I have an opinion about stay-at-home moms and feminism that will absolutely ruffle the feathers of one group of women.
Gabby and I were watching season seven of Love Is Blind at home the other night. I’ve written previously about my thoughts on the show and how I like the concept but I’m somewhat concerned about its commercialization of marriage as an institution and how religious couples tend to do better than non-religious ones. You can read that here if it tickles your fancy.
But I digress.
We were watching an episode the other night… One of the new wives was getting lunch with her newfound mother- and sister-in-law. They were discussing children, marriage, and the work/life balance. The in-law women were sharing their enjoyment of having been and currently being stay-at-home moms and how much they loved it. The new wife visibly recoiled and said, “That’s great and all for you guys, but I would shoot myself in the head if I had to stay at home not work.”
Gabby and I were talking about this when we watched it and I kind of just continued to muse about it long after we finished the episode.
I know and have met a lot of stay-at-home moms (SAHMs). My mom was a SAHM, my aunt was a SAHM, most of my secondary and tertiary relatives are SAHMs, many of my coworkers’ wives’ are and have been SAHMs, and many of the patients and their assorted family members I’ve dealt with on the ambulance and in the ER over the years have been SAHMs. They’re everywhere.
When I’ve talked to them about their stay-at-home statuses (long before Gabby and I watched this episode), literally all of them have said some variant of, “Oh, it certainly has its hard and stressful days but I absolutely love it and would never want to do anything else. Raising my kids and making a home is where I know I belong. I’ve found my calling and it’s this.”
That segment in the episode caused me to realize a couple of things.
1) The only women I’ve ever actually heard say they wouldn’t want to be SAHMs don’t have kids. Even the married working moms I know have nearly all said, “If I didn’t have to work for financial reasons, I would be a stay-at-home mom.”
2) Feminism lied to everyone.
The culture is saturated with this lie from feminism that says the ultimate life fulfillment for women is authenticity, which is found in the workplace and by acting like men by attaining vocational success, working 80-hour weeks, having meaningless casual sexual encounters, frivolous relationships, and then maybe settling down eventually, after all of the work stuff has been achieved and definitely after the age of 35. This lie is everywhere; it’s on TV, movies, social media, college as legitimate credited courses, music, books, and all over the place on everydayfeminism.com.
One awful example of this that comes to mind is Rachel Hollis in her Girl series of books (you can read my reviews here). In both books, but particularly in Girl, Stop Apologizing, she legitimately boasts on multiple occasions that she intentionally isn’t a SAHM because she wanted to prove to her kids that women can be über successful business tycoons and also implied that women who don’t follow her example aren’t being authentic to themselves, which is the primary goal of life.
Anyway, ever since I made this connection after watching that episode I can’t help but notice the night-and-day difference between the two groups of women now. When I compare the women I’ve met who have believed the lie of feminism to the SAHMs I know and have met over the years, the ones who seem to be most fulfilled, joyful, and content with their lives are easily the SAHMs by a mile every time.
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