By Kenneth Justice
~“So this will be the last time I serve you coffee” she said
Yesterday one of the most liked barista’s at the coffee shop I hang out with completed her final day. After five years of working at the coffee shop she decided to give it up to be a stay-at-home mom, “I’m going to keep pursuing my schooling” she said, “Because I’d still like to be a teacher one day”
Throughout the morning she greeted numerous customers with the same line, “Today will be the last time I serve you coffee, you’ve been a great customer and I just wanted to personally say goodbye to you”
I couldn’t help but notice that each time she would say, “I’m going to be a stay-at-home-mom” a number of the patron’s gave her the raised-eye-brow-look as if to communicate, “Really, you’re just gonna throw your life away then?” ……and each time the barista ran into one of those kind of faces she always made sure to add the extra line, “This will allow me more time to pursue my schooling in order to become a teacher” as if one has to have an excuse for being a stay-at-home-mom (or stay-at-home dad).
Some of my favorite writers, authors, and bloggers are stay-at-home moms & dads so for someone like me it’s a bit annoying to see the typical attitude that so many people in Western Culture continue to display towards parents who decide to drop out of the work force in order to stay at home with their children.
To be honest, even if I didn’t have children; if I could quit working altogether I would do it in a heartbeat! To be able to stay-at-home and write whenever I feel like it, hang out with people, have conversations about life, pursue my hobbies…….it all kind of sounds romantic to me.
So isn’t it a pretty sad state of affairs when other people judge someone based on their decision to not pursue a career? I thought the women’s rights movement was supposed to support women doing whatever they want…….yet too often doesn’t it seem as though Women’s Lib only exists to put pressure on women to pursue politics, the business world and other high-pressure jobs?
Not that anything is wrong with women who decide to pursue white-collar jobs; I totally support them and I’m actually pretty excited that General Motors recently named a woman to be their new CEO! It’s a pretty historic moment for what was previously the world’s largest Corporation.
Maybe I’m wrong but I suspect that one of the problems in the United States is that a lot of people simply don’t know what to do with themselves if they aren’t working at their job. Being at work makes them feel productive, and since so many people don’t have hobbies, artistic interests, etc….they get home and end up zoning out behind the television for hours-on-end. Perhaps that is why so many people judge women and men who decide to stay-at-home with the children; they think it is merely an excuse to watch Oprah and eat chocolate all day.
A number of my friends think I’m a nut to spend as much time as I do writing and publishing articles online. Some of my friends never ask me how my writing is going because I suspect they think it’s a worthless endeavor; yet if I were running for political office, starting a new multi-million dollar business or involved in some other high-profile industry……all of a sudden these people would be pounding on my door to try and be involved in my life…..right?
Recently a fellow blogger/reader emailed me about finding the inspiration to write and publish articles every day. Of course, my response involved much of my typical blather but in the midst of my ramblings I tried to make a simple point; writing matters. For hundreds and hundreds of years it has been writers that have influenced, changed, and improved society. Whether for good or bad; writers influence culture;
—-) Martin Luther’s 95 thesis changed the face of religion in the Western World
—-) Charles Dickens novels championed women’s rights and defended the poor
—-) If not for Karl Marx Communist Manifesto countries like North Korea, China and the Soviet Union of the 20th century would likely have been entirely different
And just as writing matters……raising our children matters. All of the great men and women throughout the ages had parents. Many of those mothers and fathers were great people……yet we never hear about them. They are the unsung heroes throughout the ages that raised little children who grew up to be great writers, painters, musicians, politicians, and more.
Being a good parent is something that our culture should cherish and value…..isn’t it?
While writing this article a young woman sat down with me a few minutes ago and I mentioned to her the subject to which she responded, “Well, I’m glad the business men gave her dirty looks because being a stay-at-home mom sucks”
“Really?” I asked
Perhaps I am simply too disconnected from our culture……perhaps here in the 21st century things have changed and we no longer value parents who stay-at-home with their children. Maybe I really am a loon.
Thankfully they gave me a free coffee this morning…….that always helps
If you haven’t heard I’m currently on a national and worldwide tour of 100 coffee houses. My next stops include Atlanta, Chicago, Pittsburgh, and Philadelphia. Click on my homepage for dates and locations; I would love to have coffee with you!
Categories: Culture & Society