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At-Home Not Unemployed

Tuesday, April 19th, 2011 by:

I find mommy questionnaires with the options: working full-time, working part-time, mompreneur, or unemployed insulting. Why should a woman be forced to label herself “unemployed” if she has chosen to spend her time taking care of her children rather than doing something that results in monetary gain?

I don’t know why our society insists on placing a higher value on any occupation that brings in money versus one that will shape the future of a generation. Feminism was supposed to give women the choice of what to do with their time. Instead, it seems to have forced us into the workforce or face a lifetime of justification for staying at home with our family.

Women with kids do not sit around noshing on bon bons and watching reruns of Oprah. As a mother who has chosen to balance (if you can use that word) raising children with a career in journalism I can tell you sitting at a computer and talking to interesting people about subjects I’m passionate about is a breeze compared to potty training, role playing construction or dealing with an opinionated toddler.

There have been many times where the thought of going back to a desk job as an editor sounds akin to an island vacation. I’ve been tempted. Then I hear my four-year-old excitedly tell me about his day, my two-year-old hug me and tell me he missed me when I was out working for two hours or my newborn nuzzle up to me and any thought of going back to work full time is washed away.

I’m happy being at home. I’m lucky enough to have a career that affords me the option to do both, but if it was a choice between staying at home and working full-time I know where my loyalties would lie.

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