work, music lessons, and child-care, not to mention tutoring and full-time teaching for our one home-schooled child. Needless to say, I was more than displeased with the insurance company’s ignorant response (obviously, we dropped them as our carrier for any insurance and went with another company).

When a woman leaves the “work force” to care for her family, it does not make her less concerned or less in touch with economic concerns. If anything, it makes us more concerned. We have to plan carefully, make adjustments and sacrifices, and be creative in budget development. We know that if our husband loses his job, we do not have a second income to fall back on. I fully recognize many women don’t have the choice to be at home full-time, and I feel extremely grateful that I can be with my kids. Although it is not without its challenges, being home with my kids is my favorite place to be and it is my very most favorite job. I wouldn’t change it for the world. And I hope I don’t have to.

1 comment:

  1. Loved your post. We need more women being voices during this upcoming election. I wrote a few responses myself to newspaper and online news websites in response to last weeks "mommy wars". Great website.