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Thursday, July 8, 2010

Cathy Career Or Susie Stay-At-Home?

Sishouette Of Scales With Business People On One Side And Childr

Cathy Career is selfish. She’s careful not to have more than two children because they might interfere with her success. She doesn’t have time to bake cookies or pack her children nutritious lunches, so her family is always eating junk and picking up fast food. She doesn’t have time to volunteer at church (or get involved in a church for that matter).

She’s intimidated by stay-at-home moms because she assumes they think she’s a bad mother -- that she’s putting herself or her job before her family. After all, what’s more important, your family or a paycheck? Her identity rests on what she does outside the home.

Susie Stay-At-Home is obsessed with her children. She takes her kids to “Mommy and Me” classes and spends her spare time making homemade jam and elaborate family scrapbooks. She never buys any new clothes, spends most of her time cooking and cleaning, and she barely gets out of the house -- except when she is volunteering at church or school.

She’s intimidated by career women because she assumes they think she doesn’t have ambition -- or worse, that she doesn’t have a brain just because she’s with her children all day. Her identity rests on what she does inside the home.

Do these stereotypes sound familiar? While I’ve never met Cathy Career or Susie Stay-At-Home, it didn’t take much imagination on my part to write about these two fictional women. Yet, in reality, these stereotypes hold little value. I would go one step further and argue that these stereotypes even hurt us, especially inside the church.

Why drive an artificial wedge between women of faith who desperately need one another?


Heidiopia said...

I've found that most women fall somewhere in between, but the intimidation factor is definitely there. I've been on both sides of the fence and felt judged no matter what choice I made...and never understood why. Fortunately I grew to be comfortable enough in my own skin that those judgments (real or imagined) don't matter anymore. Great post, Susan!

Rebecca said...

This post really spoke to me. I was a reluctant working Mom in corporate America for ten years. I would have preferred to stay home but it wasn't possible. While I experienced a lot of success and satisfaction - there was always an ache in my heart to be home. Now I work from home as a consultant and have time to homeschool my daughter. As a working AND homeschooling Mom I find it hard to fit in with either Cathy or Susie. The "ideals" of both groups make me chuckle... I'll never manage to grind grain to make homemade bread...and while I love talking about business topics like ROI, Service Level Agreements and the like - I'd more quickly jump at the chance to discuss nature with my 8 year old. Still searching for those kindred spirits who are hanging out "in between"....

Susan DiMickele said...

I totally agree. I think more of us fall in between than it appears. I am heavy into the corporate world, but often feel like my passion for my children and desire to be with them as much as possible lends to an affinity with stay-at-home moms. Often I feel like I "fit in" nowhere!

T. Anne said...

I remember back when I was working and my kids were babies, I really felt the judgement from my non working mom friends. Trust me I wanted to stay home and after a long waiting period, the Lord finally answered my prayer. I'll never forget how that felt though, being pitted against other moms. Great post!

Esther said...

Great post! I'm a stay at home mom and love it, but there's always something in me that wants a little more. Its hard to not let my insecurities perpetuate the stereotypes out there.