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July 23, 2006


Maria P.

Obviously Linda has not had a two year old smile at her and throw their arms around her neck. Or enjoyed a leisurely afternoon exploring the zoo, every children's museum and park with in 20 miles.

I think the fact that so many career women have walked away from it all is proof that nothing can make up for being there for as many golden moments of a child's growing up as possible.

I wonder what she thinks about stay at home dads.


It's easy to take Linda's comments personally; making the decision to stay at home is a sacrificial one, laden with emotional overtones. How can you not take a criticism of that choice personally? And the reality is that there is no perfect solution; the world needs smart, creative, strong women in positions of leadership and strength. At the same time, those strong, intelligent women need mommies to raise them. I can't imagine anyone really thinks it's a waste of education to raise up a future president, or perhaps the scientist who cures cancer. While I respect the mothers who go back to work - either because they don't have a choice or because they honestly need to for emotional reasons - I keep hoping people will accord the same respect to my decision.

But along the lines of your article, I think G.K. Chesterton said it better than I ever could -
"To be Queen Elizabeth within a definite area, deciding sales, banquets, labors, and holidays; to be Whiteley within a certain area, providing toys, boots, cakes, and books; to be Aristotle within a certain area, teaching morals, manners, theology, and hygiene; I can understand how this might exhaust the mind, but I cannot imagine how it could narrow it. How can it be a larger career to tell other people's children about the Rule of Three, and a small career to tell one's own children about the universe? How can it be broad to be the same thing to everyone and narrow to be everything to someone? No, a woman's function is laborious, but because it is gigantic, not because it is minute."



I'm trying to put aside my "I've been up way too long, am on the verge of tears because of my situation, and don't have a working brain cell in my head right now." I am a teacher so I have the perfect hours for a mom...but I think I made the right choice to go back to work. My daughter has never been "dumped" at a babysitters...she's been stimulated and taught things while I'm working to put a roof over our head. I feel amazingly guilt everytime I read a SAHM's post or comment...I guess it's because I think I do a good job of balancing both...and my decision was not only based on money...it was based on the fact that I also find my professional job important as well as raising my child. I shape minds of children every day. I'm not missing out on my child......I see her every day for hours while she shows me what she learned during the day socializing, learning, reading, playing. I think as a woman, either choice is a hard one and neither is easier than the other. Thanks for such a though provoking post.


Well said.


That is a great way to put it. If this is Linda Hirshman's position, how sad. Look at what she is missing. My humble little life is exploding with blessings.


"for some reason my mind channels Linda Tripp when I’m thinking Linda Hirshman"

me too! specifically John Goodman as Linda Tripp.


I know this is an on-going hot topic, but people like Linda make me want to scream. You and Jackie said it very well.

I always knew that I would go to college and get some type of degree. To not do so was not an option in my house. I earned my BSE and worked for several years. There was also not much doubt in my mind that someday I would stop working to have and raise children. I did that too. Guess what? My mother did it too.


Thank you, thank you, thank you for that post...it came at the perfect time...I am entering my second year of being a SAHM. I have to be honest, the summer is getting long and hot and I have been questioning my stay-at-home decision. Your words helped reinforce my decision...sure we are broke, the days are long and some days are better than others, but the smiles, the milestones, the hugs and kisses, the conversations, the time we spend together and the everyday are what are important...I knew that! Thanks for reminding me!


AMEN to this post! Your lead-in cracked me up because I was thinking the exact same thing the other day. Namely, how I used to be a news junkie when I worked in the media and now it's my little family that is all-consuming.

I think one of the greatest things about how far women have come is that we now have a choice of what we want to do. For me, having kids meant I wanted to be around to raise them. I look at how much my husband misses every day when he goes to work and the amazing little person my daughter is becoming under my careful stewardship. And I wouldn't change that for the world.

I'm also glad I had a great career. Maybe I'll return someday. Just not now. Not when raising my children is more important than anything I could ever do!


I hate pantyhose. We are women. We are allowe to make up our own minds about what's important to us. I've heard people say that it is a waste to get a college education if you're "just" going to be a STAHM. How ridiculous to think that education is wasted.


I know lots of women who take other women's choices VERY personally. It's as though the choices you make shine a light on their dark little corner of unhappiness, or low self-esteem, or regret. I catch even less of the news than you do, 'cause I've not heard any hub-bub, nor have I heard Linda's name.

I have heard mothers debate over staying home or going to work or some of both. I've heard the same angst/arguments over breast-feeding versus bottle. I've heard it over making your infant "cry it out" or rocking them to sleep. I've heard women bash each other over these very personal, very individual choices.

I think when we start looking more at what society says we should be doing rather than what our instincts and intuition (which, by the way, come from God) tell us we should be doing, we will end up an emotional basket case. We will end up (like me) on medication. We will end up racked with guilt and self-doubt--even more than we already are.

Poor Linda. Don't know if she has kids or not. Don't know if she wants them or not. What I know is that the saying "The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world," didn't become part of our national vernacular for no reason. Whether we decide to use our "ruling powers" for good or evil depends solely on how we rock that cradle.


Great Post Antiquemama, I was in college on my way to into what could have been a great career. I did quit when I had my daughter. I have never in my life regreted it, even after my husband of 20 years of marraige walked out. I am still home with my teen son because it is a comittment to raising Godly responsible Children, They are our greatest assets. God Bless


Amen to that sista!
I adore your closing remarks. I have a pretty nice degree myself...but I wouldn't trade the job that gives me for staying home with my daughter...At All...She is my greatest investment and I cherish the 'job' I have with her.


I do have an Ivy League education and a few letters behind my name, and I have friends who are the same. However, we've all decided to leave the office behind to devote ourselves to raising our children. I'll always remember what my assistant (a veteran mom of 25 years) said to me when I made the decision to not return to work after my maternity leave: "As great as you are, you can be replaced here. But no one can replace you as your son's mother."

Robin P

Jackie Kennedy was a smart woman!!

I am not the head honcho of any corporation but I work to earn a paycheck so that I can be at home with Lillianna as much as possible.
Being her mom is my career and I'm darn good at it. Lillianna would agree with me.

Even though I work,I am home every day after school for her. (Tuesdays after school she does go to the babysitter or my mom's house since I work 4pm-11:30pm but Rich gets her at 6:30pm) I am home to take her to Brownies on mondays and dancing school on wednesdays. That is what is important to me.

I hate people who have to give their opinion on what is right for others. Who are they to judge??
They're probably just jealous!!


You know, when the whole hub-bub with Linda Hirshman came out it made me angry, but I didn't have the emotional energy to spend saying anything about it, and most of the blog entries I've read rebutting it, while GREAT, were also not ones I felt the need to comment on.

This is perhaps the first post on this that has made me say AMEN, girlfriend!

And thank you so much for the reminder. My 7, 5, 4, and 2 year old projects are indeed lasting investments; worthy of my time, energy, and credentials.


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