Would You Prefer Divorce Over being a Stay-at-Home Mom?

parenthood, stay-at-home, divorce

I’ve heard some pretty outlandish things but what I heard on the radio the other morning had to be in the top three.  A recent survey found that ¾ of all married women would rather divorce their spouse than be doomed to a life of a stay-at-home mother. Wow! Holy insult batman.

This blew my mind, not because I think that every mom should stay home or because I adhere to some archaic idea of what marriage is. I don’t believe that a woman was put on this earth solely to cater to the whims of a man. We are not property or domesticated help. We are more than servants and wet nurses. We are more than concubines and caretakers. We are human; we have free choice. I chose to be at home with my children because that is where I want to be and it happens to be a possibility for our family financially.

No, this statement blew my mind because as hard as it is to find love, you would think that people would not just walk away from a committed loving relationship at the very thought of staying home. That sounds like something that might come out of a 20-year-olds mouth; someone who has not lived enough life to appreciate the value of a loving, caring, partner who unconditionally loves you or the way that, without intention of forethought, a baby becomes the center of a parent’s universe. Sure this is at great sacrifice to our own personal space and time but the privilege of being a parent is not something that anything else can take the place of, once you have experienced it.

Do you have to stay home to be a good mother? Of course not. Will you miss things if you work outside of the home? Sure you will. Just like by staying home, I am missing out on moving up the professional ladder. Marriage and parenthood are an endless succession of small sacrifices for the greater good. It appears to be a selfless act with little reward but don’t be fooled, unconditional love; the privilege to be able to give it and receive it in reciprocation is nothing short of a small miracle and there is nothing selfless about that. I get more out of my relationships with my husband and my children than I sacrifice.

What am I sacrificing? A life spent looking for exactly what I have? People go to the ends of the earth, make complete fools of themselves, even sacrifice themselves to have the very thing that I already have the privilege of living; a life filled with love and no awkward pauses.

I stay home not because I made a decision to put myself second; me staying home without pursuing a career while our girls were babies was just what worked for us. In retrospect, that choice has led me down a path that has now allowed me to pursue my dream career.

At first, I missed being able to come and go as I pleased. I missed quiet time and having extra money and being able to just be but I have gotten so much in return. I am blessed with an abundance of love; random hugs and kisses at all hours of the day, a man who is my partner in everything and my best friend, the security in knowing that when life gets crazy, he’s always got my back. I have children who may drive me completely insane in one moment and fill me completely with purpose and love in the next. My life is never ordinary; exhausting maybe but there is never a moment without purpose.

My children make my life more interesting than I knew it could be. I’m not saying that you need a man or children to complete you but I’m saying that I never knew what was missing until I found it. My husband and daughters are everything that I never knew that I always wanted and they make me a better person than I ever was before they came into my life. Let’s be honest, I was a self-absorbed, narcissistic asshole.

I would never consider divorcing my husband if he asked me to stay home with our girls but then again, he would never had considered asking me to sacrifice my career or myself. In fact, before I had my first daughter, I had decided that I would go right back to work but once I held her in my arms, I couldn’t do it.

I was raised by a stay-at-home mom she was there, whether I needed her or not, and as crazy as it may sound, that meant something more than I can explain. I don’t want to sacrifice missing my daughters become who they are meant to be. I am lucky because I am afforded the luxury of being able to have the choice to decide what is best for me, some people are not.

Either way, I still think it is completely insane to even consider leaving your partner if they asked you to be a stay-at-home parent. You don’t have to shrivel up and die. You are not condemned to a lifetime of yoga pants and ponytails. You just need to set some ground rules. Be honest with your partner. Tell him that you want to still be able to see your friends and you need time to yourself to decompress. Afford him the same luxury. If it’s just not for you, maybe that is something you need to discuss before having children. Parenthood is not a death sentence.

Would you divorce your husband if he asked you to be a stay-at-home parent?

Related Posts

Comments (16)

I want to be at home so bad I’d not only stay with my husband, but I’d let him get me a sister wife for his pleasure. Kiss my ass, divorce. I crave the ability, the opportunity to be home. I don’t care for my job so perhaps that would change a bit if I enjoyed it. But overall? This is just ridiculous. Everyone knows divorce is only in the cards if your partner eats the last of the cake.

Obviously those women have never had to navigate life as a divorced mom because if they walked a mile in those practical pumps? They’d answer far differently.

This is just the beginning of the fallout of the children raised in the 90’s. I’m telling you, my hand to God it’s only going to get worse. You’re right – this sounds just like the newlywed who got everything that she/he wanted from their helicopter parents and has ZERO comprehension for how to live in the real world. If it doesn’t fit into their idea of how it’s supposed to be, then just walk away. Let’s all just hope it happens BEFORE they have kids and not after because if it’s after, I feel so sorry for those poor babes.

Right – this whole poll must have been the response of people born/raised in the 1990s. I was raised in the 90s and I know very few married women – the population who was polled.

But, what do I know, right? I’m too young to have an opinion, so please, carry on bashing me and other women. You obviously must know everything about how to live in the real world and I of course know none, based on the year I was born.

I don’t think you are too young to have an opinion. I was not bashing women for being young. I think I specifically said of myself that I was a self-absorbed, narcissistic asshole in my 20’s and I was. That was before I experienced motherhood and then I learned to prioritize differently. Neither way is wrong, but I couldn’t prioritize in such a self-centered way after I had children as I do before because now, I am responsible for my little people.

Sweetie, I wish wonderful things for you. Love that you are so passionate and opinionated.

Ok, sorry. I get what you are saying. My two comments there weren’t really a direct response to your post but towards some of the comments I read in response. I just found them rude and kind of pointed fingers at an entire group of women who may or may not necessarily relate to the statistic that was presented on the radio show you heard.

Cheers.

This was me times about a million. Before we got married, Dave said something about me staying home and I laughed in his face. Then I outlined just why there is no way in hell I would ever stay home.

Ever. You hear me? Ever.

And now? I have been home for five years and I could not love it any more. Life experience. Kids. Growing the fuck up and realizing that me staying home doesn’t make me less of an asset, it doesn’t make my degree a ‘waste’ and it has made me infinitely more happy than my narrow mind ten years ago would have let me believe.

If I was told I couldn’t go back to work by him, then maybe I’d divorce him but I would never divorce if it was my choice. There are days I’d prefer being a working Mom but then I remember my children are my employees and I’m the boss, at work I’d be the employee and have to deal with grown children versus actual children. I don’t care how crazy they drive me, they are more tolerable then a man child.

I also love that I am not missing a single thing. I spend 50% of my time mothering single, so I know what it’s like on the “divorce parenting” front. Raising kids alone is not easy, and add a job to the mix… not happening!!! I would never get a divorce because I had to be a stay at home Mom. I don’t think any Mom should have to be, they should want to be. Now, if Hubby offered to be a stay at home dad I think I’d let him, but I know he wouldn’t survive!

I was going to rant and rave about how the next generation is screwed but…

I was raised by that generation of women who burned their bras and fought very hard to get women more choices in life. My mom always told me to never rely on a man. This generation before me wanted to be freed from having a man tell them what to do.

With that said. I have met so many SAHMs in my generation and the next. There is still hope for the next generation to think clearly about their goals in life.

I’m sure if a poll like this asked the same set of women but 20, 30, 40 years ago, they may have received the same responses.

Women today are fierce. We don’t want to feel like we need a man so we answer with these “tough” answers. But in truth we do need men, partners or just our moms to help us raise children or even become adults.

I think this study shows that there are still women that are young and stupid and really don’t have a grasp on life yet. We have all been there. Give them time. They will feel a man’s warmth and his ability to open a jar when you need him to. And they will also feel love from a child and that child will be their main priority in life. Things will change for them then.

~Allie

So women who aren’t looking for the “warmth of a man who can open a jar” (right, I’ll get right on finding that!) are young, stupid, and don’t have a grasp on life yet?

So women of one specific generation are responsible for that statistic?

Sounds like a bunch of you feel really threatened by what a bunch of strangers said about their own feelings and choices. Stop trying to put down other women because you’re insecure.

Sweetie, I am not insecure and I am not trying to put anyone down. I was merely stating the fact that finding a real substantial partner to love and who loves you back is not an easy task. We all kiss a lot of frogs before we find the one who makes us better,as we do them. I think it’s sort of crazy to throw a relationship away over someone wanting you to stay home. I;m not saying women don’t have the choice, of course they do. But if you are in a relationship that has evolved to the point of marriage, I would hope that this topic would have already been discussed and the couple involved had enough respect and love for one another to talk it through rather than just walk away, if that were the only factor.

Once again, sorry – I didn’t mean for that comment to be directed at your post, just some of the response comments I read that I found to be pretty mean.

Rachel,
I guess you could see that we are bashing the next generation. We are not insecure but scared. (Ok, insecure because you have perky boobs.) Every generation is scared for the next but we all seem to come around with time.

I should not have said “stupid’. Like Deborah said earlier, in her 20’s she was self-absorbed, etc. That is what you do in your 20’s. It’s normal. You should be, you are finding yourself and exploring new options you never had.

I feel you only read into the “opening of a jar” and “stupid” part. I also put women today are fierce, did you just glance that? They do not need a man financially. But still need someone to help you in life. If that is a husband, partner, friends, siblings, or mom, so be it.

And that is does take more than just a mom to raise a child. It also takes a dad, partner, sister, or grandfather, etc. It does. And in this case, if you already have a daddy for the baby, then that applies to him.

And that they still have time to think of their goals. That does not mean to think like me or a SAHM or a working mom or a single mom or a divorced mom or a gay mom…it means they are still getting there. And will find their way through life. Their lives. Your 20’s are for figuring things out. You just started your life journey. Things change so much.

I do find it sad that a woman who is about to be a mom is asked by her husband or partner if she would stay home decides that she would rather divorce. She would rather raise a child in 2 homes than one? Only see her child half the time? Not get to tuck her in every night?

That kind of decision should have been discussed before there was a commitment to be a couple with a child.

Now, if she is forced, that is just wrong and sounds abusive to me. Then, yes, divorce.

I am sorry you feel bashed. I think us ‘older” women always worry for the next generation. We want better and when we see what is being done and said, it scares us. But the world still goes around and life does too.

I wish you happiness. Enjoy your 20s.

~Allie

I am a stay at home mom, and I’m loving it. Yeah, there are some days where it’s just crazy but I wouldn’t want to change it for the wold. My husband and I discussed this. I was going to go back to work, but like you, I couldn’t when I held my daughter.

We knew one of us was going to be at home, it was a matter of which one. I ended up taking up that torch (and I’m sure my husband is glad about that).

Like some of the ladies mentioned before, I wouldn’t have married someone who demanded it of me, but I was looking for someone who believed that there should be someone around for the kids.

I grew up by two working parents, and I can tell you that I wished that my mom stayed home. There could have been a lot of drama that was avoided if I knew I had someone to talk to who was available to talk to.

There’s nothing wrong with staying at home, it’s a privilege. I guess because you are fully hands on to your kids, you tend to know them better that anyone else. I knew several moms who worked from home and they’re quite inspiring. I never heard of them tackling about divorce because of just being a stay at home mom. But I adore your conclusion, you’re perfectly right!

Coming from N.E. Scotland, It’s refreshing to experience aGreat Site. Great information. Will recommend you to my facebook group if you want. Keep up the Great Work.

Leave a comment