Commentary by Danielle Wilson
My husband Doo spent the weekend with his family while I stayed to prepare for the school week. When I called to check in, he told me about the debate he’d had with his siblings the night before: Should women stay at home with kids?
Ironically, I was in the process of buying new clothes for work (at my favorite consignment store, of course. I’m a teacher!). “Please tell me you were on my side!” I said, feeling defensive even though the conversation was over. He had been, but he was the only one. Everyone else felt that women shouldn’t work while their kids were young.
I was appalled, and not just because I’m reading “The Handmaid’s Tale.” How can we be in 2017 and still have such a traditional view of motherhood? I suppose given the political climate, it’s not surprising, but I thought we’d at least come far enough to recognize that what’s best for children is what’s best for the parents. Mom wants to stay at home? More power to her! Mom wants to go back to work? You go, girl! Dad decides he’s ready for domestic bliss? Woot! Woot! Nirvana for all!
Personally, I was not cut out to keep toddlers alive and entertained for 10 to 12 hours a day. I couldn’t handle the monotony and loneliness of constantly discussing Barbie’s wardrobe options with a preschooler. Though financial considerations kept me home for many years (teacher, remember?), I couldn’t wait to return to the classroom. And when I finally did, I became a much better mother.
Let’s try and support all moms, wherever they decide to be. Peace out.