Women and Work after Child Birth

The current generation of women has to balance between child rearing and work related tasks. In the past, most women would not leave their child in the care of a nanny but in recent times nannies are in high demand. Before the 1970’s most women were comfortable with being stay-at-home parents but with the rise of women’s movement and feminist groups, a change in perception of a woman’s role in the family began(Flanagan, 2004). After the 1970’s women began taking up high ranking jobs and only eased up on work after getting children. They did not completely quit work but chose to seek help through the use of nannies while reducing their professional obligations so that they can take part in their children’s upbringing(Story, 2005). In recent times, women are opting not to work and stay at home to raise their children. In an era where women want more rights and more recognition, this attitude by the current generation of women is a betrayal to a long struggle.

For ages women were relegated to household tasks. After vigorous movements the role of women changed and they could work with their male counterparts. During the women’s movement and the period after, women were very active in the work place regardless of family obligations. They found a way to balance between these two aspects of their lives(Story, 2005). The current generation of women is taking on a different stance. Most women in the current period put child rearing before their careers. In various researches done it has been found out that women are likely to quit their careers once they get children in order to devote themselves to parenting. A large percentage of ladies plan on getting part time jobs or jobs that are flexible enough in order to allow for child rearing.

A survey done on students from Yale University showed that 60% of female students planed to stop working entirely once they have had children with the possibility of taking part time jobs once the children have started schooling(Stabiner, 2005). This change in attitude is mainly from having watched the troubles their own parents went through trying to juggle raising children and working. This attitude however differs between white women and black women. Black women are highly committed to working with most not having the option of quitting their jobs. Black women statistically have lower marriage rates than white women meaning they are more likely to raise their kids alone without anyone providing financial relief (Stabiner, 2005). Black women also view work as a means to elevate the status of women everywhere hence in working they not only help themselves but they partake in something greater that affects all women.

In opting not to work, most women must have rich faithful husbands who will support their families. With toughening economic conditions, it is very difficult to find a spouse with the capability of raising a family alone and with an increase in divorces a rich potential husband may not be there for long.

Another aspect women opting not to work have to consider is the women’s movement. Women have for a long time been campaigning for equality and recognition. For a long time, scores of women have asserted their independence and showed that they are just as capable as their male counterparts. In opting not to work these women are betraying the efforts that those before them took(Stabiner, 2005). They are turning their backs and their actions may be deemed regressive to the steps that those before them took.

After years in higher learning institutions, opting not to work is wastage of a country’s resources. Considering the high cost of education and the need for professionals in order to change the world, opting not to work denies a country its most precious resource; manpower. Women staying at home raising children are withholding a vast pool of knowledge and expertise that would otherwise be very beneficial to the country. In reality, most women after quitting their jobs to raise children are less likely to return to work and if they indeed do decide to work again it would not be a job that utilizes their capabilities to the maximum.

However there has been a lot of arguments that the surveys done about this topic mainly target women from upper class families. Women from middle class and low income families have stated that the surveys have not targeted them and they have a different view in the issue(Stabiner, 2005). They have also shown displeasure on available motherhood books since they are created with wealthy parents in mind.

The choice not to work has to be taken in consideration to a lot of things. First is the means available for support. One has to have a lot of wealth in order to effectively raise a family while not working. Women also have to think on the effect their choice has on others. If many women choose not to work it would not be long before women are relegated to household tasks again with those having careers being victimized. The loss of brainpower is another issue that the women and the country as a whole have to address. All the knowledge that is withheld when these women quit their jobs has to be put into perspective.


Flanagan, C. (2004). How Serfdom Saved the Women’s Movement.

Stabiner, K. (2005). What Yale Women Want, and Why It Is Misguided. Los Angeles Times. Web.

Story L. (2005) Many Women at Elite Colleges Set Career Path—to Motherhood. New York Times.

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