Sounding off -The media’s perspective of Stay at home parents

Okay, I was just reading through an email I received from HAPO  – Help A Reporter Out.  The email lists numerous stories that reporters are writing and need some input on. It appears to be a great resource. Well today I ran across a story that someone was writing on moms who are leaving the work force to stay home with their children.  This is a great topic because there are a lot of families making the decision to have a parent (not just the mom) stay home. While the article is targeted at mom’s and about mom’s and even looks as if it might be supportive of the idea the first sentence in the request for information is: “Are you a previously ambitious woman who is giving up your career goals to focus on family?”

WHAT?!! “previously ambitious”  COME ON, you can’t really mean that a women or man who decides to stay home is no longer ambitious, can you. How can you write an article talking about changing goals and refer to one goal as less ambitious than another. This type of language is absolutely demeaning and in appropriate and I can’t believe women are using it to refer to stay at home mom’s and, I guess, dads. I imagine dads who choose the role of SAHD are considered complete sloths because they don’t have work goals and they really aren’t qualified to be the primary care giver. (Pleas note the irony dripping off the previous statement.)

The fact is my wife is not just a “Domestic Engineer” she really is the CDO – Chief domestic Officer. Her roll in our household is vital and we couldn’t operate without her performing the role. She does everything from ensuring the kids get everything they need for life and school to ensuring that when I get home, I can spend quality time with the kids. There are numerous schedules Mel coordinates and she does it strategically with tact and style. Vacations and  trip planning, medical services and coordination of insurance, social engagement, household inventory control, quite frankly the list could go on for day’s and it takes supper ambition to do it all.

The fact is there is a bias in the media against Stay At Home Parents. As far as the media is concerned it’s bad enough when a women stays at home, but a man, well a man is considered less than manly if he makes the choice. It’s time this perception changes. The media needs to start focusing on the value and importance of stay at home parents. If they do then perhaps they will not only bring the proper respect to women who make this choice for their family but also to the men who make that choice. In today’s world it’s a choice to stay at home and those families that make that choice are deciding to sacrifice lifestyle for family. Isn’t that something to be respected.

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