Apparently, this is my week for being enlightened about things I thought had been resolved and were gone forever. First banned books and now I find that young women are still hotly debating whether the children of working women are as well adjusted as stay at home mothers.
The point of the feminist movement in the beginning, well there were many points, but the one that summarizes them all for me is: CHOICE. The women who fought to give 51% of the population a voice in this country blazed a trail allowing every girl an opportunity to fulfill their full potential. For some that was a career with the ability to compete for promotions on an equal footing with their male counterparts. For others it was just the knowledge that they COULD compete if they wanted to, or needed to in support of their family.
I have a friend who says: "When girls are doing well, men and boys are doing better and that's good for the entire community." She's right. Great children come from great parenting, and the interaction of great teachers, school counsellors, ministers, adult neighbors and childcare providers. Great mothers come from working to fulfill their potential. For some, that will be working to provide a perfect home for their husband and kids. For others to achieve that perfect home, they'll work outside it for awhile every day.
I don't have perfect children. My problems with grandgirls mom are well documented throughout this blog. I was a fully engaged mother despite also working outside the home and her failures had nothing to do with how we parented her... this according to HER. The other four are hardworking, successful, well adjusted young people. They may have turned out the same if I hadn't worked outside the home, but I doubt it. Because I would not have been the same kind of mother.
I worked because we needed the money, but I would have even if Pap could have supported us all on his own. I worked because I had a burning desire to accomplish something that was just mine, to actively contribute to my community through volunteer service and I needed the feedback that comes with that kind of lifestyle. It was by having the opportunity to chase my own dreams that gave me the energy to really be there for my kids.
I'll support your decision to be a homemaker with all the enthusiasm I use supporting the women who choose to work. But I will not support either claim that one way is better than the other, it's an individual choice, based on an individual personality.