Matt Walsh shared an article from The Daily Wire about this Twitter thread by Jill Filipovic dogging stay-at-home parents. Not only is this incredibly small-minded and arrogant, but it is also insulting. Just because a woman, or a man, chooses to be a stay-at-home parent does not mean they are not ambitious, not setting a good example for children, unattractive to others, or any of the other nonsense she had to say. It’s so ignorant to assume your way of thinking is the only right way of thinking.
Let’s just break this down and talk about some of the stuff she had to say.
- Stay-at-home parents are unambitious
First, let’s take a look at the definition of ambitious. Merriam-Webster defines ambitious as:
Why is being a stay-at-home parent unambitious? Being a stay-at-home mother myself, I certainly have a desire to achieve a particular goal – raise good human beings who will love and serve God with all their hearts, who will also change society for the better. I’d say I’m ambitious based on the definition alone. Does she have experience with full-time caretaking? Do you know what’s ambitious? Raising small children to be good adults. Especially in today’s culture. It’s a huge undertaking and it’s not for the faint of heart. The greatest contribution we can make to this world and society is to raise good kids. They’re the future of society, so why would pursuing this path mean you’re just lazy and have zero ambition? I know plenty of ambitious people who have traded careers for taking care of their children. Not out of obligation, but out of selflessness. Do ambitious people suddenly lose that ambition that drove them if or when they decide to change paths? Also, it’s worth noting that being a stay-at-home parent doesn’t last forever. The goal of this job is to raise good people who are capable and independent. My children won’t stay in my home completely dependent upon me until my last breath. One day, I will have finished my job and reached my goal of parenting, and then I move on to the next stage of life. This is probably the most bittersweet part of parenting, also. Not because now we have lost the excuse for being lazy, but because it was the most rewarding and fulfilling job we ever could have. Maybe not everyone sees raising children that way, but stay-at-home parents certainly do. Otherwise, we would not have stayed home to raise our own children. In the same way I would never feel fulfilled being a lawyer, some people would never feel fulfilled being a stay-at-home caretaker. We shouldn’t base the level of one’s ambition solely on what gives someone purpose and fulfillment. Does having any job outside the home equal ambition? Or does Jill Filipovic mean prestigious careers such as lawyers, surgeons or real estate brokers, etc.? Because I’d be willing to bet she doesn’t think flipping burgers with no other career goal in mind is ambitious.
2. Super ambitious people aren’t attracted to caretakers.
I think it depends on an individual’s definition of ambition. Maybe that’s true for some, but I’d venture to say if someone wants to be a stay-at-home parent, they won’t be attracted to someone who doesn’t see the value in that. So it seems to me that it goes both ways. She says she’d “have a really, really hard time being married to a spouse who chose not to work” or “wanted to direct all their ambition into the sole work of raising our child” and I’d have a really, really hard time being married to someone who didn’t see the value in my desire to forgo a career and direct all of my ambition into the sole work of raising our children. She clearly doesn’t see the value in it, but we do. That’s why my husband and I discussed it at length before we got married. It was extremely important to both of us for me to be at home with our children. Neither of us would have wanted to marry someone who wanted both parents to work full-time. And once again, where’s the proof that homemakers aren’t ambitious people?
3. It’s not a unilateral decision
I actually completely agree with Jill on this one. Both people should have a say in this decision because it is a huge decision that most definitely affects both people. Once again, my husband and I discussed this before marriage because it was a big deal to both of us, and neither of us was willing to give in on it. Also, an extra side note here, she gave a huge example of why abortion is not, and should never be a woman-only choice.
4. We’re setting a bad example
My husband and I are not setting a bad example for our children by deciding together that he will be the “breadwinner” and I will take on a traditional homemaker role. In fact, I think we’re doing the exact opposite- we’re setting a great example to them by proving they are the most important people in our lives. We’re showing them that we’re willing to make sacrifices to do whatever is best for them. My husband works hard to be the sole income provider, and I work hard to ensure our household is well taken care of. As a stay-at-home mother, I’m showing my daughter that you don’t have to buy into someone else’s agenda or think just like someone else to be a strong, empowered woman. I’m going against the grain and choosing a life that others like Jill Filipovic call unambitious and undesirable. What am I showing my daughter? I’m showing her that it’s okay to choose the more difficult road. That it takes courage and strength to do something others will mock you for if you believe it’s the right thing to do. We’re teaching our son that women and men are both valuable and neither is the better sex. My husband teaches him how to respect and honor women by how he treats me and his big sister. We’re teaching our children that life is more than one’s self. Life is about thinking about others and putting others first. We’re also teaching our children that being strong and successful doesn’t equal the leftist definition of strength and success. We are leading by example of how to think for yourself and make decisions based on something other than woke talking points. Both of our children are being taught how to clean up after themselves, how to help with chores, how to be kind and considerate of others, and how to respect men and women. I guarantee you, my 20 month old son is more helpful than the majority of 20 something year old adults.
5. Kids with working mothers are better off
Where’s the data on this? Truly. I want to see the data and all the other factors involved. This one isn’t simple because some really good parents (whether both working or one working and one at home) have issues with their kids in different areas. But I’d argue that as a whole, kids with good parents who focus on their kids more than their careers, will help their children succeed in school and in life. And that’s for all good parents regardless of their working situation. But I’d also argue that when both parents are gone, children are left to themselves and have an easier time getting into things kids shouldn’t like drugs, porn, etc. And I think it’s also worth pointing out that society started going down the toilet when women joined the workforce in WWII, and our education system starting raising our kids. Our culture has become very self-absorbed and it shows. She points out that “girls with working moms do better in school” so where does that leave boys? Are boys also more successful in school if mom is working? She says men who were raised in homes with stay-at-home moms are less likely to promote and support women at work. Where’s the data? I’d also hope that all men and women just promote the right person for the specific job, and support all their co-workers regardless of sex. My husband was raised by a stay-at-home mom and working father, and he promotes and supports women in his workplace. He also helps out a lot around our house despite growing up in a home with a stay-at-home mom. Once again, parents regardless of their career/work situation, need to be involved and care about raising good people. If someone doesn’t respect people and help someone out with chores, they’re selfish and probably had a parent who didn’t teach them much. It’s not a direct correlation to stay-home-caretaking. But more than anything, I want to see the proof of these crazy claims she’s making. Because to me, it’s much more a reflection of how people parent, not where they work. I think people are much more hesitant to talk about the benefits of stay-at-home mothers.
6. Parenting is a job, the value of care work, HR departments
I’m just going to address all of this together because it all kind of goes together. My husband and I have a marriage, not a dictatorship or agreement to co-live together. That means I trust him to respect me and have my best interest at heart and vice versa. I don’t need an HR department for my marriage. If someone thinks I’m taking on much more risk by depending on my husband to bring in all the income for our household, then that’s their own opinion. I much prefer being in a marriage where we can trust we’re in this together forever, over a marriage where we have separate bank accounts and do our own thing in life and we just happen to share a house. We share a life together, not just a bed. And my husband and children as worth any significant risk. In fact, anything worth having in life requires taking huge risks and making huge sacrifices. I think it’s much healthier if people viewed marriage as a lifelong covenant and not just a legal agreement that can be broken whenever they want to break it. What’s healthy about a marriage where both people still live individually and ready for divorce at any moment?
The job of being a stay-at-home parent is very isolating – to a degree, perhaps, but it’s not like stay-at-home parents aren’t allowed to leave their houses or have friends. Isolation isn’t only physical. I can work outside the home and have co-workers but not have friends. I can work from inside my home with zero co-workers and have friends outside the home. Which one seems more truly isolating?
And no one is forcing people to this “isolating” job of parenting. It is a choice that should be left to the family. The fact she’s actually, and subtly hinting at maybe we shouldn’t afford this choice to family, is incredibly distributing. Since no one is forcing people to be one-income families, this is such an overreach of power she thinks we should discuss. This leads me to the last point…
Yes, parenting is a job, and no, I shouldn’t be more concerned about a career in child development that benefits “lots of people” over my own children. My children are my responsibility. My children are the greatest gifts ever given to me. I’m not going to let them suffer to do “a lot of good for lots of people.” I’d rather do right by my children. Perhaps this is why so many men aren’t helping with housework, they’re more concerned about doing lots of good for lots of people over their own progeny. My family will win every time.