Working vs. Stay-at-Home Mom

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Maternity is a problem which affects all moms, whether they work or remain at home in contemporary society. Although some people may think that pregnancy is a healthy, respectful part of life, the truth of the matter is that the difficulties that impact women and their families as a whole are incalculable. The challenges, however, are two pieces. Working mothers on the one hand hope to be able to spend more time with their children while mothers wish to make a financial contribution other than to take care of the baby. Such ideologies have led to various assumptions that may be misleading and these expectations can lead to decisions that a mother might regret. For instance, some people think that stay-at-home moms are not faced with challenges, and they decide to quit their jobs once they give birth. Only later do they realize the repercussions of their uninformed decision. Likewise, some might prefer to continue working only to realize the burden of mixing family and their job is massive as well (Kibbles, 2016). As such, the decisions that one has to take after having a child are what need to be considered and the only way to do so is by looking at the experiences of stay-at-home moms and how they cope with their new roles and responsibilities.

Significance and Influence on the Family

The decision of whether to be a full-time mother or continue working is one that has its greatest implication on the household. In one’s lifetime, there is a point where transitions take place for example marriage, having children, moving to another region and so on. These changes are usually accompanied by the adoption of new roles and identities. Apparently, new behaviors are acquired in the process of adjustment, and when this happens, the behavior of such individuals is altered as well. One of the major indicators of behavior change is consumption. Since motherhood is a role, it also changes as the children grow and also until the mothers return to paid jobs. The different transitional phases that parents experience eventually take a toll on their lives leading to changes in behavior and more so, consumption. These practices affect families either negatively or positively. For a working mother, there are three servicescapes in their lives. The first place is the home, the second place is work, and the third includes public areas such as hotels, pubs, retail stores and so on. However, for a stay-at-home mom, the second place of work is replaced by the third places which, most of the time, are retail entities. This is where one of the effects of the family are felt. Since the stay at home mothers do not work, the only way they can be able to interact with others is by going to public places, for instance, shopping in malls. These sites provide a healthy social environment where people with diverse backgrounds meet and therefore the emotional, as well as social support, can be felt (Johnstone & Todd, 2012). In other words, the places of consumption now become important places for the stay-at-home mothers.

Some findings indicate that spouses of the stay-at-home moms do not understand what it is like to staying indoors, performing the household chores and taking care of the children alone (Johnstone & Todd, 2012). Also, keeping in mind the fact that consumption requires finances, some women may feel that it is unfair and burdensome to obtain money from the spouse so that they can go to the social places and consume the services. While going out to fulfill the emotional and companionship needs can help the mother to enjoy this period to some extent, the behavior change, extra financial needs, and newfound habits can be reasons for the development of tensions and arguments in the family.

Implication of the Research on Families

In this particular research, the main effects are embedded on the decision a family or individual makes to be a stay-at-home mother or to work. Clearly staying at home is not an easy task and even though there are avenues in which the mothers can seek acceptance and interaction, they are not always a guarantee. The new roles of parents push them to undergo identity changes, and they, therefore, utilize the typical third places as their second places. However, the society has become more and more accepting to working mothers, but still, a considerable number is uncomfortable with it. This is an indication that some prefer to combine motherhood with working while others don’t. The findings go on to suggest that the nurturing roles of mothers are not well appreciated hence the reason why there is a divide on the issue. This is seen by the occasional disregard or ill-treatment by customers and service delivery agents (Johnstone & Todd, 2012).

The findings of the research are real since they clearly illuminate the contradictions that exist in the contemporary society. Although motherhood is respected, some people do not actually value the motherhood role. Simply put, the economic value of a stay-at-home mother is not valued as much as that of a working mother. For this reason, the financial contribution is one element that might make mothers continue working. The role of nurturing children is thus left out and in some instances, treated negatively. Any family with a child is facing this contention since both sides have their advantages and shortcomings. The fear of being judged can also make mothers consider either of the options but making choices is inevitable, and the outcomes for the family and the children, in particular, are most critical (Strong & Cohen, 2013). Another significant effect that also occurs in a family is the shift in power when the family transitions from a two-person income to one-individual revenue. Although the event could be unintentional, the result could be tension or the lack of resources to find solace in the second or third places.

Overall Impression and Concluding Remarks

In summary, the decision of staying at home or going to work during motherhood is a tough one. A working woman may still have significant power due to the financial contribution, but she may also find it hard to nurture her children the best way she would love to. On the other hand, a stay-at-home mother has all the time and opportunity to bond with her baby. However, there is still the disadvantage related to dependence on the spouse contributing financially and also the lack of appreciation for the responsibility. Also, there is a shift in interest during these life transitions and based on this research, stay at home mothers are provided with the various places such as retail stores that can offer an escape from the monotonous home life and also for companionship. At the end of the day, families can make use of these findings to make a decision concerning how to raise their children. The greatest lesson is that stay-at-home mothering is not necessarily boring nor does it mean constant life within the confines of the house. Other valued places can prove to be vital for coping with motherhood.

References

Johnstone, M. & Todd, S. (2012). Servicescapes: The role that place plays in stay-at-home mothers’ lives. Journal of Consumer Behaviour, 443–453.

Kibbles, C. (2016, October 20). Working Mothers Vs Stay At Home Mothers. Retrieved from Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/terryann-kibbles/working-mothers-vs-stay-a_b_12571400.html

Strong, B., & Cohen, T. F. (2013). The Marriage and Family Experience: Intimate Relationships in a Changing Society . Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

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