About the author: Pauline Wolak

Pauline is a proud wife and mother of three. When she isn't being the world's greatest Girl Friday, she is volunteers her time as a school librarian and athletic director. Pauline enjoys football, politics, good beer, and arguing with anyone. She's a devout pro-life Catholic. Pauline believes in the 1st Amendment and uses it on a daily basis, most notably to ambush unsuspecting family members in political debate! You can find her work here at Clash and at redknucklepolitics.com. Follow her on twitter at @MiStateFan.

View all articles by Pauline Wolak

  • Victoria

    I am so glad I stayed @ home with my sons. They are brilliant and accomplished young gentlemen now. I can’t imagine what would have happened had we not taken this path. Especially in this environment.

    • LadyforLiberty

      Victoria: Many of the perceived ills in society are as a result of many Moms not being at home, but returning to work after childbirth in my opinion.
      Kids at school now have less social skills,less manners and more hangups.
      I believe the behaviour we see, whilst a lot is the fault of Govt Programs which subvert parental rights, is down to the fading concept of parental responsibility.
      During the war, my dad worked at a steel plant,my mother stayed home!
      I can still remember how tired Pa was as he got home from work.
      Mom always welcomed him home with a hug, and as I remember, what we had to eat was maybe a little repetitive, but mom served it with love.
      I used to look forwardto coming home from school, and even today I get a warm feeling at a family gathering for a meal!
      We maybe had less choices then, but kids were loved at the heart of the family, with MOM taking center stage.
      Todays working moms, are not to blame. It is the societal impulse to see women as different than we used to see them in the 50s and 60s that is to blame.
      Both our sons are grown and both well educated mature individuals, with few hangups.
      They were brought up by a loving familiy of Mom & Dad, along with Grandma and Grandpa!I think that this family background is the reason they are today mature and well balanced!

      What is it about modern women that they do not feel complete even after having children but feel they have to desert the kids asap to rush back to the job that worked quite well without you for a time?
      Soon will all the ills of society be blamed on working moms?
      I was a bit sad to read what this lady wrote. Does she REALLY not value her family as much as a job?
      Use the teaspoon for the top of the egg is my advice, as you sit at the table with your family!

  • http://www.facebook.com/elysianhunter Tonya Huntsman Price

    I think the worst predicament is for a woman whose choice is made for her. My decision was made for me out of financial necessity. I was the primary earner in the family and as such had to go back to work when my son was eight weeks old and my c-section not even close to being healed. If I would have had a choice I would have liked to been with him one on one for that first year at least, but the only choice I had in the matter was to make the best of the situation. In his favor, (especially as an only child) because he was in child-care settings with a number of other children, he became adept at social networking and relationships. On the negative end, had I been able to be home with him at least through elementary school, I believe he would not only have achieved more academically and would have had fewer behavioral issues, especially had I been able to home-school and keep him out of public school. He had a rather troubled adolescence due to being more concerned with his friends and with girls than with his studies. He was not challenged enough in school and unfortunately with the 60+ hour weeks I had to work to stay afloat financially, I couldn’t participate and intervene enough in his education.
    Fortunately he’s 21 now, he is out of college and working, but there is a lingering part of me that feels like a failure as a parent. He has a high IQ (130’s) but I feel his education was lacking. He wasn’t challenged in school until his junior and senior years when a very good teacher took an interest in him- and he transformed from a lackluster student to suddenly earning straight A’s. I could have mitigated his academic malaise, perhaps, had I been a stay-at-home mom. His spiritual formation is nearly non existent, and despite participating in Christian education and church groups he is a self described agnostic, which also breaks my heart. Would he have had a healthy and growing faith had he not spent most of his time in public schools with no spiritual guidance or support? I don’t know. What I do know is that all mothers have their “wish I’d done that differentlys” and to pass judgment on another mother for her choices (or for dealing with a situation she can’t change) is counterproductive and wrong. There are advantages and disadvantages on either “side” of the argument.

    • Margaret Nahmias

      Exactly. But you know if he wasn´t challenged in school That was not your fault. However, I understand that if you have been home you could have adovcated for him more.

    • $3846549

      Yep, mothers forced into the workforce for economic necessity and all the broken families out there. We have generations that will fall between the cracks. Your son sounds like he has a chance because you do care so much. Before this progressive movement pushing women into the workplace, the majority of women considered a sanctuary home and a well cared-for family to be a fulfilling role. In don’t remember many agitating dissatified women in my childhood, in fact I didn’t know any. A husband could support a family even in the lower classes, they bought homes, the built communities. And put aside personal fulfillment for women, the society is clearly broken with this progressive movement of women into the workforce. They were looking for cheap labor back then and they are now with the illegals.

  • Bulldog74

    As a guy, I’m admittedly looking at this from the outside. But I’m always astonished at how some women turn on each other over the “working mom vs. stay-at-home mom” thing, with the working moms calling the stay-at-homes Stepford wives and the stay-at-homes calling the working moms bad mothers.

  • Margaret Nahmias

    Either way, the desicion should be respected. Some mothers have to work especially if there are single. I hate how in some Christian working moms are looked down upon. That is not very Christian. However, staying at home is the best desicion when the kids are young.

  • Louise

    The article complains about the war between stay at home moms vs working moms, then goes on to denegrate women that choose to or out of necessity, work outside the home. The comments are just as judgemental. There are plenty of kids who turned out fine in a household where the mother works just,as there are plenty of kids who are deliquents that come from homes with stay at home moms, So come down from your moral high ground and stop judging others.

    • $347969

      Lousie, I absolutely do not judge working moms. In fact, I’m the only stay at home mom I know. I love my working friends. I love even more that we support each other, help each other, and listen to each other. The point of my article is that we ALL judge, including me, based on our own choice. It’s hard for any person, but especially women it seems, to say that their choice is just that, a choice. My decision to stay home doesn’t make it the “right” for anyone but me. When I find myself questioning a stranger’s choice, I stop and think about my friends. I wouldn’t dream of questioning their motives for wanting or needing to work. Women do themselves a serious disservice by making this an issue of us vs them.

  • Cheryl

    When my youngest daughter gave birth to her daughter, she learned a new trade from her old one of being a vet tech – she became a dog groomer and opened her shop in her home. I watched my granddaughter at her house with mom popping in to hold or play with her periodically. She started pre-school and her mom took her and picked her up 3 days a week. When she started school, her mom got involved in the school. Now, 7 years later, this beautiful child has manners, grace, doesn’t get involved in school drama, is well-rounded with sports, dance, cheerleading and academic “greatness”. When at least one parent can guide and mold a child, this act of selflessness produces a better society. P.S. Son-in-law has also been involved with her: father/daughter dances, discipline, etc. She’s definitely a lucky child to have both of her parents so involved in her life. Kudos to Pauline Wolak; you’re doing the right thing.

    • washington22

      Good stroy and similar to relatives of mine. My neice is 37 and having her first child. My sister lives right next door {her mom} My neice works at home as a medical transcriber and will be able to have help as a stay at home working mom. Thousands of others could do something similar and therefore raise their own children without turning to babysitters and nursery school raising their children. Not everyone has a mom next door, but anyone can be creative and figure something out that is for the benefit of the child. If possible, live on one income until your children are a little grown. I use to work from 9 till 3 when my boys were 9 and 13, so that I could be there when they got home, help with homework, and make dinner, etc. Where there’s a will there’s a way………………..Being a parent is an awsome responsibility and you only get one crack at it………….

  • TexasJester

    My parents were divorced in 1972 when I was 8 and my brother was 6. My mom now had custody of 2 boys – my brother with ulcers (turned out to be a bad valve in his stomach) and me with ADHD. She spent YEARS dealing with us, trying to figure out what was wrong and fixing it – and she did.

    Within 2 years, we were doing our own laundry, and over the years, more frequently cooking our own meals. 

    We were independent, yet we were a team. Mom’s attitude was, it’s us against the world, and we need to stick together. And it worked.

    I hated housework; my bro hated lawn cutting. So I did the outside stuff and he did the inside stuff – we worked this out between us when we were 10 and 8. Mom didn’t care – she just needed help getting everything done.

    Mom was a legal secretary – and didn’t make a lot. I found out we were poor when I was 15, and didn’t qualify for a working program cuz mom made $100 a year over the poverty level. Bro found out in college, when he found out families took week-long vacations. I mowed lawns when I was 14, to feed us, when my dad didn’t pay any child support that summer. We each went to work full-time after school when we turned 16 to help pay the bills. We learned manners in the office – if we weren’t quiet and polite, we weren’t allowed back. We learned respect and the value of a dollar this way.

    I now drive a truck cross-country and own a home. Mom is now 70, retired, and disabled with a neuromuscular disease. She lives in my house, takes care of my bills as my bookkeeper, and in return she lives rent-free for as long as she wants. My brother is in the computer industry, and lives 45 miles away with his family. When I go home, I still cook my own meals and do my own laundry – mom doesn’t. I can cook, bake, do laundry, sew (I even do counted cross-stitch!), repair clothes, and so forth. I am independent, yet I am still part of a team.

    Just because you’re raised by a working mom, doesn’t always mean that you don’t get the life lessons you need in life – you just need a woman who’s willing to put forth the effort. And I think it’s that effort that’s lacking in today’s working moms that have kids that lack respect, courtesy, etc.

    • Louise

      There are plenty of stay at home moms who don’t put forth the effort either.

      • TexasJester

        This is true.. And then there’s the stay-at-home moms that structure EVERYTHING and the poor kids can’t even play properly.. Or the “helicopter” moms that hover over their kids to the point they’re stifled.. Or the ones who make a BIG deal out of a scrape and come UNGLUED when their child gets hurt slightly at school..

    • $3846549

      I like that story. A true family.

      • TexasJester

        And we still are.
        :-)

    • washington22

      Good story, Texas. In your case, your dad left you and there was no other choice. Your mom was brilliant and handled it well. But I see a lot of mom’s working, who have made the choioce to work outside the house when they don’t have to. They’d rather drive the new car, have a huge TV and extra nice house and clothes and NOT raise their precious children…………there is where the problem is. Millions of mom’s make that choice and are sacrificing their children. It’s so sad. It’s so selfish. Very few will skate through this. Most will pay the consequences.

      • TexasJester

        Thanks for the flowers – yeah, mom did do great.. I thank her on a regular basis for the good job she did..

        Kinda feel sorry for those kids that get handed off to nannies with little more than a thought….

  • irishredrose

    Most mothers do want what’s best for our children. I do take exception to the idea that our job or career defines our identity – if the job disappears, who does the worker become? I happen to be a mom of four who had the choice to be able to stay home with my children and although there were days when I was totally batty from diaper changing, nose wiping and PBS shows, I would not trade it for the world. Many of the mothers I know have to work outside the home for various reasons, and among the women I know, we all respect each others’ choices. I think it boils down to that: respect. I used to think about going back to work when the children were all in school, but then I saw that my older children, in middle and high school, still need me around as a sounding board and to guide them through the teenage things like academic challenges and relationship issues. I’ve been lucky to be able to be more available to my children, and I keep my workforce skills sharpened by using them at the school and in the community to do the things that need to be done. No mother is a non-working mother – to imply otherwise is ignorant.

  • Mo86

    If you don’t want to do all the things that go along with being a mother, don’t have children.

    Problem solved.

  • http://www.facebook.com/barbjeanpatton Barb Patton

    A personal choice – different strokes for different folks

  • $3846549

    In the families I know where the women stayed home, the husband became more successful. I understand there are many women who chafe at the role of homemaker, maybe they aren’t good at it, but as far as I’m concerned women were sold a bill of goods about the work world. Work is not where to look for meaning in your life, you will be sadly dissapointed. Work is work. Most is menial and mind numbing, if you find something better, good for you, but the majority of women are in female ghetto careers. After you leave a job, how many give a care about you, a nod on the street, you become a non-entity, someone who moved on, retired or whatever. In this world the most loving and lasting relationship is between parent and child. Does anyone know your name ten years after you left a job for another one, or a change of careers?

    • micupoftea

      I agree. Every woman I know who chased after employment as a ‘badge’, tied their self worth to a job, or wanted respect from others due to their position have all been disappointed. Bottom line, if you respect yourself and have a healthy self image you don’t need a job to give you meaning, value and worth. Employees are easily replaced; you leave and another fills your spot. At the end of one’s life, I’ve never heard ANYONE say they wished they had worked more: rather, they wished they had spent more time with family, especially children.

  • Phil

    Our kids today’s don’t have a problem with ‘independence': They all DEMAND it. However, they DO have a problem with responsibility, which is much more likely due to working moms showing little sense of responsibility for their kids via lack of attention and affection. When this attorney-turned-mon-tirned-attorney leaves her kid(s) at daycare, she is necessarily exercising a displacement of HER responsibility as a mother. And those women who cry about unfairness or ‘the double standard’ b/c men don’t have this primary responsibility are women who simply are not comfortable with their own femininity. THEY are the ones to which Freud referred as having ‘penis envy’, a phenomenon that feminists want to discredit and deride yet one which is so obvious in today’s ‘career women': They complain repeatedly about things that–at bottom–are about the fact that they are not men. there could not be a more conspicuous display of ‘male envy’ (envy at NOT being male), which was Freud’s point.

  • urbanvrwcmom

    One of the most asinine things I’ve been told for wanting to be a full-time homemaker and mother was that it’s for white women in the suburbs. Ann Coulter hit the nail on the head when she pointed out that the only stay-at-home moms that liberals support, are welfare mothers; they’re paid to not marry and/or work. Full-time homemaking and childrearing is for any woman called into it. Whether working outside the home or not, seeing to it that children are provided with a firm foundation which in return they will become outstanding adults, is imperative.

  • Nancy Sternberg

    Working outside the home was not a choice but a necessity for me. I always had the utmost respect for mothers who stayed at home with their children and wished I could do the same.

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