Working Moms Rule the World

Utah is predominantly Mormon and the religion/culture encourages moms to stay home with their children. This is all fine and dandy but doesn't work for everyone. The average wage for the US is $43,889 but in Utah it is only $36,69 (2007 figures). Try living on that salary with a starter townhome costing over $150,000. You'll never get to go on vacation again. And even though being a stay-at-home-mom is the ideal in this area of the world, Utah actually has a higher percentage of women that work.

"In 2006, roughly 60 percent of women over the age of 16(Utah figures) —were participants in the labor market. Nationally, only 57 percent of women are in the labor force." http://jobs.utah.gov/opencms/wi/pubs/hardatwork/executivesummary.pdf

For reasons unknown, some women in Utah feel the need to push the stay-at-home-mom agenda onto everyone they see in the workforce. There are many reasons why women choose to work; using their education instead of wasting it, complementing husband's income, being a single mom/supporter, to get out of the house for some sanity time, and some women don't like staying home. These are only a few of the reasons to work. I personally work for a couple reasons, the main one is having the ability to support the family if something were to happen to Olaf.

But Sister-in-Law Nurse deals with the public face-to-face and someone always makes a comment about her working. Because she has a picture of her kids hanging from her ID badge she is always asked about them. She is not the only one that has to deal with people telling her she should be home with her kids. My friend also works in the medical field and people are always commenting to her how she should be home with her kids and not out working. It drives her crazy too.
  • "What cute kids, wouldn't you rather be home with them?"
  • "That's too bad that you have to work."

But then after she explains she only works three days a week and she wants to have a career to fall back on in case something happens to her hubby, she gets the sympathy/understanding comments.
  • "Oh, well that's not so bad if you get to be home more often."
  • "At least you don't work five days a week!"

I think she should take another approach. I think she should have a couple different stories on hand for know-it-alls like these.
  • "I was already going to school when I met my husband. We got married just after I finished school and I was planning on quitting when we had kids. But a few months after I got pregnant with our first child he was in a horrible work accident that left him severely maimed/disfigured/handicapped and he can't work anymore. In fact I need to work to pay for the enormous medical bills. At the time it was so distressing that I miscarried the baby and now we can't get pregnant."
  • "These are my nieces and nephews. My husband and I can't get pregnant. We tried adoption but because of a serious condition he has no one will let us adopt."
  • "We are both carriers of a genetic disease that kills babies in their last trimester. We've gotten pregnant a few times but they have all inherited this disease and never lived."

Maybe if she told some of the busybodies these stories they'd shut their traps and leave her alone.


Krissie said...

Maybe I could use some of those stories for members on why we don't have kids. Everyone always thinks we are newlyweds (1 year or less) because we don't have children. It gets annoying when people ask us (at both of our works and at church) why we don't have kids. Those are some great examples!

mommybake said...

I remember getting those comments when we didn't have kids yet. They would assume we were newlyweds since we didn't have kids. Let alone I wanted to cry everytime someone commented on it! It wasn't like we didn't want children - hubby just didn't know how it worked right:) But now we know!!

And HELLO! There are many days I would LOVE to work out of the house!! As you know - it is hard!!

denverallens said...

Leave it to Donna to give us a few good bedtime stories. Thanks!!!

Ferrara Family said...

I love them all - If and when I work again - I will definitely have to use those as my excuse!

Anonymous said...

Donna - Love reading your blog and you are definately right in wanting to put your hard earned education to work. As you well know things happen in our lives and do think it is good to have an outlet such as work. You stayed home and took care of kids and to me that was a big job. Working means being out with people who become friends. Take care. Aunt Marge

sally said...

Simply put - A man is not a financial plan. She should shove that into everyone's face. I hate people that think they're better than you because they stay at home - talk about being a really bad mormon.