We need to listen before we can empathize

He opens his wallet and pulls out a picture of an adorable infant.  “My grandson,” he said beaming with pride.  “How wonderful for you,” I reply.   He then says that his daughter plans to stay home because she wants to raise him.  The hair on the back of my neck stands up, but I say nothing.  He has no idea that he just insulted all women who return to work after having children.  He doesn’t realize that working mothers raise their children and work.  I can’t expect him to understand that any more than he can understand what it is like to be pregnant.

But I expect women to be more supportive of each other.  We have come far and are able to make choices. There are women that have to work, women who don’t have to work, and women who choose to work.  Hillary Rosen was criticized for the comment that Ann Romney never worked a day in her life was taken out of context.  She wasn’t critical of Ann Romney for making the choice to stay-at-home, she simply wanted to point out that due to the economy many women simply don’t have that as a choice.  The critics didn’t listen.

No one should be judging what is right or wrong; it’s only your choice.  Let’s reserve judgment for jury duty.

In the meanwhile, focus on your own physical, spiritual and mental health and on being really good parents. Yes, there I said it!  Let’s not forget that fathers are the other half of the equation we call parents which is not dependent on whether or not moms work.   

Viva la choice!

Have a good week!

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®

3 Responses to “We need to listen before we can empathize”

  1. Deb Willsea says:

    HI Tina,

    I love reading your posts, I would love to talk by phone sometime we set for a phone conference – as a follow up to meeting here in Rochester at the Strong Museum Play conference several years ago.

    Deb Willsea 585-330-4656

  2. Karen Van Cott says:

    There is no right or wrong for what women choose to do, as far as being a stay at home Mom or going out to work. Our women are more educated some wish to go out into the field and practice what they studied. Other’s choose to wait until after their children are in school. I do think the woman must choose for themselves and that is what makes it right. When it’s right, it flows better for the children and the parents.

    Hillary Rosen’s comment about Ann Romney being a stay at home Mom was taken out of context but we also have to remember some women do have choices, if they don’t want to go to work it means they will have less and it will take longer to get the things they want to have sooner.

  3. Christine says:

    I think we also need to be careful about putting the focus on women alone. It has to be a family decision, I believe. This includes the father, and extended family in some situations. I know that in our individualist-centered society perhaps this idea sounds ludicrous but from what I’ve seen it seems to work really well for many other societies. On the other hand, if she is a single mother then perhaps her financial situation will be dictating the choice for her. My point being, for a woman to make this decision independently because its right for her only addresses a part of the equation.

    I would say we’re making progress in this area when we start to look at the needs of our children within their family context.

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