'Mommy Wars': To Work or Stay at Home?

Linda Hirshman says privileged, educated women who choose to stay at home to raise their children are hurting themselves and others.

She actually stated in a 2005 magazine article that it's a "tragedy". I just heard about this today on the radio so I looked up the article and, though I know some mom's don't have a choice and must work outside the home, I find it hard to believe that anyone would think that it's a tragedy to use one's education in educating their own children.

Ok...I might be done venting now...


  • 12 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • Do you have a more specific reference for this article? I would be interested in reading how she makes her case. Also, should I know who Linda Hirshman is?
  • Here you go. I read it too, and it seems like the same old, same old. Gender roles haven't changed. Yawn.


    Anne in Ohio
  • I tried to read the entire article. I really did. But when someone doesn't see the difference in the value of a good job as opposed to doing what you want to do...well, I just could not finish the article.

    Why does she think that becoming a huge success in business and making lots of money is the most important thing anyway? Just because that is what most of the men she interviewed wanted, doesn't mean it is the best thing to want, or even necessarily what men want in general. I would have loved to have stayed home with my children (managed it for 4 years too), education or not, but family finances required that I go out and get a job. I am reasonably successful in my work, but what do I dream about? The day I can afford to chuck it. Does that make me a fool in the author's eyes? It would appear so. I guess my husband is a fool too, because even though he is a male he has the same dream. Will retiring automatically make us stupid and unable to use our education? The author might think so, but I plan to continue to use my brain, even after I leave the office behind.

    Ok. I'll get off my soapbox now.


  • That's exactly my point. I personally know women who went as far as earning their Phd and then started having children. Does this writer believe that daycare workers (mostly women) are less educated so it's ok for them to raise kids?
  • Quote: The family -- with its repetitious, socially invisible, physical tasks -- is a necessary part of life, but it allows fewer opportunities for full human flourishing than public spheres like the market or the government. This less-flourishing sphere is not the natural or moral responsibility only of women. Therefore, assigning it to women is unjust. Women assigning it to themselves is equally unjust."

    What???? Raising my babies is considered a repetitious, socially invisible, necessary??? What a load of crap. I would think that it's human nature to want to care for your young. Isn't that the whole purpose of having a baby? To bring life into this world and then care for it??? Arrghhh. We all make our choices. I'm glad I live in a country where I am able to make that choice for myself (and disagree with this moron).
  • Exactly! The author acts like that because men in the past, and some men in the present, feel that business is the most important that it IS therefore the most important. And if we decide that something else is more important then we are cheating ourselves.

    She acts like many women are holding womanhood back. She should wonder if her attitude is really the problem to begin with! GRRRRHHHH!!!!

  • And now for the male point of view.....
  • Women belong..... oh never mind, I'll just dig a hole so deep I'll never get out.
  • I know some stay-at-home Dads. Are they also wasting their lives in their efforts to raise their children while their wives provide the income? I go back to Whirlwind's question, should we know who Linda Hirshman is?
  • My wife worked for one year after oldest was born, then decided it would be best to stay home. Or son was more important to her than her teaching job. She stayed home until our twins graduated from HS then went back to work part time. Those 20 some years she stayed home were not a waste of time - she would tell you the same thing. Our three kids are responsible adults now and two of them are parents themselves and seem to be doing an outstanding job. We marvel at how mature our 25 year old daughter is with her two kids - she is turning out to be an excellent mother, but of course she had a good role model.

  • The reason I work is not for the "opportunities for full human flourishing in the public spheres" but simply because it is the only why I know how to contribute to the financial needs of my family. I am married to one of those lovely young laides with a PhD. She stayed home with our boys until they were both in Middle School and then returned to teaching at the local college. We have home schooled our boys for all but one year of their formal education. We would both very much perfer to be at home with our guys than be at work everyday. I can't imagine what could be more "human flourishing" than spending more time with my family. Maybe if I ever break down and actually buy a lottery ticket....

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