Resurrecting the stay-at-home mom? (A Lost Art, Writing Challenge)

My son had an interesting day at school yesterday.  He told me he learned that marriages have a higher percentage of being happy when the woman stays at home and the man goes to work.  They are happier because they each have defined roles and this causes less arguing.   Having a defined person in charge (the man), creates less friction.  When both, the husband and the wife, want to be in charge, they fight over whose way is better.  Their roles are more confusing and this creates more friction.  A marriage is more peaceful when the man is in charge and the women follows his lead.

No, we do not live in a cabin in the mountains, or in a city with a population of 112.

He also added that the teacher asked the class what their parents fight most about and they concluded that the majority of fights were over “stupid pointless stuff.”  I asked my son what he took away from this class discussion.  He told me that he agreed that it is better when a man is in charge and the woman takes on a more subservient role (yes, he used the word subservient).  He feels this will create a more peaceful home life.

This could explain why my son has dated half the 10th grade class and is currently single.

My initial knee-jerk reaction was, WTF?  However, much to my surprise, I remained calm.  I know my son and he is very opinionated; once he has formed an opinion, it is unlikely to change based on anything I have to say.  Any parent will probably tell you that children much prefer to take on the opinions of complete strangers over their parents.  It is in a child’s nature to go rogue, but when they reach adulthood, they will most likely fall back on becoming just like their parents (for better or for worse).   It is also not surprising coming from my son because he does not like loud spaces, distractions, or people arguing.   So, if he feels this “way of life” would cause less fighting in a relationship, than that is the opinion he will agree with.  I did offer some arguments against his new found way of life, but after a brief discussion, I decided to drop it.  I wasn’t quite sure where I stood.  I am a very strong woman and it goes against all I am to agree with these role arrangements (even though I was a stay-at-home mom by choice).   But I could not argue with these facts (as regurgitated by a 17 year old mind you).  Unless I had a better alternative, I did not feel I should continue talking with him on the subject.

Is being a subservient stay-at-home mom a skill women have forgone?  Does this mean that women need to stop progressing or pursuing their own dreams in order to have happy marriages?  Is it really possible to have it all?

Thankfully, there is no going back.  Men and women are changing and evolving.  Progress?  I don’t know if I would use that word because progress seems to imply something as right and who is to say what is “right.”  It is simply different now, than it was before; however, every change has an effect.  Women going into the work force more and more have a huge effect on marriages, raising children, what our children eat, where our children spend their day, who they spend it with, and the lifestyle afforded to the family, just to name a few.

So what do we do with this information?

Maybe there is something to be learned here.  Can responsibilities and roles still be defined when both parents work?  Is it really that simple?  Doubtful, but hopeful.  We are thrown into parenthood so quickly.  There is no test run.  There is no 9 to 5 baby, Monday through Fridays.  That child is there, instantly, all…the…time!  A parent’s survival mode kicks in whether it is a good move or not.  Imagine you are dying of thirst.  You have been walking for days without as much as a drop of water.  You finally come across a river.  A dirty river.  You know it’s contaminated with God knows what parasites and all.  Do you drink?  Hell yes!  You have to in order to survive!  That’s what we do as parents and I think it creates bad habits within marriages.  Having defined roles could make things smoother, maybe creating less resentment and fighting.

Yeah, yeah, I know…in a perfect world.

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13 thoughts on “Resurrecting the stay-at-home mom? (A Lost Art, Writing Challenge)

  1. I think it’s worth it to figure out how to have happy marriages without explicitly defined roles of dominance/subservient. It’s a skill we can acquire!

  2. i remember my dad once saying to my now ex husband that he was lucky that he’d had a woman that was happy to stay at home.
    Not really how life can be, going forward.

  3. I think the subservient role is one of the past but does that mean we have to throw out the stay at home mom?
    Thought provoking article – I think your’e son has a good start.

    1. No, but it seems that more and more women are working because they have to or want to. I am all for staying at home but I know that isn’t for everyone. I made sure my husband and I could afford to live on one income before we had kids because I knew I wanted to stay home and thankfully our plan worked out. My post was not really about working moms vs. stay-at-home moms, but more about taking the stats that favored one side and somehow applying it to the other.
      Thanks for your comment! 🙂

  4. I am a stay at home mom by choice and wouldn’t have it any other way. And it’s true in a sense, my husband and I have our defined roles which are on completely different parallels. We never argue about whose career is more important, who can miss an important meeting to stay home with a sick child…who makes more money me or him…things I know my friends of dual outside the home careers often have. I do though have a friend where she is the outside the home income earner while her husband is the stay at home dad and it works very well for them.:)

    1. I thought about that, and I think that role reversal would apply the same and work just as well, too. As long as each accepts the role, why not? I was a stay-at-home mom too and even though that was my “job,” there was resentment at times because that is the hardest job EVER! Moms don’t get a lunch break out with friends, or a quiet drive to work and back. I wouldn’t of had it any other way, but it’s not easy.

      1. I agree. It is hard. That’s actually why I started my blog, to help find a balance between the roles of “me” and the “mommy” in my life. 🙂

  5. My reaction was WTF too. Are we not past that way of thinking in the 21st century?
    Oh wait a minute, Australia has recently voted in a Prime Minister who also thinks like that. Is the whole world going backwards?

    What was said is probably true from the male perspective (what would make them happy) but we, as women, do not have to fall into line as we have a right to be happy as well.

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