Comparative Essay: Mothers with a Divided Heart
Kathy O'Reilly April 3, 1997 Comparative Essay
The importance of raising children to be productive members of a rapidly evolving, achievement oriented society, is paramount to the success of the family and the global economy. At the same time, the stresses of every day individual economic and personal fulfillment needs are a significant counter force. This force works against the available time and effort required for mothers to successfully nurture their young. It has resulted in societal "Mommy
Wars", pitting the working mom against the stay-at-home mom, in a battle over which model offers the clearest path to nurturing success. Bridging the gap requires each to accept that there is not one right choice for every family and to understand and respect each individual decision. All moms have one thing in common: they make sacrifices to do what is best for their families. To a working mom, this means not spending as much time with her children, and for stay-at-home moms, this means not getting much time to herself. Being home or not with the children is not as important as creating an environment where the children can thrive and feel loved.
Stay-at-home moms are often viewed as "soap-opera-watching couch potatoes" with no ambition. Rather than being praised for their decision to stay home, they often feel they need to defend it. Society talks so much about family values, yet gives little respect or value to stay-at-home moms who raise the families.
In addition, stay-at-home moms find it challenging to provide a social setting for their children when being at home all day is the only stimulation they have.
Furthermore, the strain of not bringing in money for a better standard of living can lead to self-doubt and isolation. That feeling of insecurity can be put to rest, however, with the peace-of-mind that comes from knowing that the child is being well taken care of. Stay-at-home moms have the opportunity