Children Are Not An Excuse To Do Less, But The Reason To Do More

Children Are Not An Excuse To Do Less, But The Reason To Do More

By Barbara Farina

As a mother of two children who works from home and still takes care of my home and family, I cannot but feel a little insulted when a woman or a man gives the excuse that they have to care for their children as the reason why they cannot hold down a job. Maybe that is true in some land I’m unaware of, but right now, right here in Argentina where I live, that is not a valid excuse. Today, with the global economy what it is, many women are working outside their home that may not have  several years ago. I am not speaking of a part-time job, I’m talking about working 12 hours a day in order to keep their homes and feed their families. Survival…

 

 

Surviving is good, thriving is better

There are many reasons why women choose to work. Some choose to work because they like it or working makes them more economically independent and provides an open-mindedness that allows them to be more connected to the world. For many others, especially in less developed countries or who are going through major fiscal problems where surviving is a daily task, it is much more difficult. They work, take care of their family and maintain their homes because they have to do it all. Maintaining the home and caring for a family is not some minimal undertaking either. For many of these women who spend time away from home, working for wages that are sometimes very poor, there are no excuses not to work. Working at whatever job is available, for whatever wages they pay, is survival.

 
I don’t know how not to feel angry when someone says – “I have three children and I cannot work because of that”,  when many women go out to work who have more than 3 children or when there are people who want to work and cannot. They cannot because the labor market does not offer possibilities or maybe because their religion does not allow it. It could be because their parents do not allow it or because their partner does not allow it, or because of health problems or discrimination. Take your pick, there are plenty of options. It is very difficult for women to be inserted into good paying jobs in the labor market in many places because all too often we have obstacles in our way based on our gender. The same work done by a man and a woman (in theory equals) is better paid if you are a man than a woman (A man earns between 10% and 30% more than a woman). It’s not right, but too often it is true.

 
Women suffer discrimination in the workplace still today because many think that we’re not suitable for certain positions. Still, personally, I think working is healthy despite all of that. And make it clear that I do not criticize those who stay at home caring for their children, as long as they are honest about the reason for their decision. If you have the financial ability to be a full-time stay at home mom and make that your career, that is awesome. But if you choose not to work because you want to be a welfare queen, say it! If that is your choice, stand by it instead of making excuses. But realize, women are much more than mothers, or workers, or daughters or friends. We are all that and we can and we do so many things. We need not be limited to looking after our families alone. The days of having no choice but to depend on a man or the government to survive are long gone! We can have more. We can do more! We should want more! When we make excuses, we only feed the negative stereotypes about what women can and cannot do.

 

We have a responsibility to do our best

Being able to work is a gift and far too many people forget that or choose to ignore it. So many people would love to have jobs but cannot or do not for whatever reason. To choose to not work and subsist off of assistance programs is an insult to those people. Don’t tell the world you can’t work, or do anything, because you have children. Children are not excuses. Children are not some “lottery ticket” you can turn into monthly support checks. Children are a precious gift and the very reason we should want to do more so that they will have a better life and world to live in than they currently do.

 

“Some women choose to follow men, and some women choose to follow their dreams. If you’re wondering which way to go, remember that your career will never wake up and tell you that it doesn’t love you anymore.” ― Lady Gaga

 
“There is no time for cut-and-dried monotony. There is time for work. And time for love. That leaves no other time.”
― Coco Chanel

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