The economics of motherhood anyone?


If you are a Mother and you haven’t read The Price of Motherhood by Ann Crittenden please do so. If you have a Mother read it. 

It pertains to all Mothers; rich, poor, Black, Latino, Native American or White.

I was saying to myself this morning. Where have you been that you didn't fully understand the price of motherhood and didn't take the time to educate yourself?

I've been complacent. I feel deep regret about that. Being a white woman with enough privilege to be okay, focused on mothering, meant not spending the time doing the work that equality demanded. Because gender equality is not anywhere close to being true in the USA. Especially for Mothers.

And I am either part of the problem or part of the solution. I'd like to be part of the solution. 

I work with women every day. I hear many different stories. Here is a snippet of mine.

I got divorced. I was the primary parent for 2 children for 21 years. I worked part-time because I wanted to be with my kids and we could make it work for me to do that. All the moments with them. Beautiful, difficult, engaging, hard...all of it. I love my kids.
I am so grateful I got to do that.

I remember when we were working out the finances and I recognized the discrepancy in social security that was true at the time. My former husband had almost 3 times as much in his projection as I did. Was it possible to make up for that before 67. Nope. Not happening. At least not with working a full-time job as an RN health coach anyways.

And then I got sick. Sick enough that working full-time wasn't an option.
Part-time I went.
I am so much better physically and grateful again for that. A lot poorer economically.

So it spurred me to begin reading and getting better educated about women’s work.
Unpaid care work. That I did willingly, selflessly because that is the other story we've been sold. Be selfless. And by being selfless, sweet Mama’s, you put yourself at risk for being the poorest citizens of the U.S. when you reach old age.

If you are a Mother with kids at home I want you to understand your financial well-being and reading this may help you take some steps to creating that for yourself and help you see other women through a different lens. If you have a Mother you too can take action to change this.

And we need social change.
We need people with economic privilege to put their resources into policy change.
We need more women in decision making roles. Specifically more Mothers. More women of color.
We need to stop seeing other women as a threat or someone to compete against.
We need to come together and see it as a problem we all face. All women, all children, ultimately all people and the planet.

I’ll leave it at this. Read the book. Talk about it. Have your friends read it. Extend your care to all women and children. That does mean you extend your care to everyone. Men were once children too. Just sayin.