Research Proposal: Stay at Home Mothers

My Inquiry Question for my Research Proposal is:

What is the popular opinion regarding stay at home moms in this modern day?

My primary purpose for my Research Proposal is to EXPLORE. Some additional questions that interest me would be:

  • What do the majority of men think, in this modern day, of women staying at home to raise babies?
  • What was the popular opinion regarding stay at home moms 50 years ago?
  • 100 years ago?
  • 500 years ago?
  • Are there any groups that are anti stay at home moms?
  • Are there any groups that advocate for stay at home moms?
  • What are some professions where women are essentially stay at home moms but still make money?
  • Do children suffer if they don’t have a stay at home parent?
  • What are some alternatives to having a stay at home parent?
  • Will gay marriage affect stay at home parenting?
  • Has the number of mr. mom’s increased since the rise of feminism and the right for women in the workplace?
  • Do women really make less than men in the workplace for the same job (with the same education level)?
  • What is the popular opinion, in this modern day, of women regarding women in the workplace?
  • What are the duties of a stay at home mom?
  • Do kids prefer a stay at home parent vs a workaholic parent?
  • How can couples, especially couples with kids!, survive with only one parent working?
  • What are transferrable skills the average home maker has that may transfer well to the workplace?
  • What is the definition of a stay at home mom?
  • Are there any specific people who fight for women’s rights so they don’t have to be home makers?
  • Are there any specific people who fight against women leaving the home for the workplace?
  • What was Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s position on home making?
  • What was Susan B. Anthony’s position on home making?

Some prior beliefs I have that might bias my research would be the fact that I’m religious. I belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and my religion loves the idea of stay at home moms when possible.

I was also raised in a home with a stay at home mother. Even on my father’s side, my step mother stayed at home while we were young and ran a day care program. I always had a mother who was home to monitor my siblings and me.

Before I begin my “working knowledge,” my take on home makers is that they are extremely necessary because kids need guidance. If they didn’t, the world wouldn’t need families. Families are the most fundamental units of society.

We have a letter framed near our dining room table that reads, “We affirm the sanctity of life and of its importance in God’s eternal plan. Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children. ‘Children are an heritage of the Lord’ (Psalm 127:3). Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, and to teach them to love and serve one another… and be law abiding citizens wherever they live. Husbands and wives—mothers and fathers—will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations…

“By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners… Other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation…”

The letter is called “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” and it was written by the LDS church’s First Presidency and the Twelve Apostles in 1995.

I definitely agree that parents have a responsibility to nurture and take care of their children; they also need to make sure their children are law abiding citizens. I can’t tell you how many adults I know who say, “I’ve done what I could. They are who they are,” when asked about their children. We all know that most of those parents spend 40 hours a week at work and don’t spend time each day with their kids.

Sadly, I think my opinion is not the popular opinion. I really am interested to see what people of other cultures, religions, and backgrounds have to say on the subject.

One source I’ve looked in to reads, “Women who take time out of the workforce… pay a big career penalty. Only 74 percent of professional women will rejoin the workforce in any capacity, and only 40 percent will return to full-time jobs. Those who do rejoin will often see their earnings decrease dramatically.” This was said by Sheryl Sandberg in her book Lean In earlier this year. Sandberg was quoted in an article called Confessions of a Stay at Home Mom written by Ashley Nelson of The Nation Magazine.

Another negative Nancy, named Linda Hirshman, who wrote a book called Get to Work says, “Why would a congressman listen to someone whose life so resembles that of a toddler’s?” I enjoy the response from Nelson who forcefully commented in return, “Because I can vote!”

I look forward to researching more on the topic of stay at home mothers.

❤ Siarra

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16 thoughts on “Research Proposal: Stay at Home Mothers

  1. I was raised to believe that moms should stay home to raise their children if at all possible.
    I married someone that didn’t feel the same. I couldn’t leave my baby though and eventually started my own in-home daycare.
    My previous coworkers brought their children to me and my kids had a steady array of playmates and activities.

    My marriage ended after several years and the daycare became my source of income, although an unreliable one.
    I went back to school and earned a 2 year degree that eventually enabled me to make a better income to support my children.
    Unfortunately, I didn’t have much time to spend with my children while beginning a new career (in order to better support them).
    I did make the same income as the men in my field. There was a pay scale based on time on the job and it was the same for everyone.

    I remarried eventually and we had a combined family of 7 children, 1 being a small baby. My new husband was of the same faith and believed in mothers staying at home. I felt that being home full time was very important as well. There was a lot of planning involved in running a large family. I did continue to work (self employed) about 10 hours a week, taking my baby with me until she was old enough to walk. Even then, my youngest child accompanied me many times over the next 5 or 6 years. Working a little bit gave me an opportunity to use the knowledge I’d learned ( & enjoyed) in college plus a little extra income.

    I had lunch during this time with my same friends whose children I’d watched during my daycare years. They couldn’t imagine what I did with all my time since I wasn’t working outside the home. (haha!) It was difficult to find self fulfillment in raising children in a day-to-day routine, keeping a clean house, doing mountains of laundry and cooking for a small army, but I’d always wanted to be a mother, so setting goals was the only way to see the actual outcome….It was great to be able to stay home and care for my sick child without stressing about ‘my boss at work’ for example. I enjoyed being able to see my kids off to school with a homemade breakfast & being home when they got off the school bus in the afternoon.

    The only difficult thing was finding ways to keep mentally stimulated. Reading and/or a night class now and then helped a bit.

    -Your mammy

    1. Gracias Madre for your input. I guess I never realized that your husband before Bob wasn’t interested in you staying home. To be honest, I’m sorry to hear that.
      I really liked that you were a stay at home mom. I was sick a lot (which you obviously know) and it was nice to be able to call from school and know you could come save me.
      I don’t remember you ever taking night classes though… Are you starting that now? Go back to Clark and earn another degree… 😉
      ❤ Siarra

  2. I’m thinking about actually writing my paper on the importance of traditional marriage, or maybe even a 2 (original) parent household, for the sake of children…
    My Policy Question: What should be done about children who are suffering negative life effects from broken homes?
    My Interpretation Question: What does it mean to have a 2 parent household? What does it mean to have a traditional marriage?
    My Hypothesis Question: Might it be true that many children aren’t raised by both of their original parents in the same household as a combined force?
    My Question of Value: Two original parent households are rare in this day and age; are they even considered important for children’s well being?
    My Relationship Question: When children don’t grow up with both original parents (married in the same household as a combined force) will the children grow up with more emotional issues? Less financial security? Less basic needs? Less parental guidance?

  3. All of your questions are really great but I really like your relationship question the most. I would really be interested in learning if children have more emotional issues or if they have a harder time in their lives than those kids who grow up with both parents. I really like your idea:)

    Savannah

  4. i agree! i really like the relationship question, however, i also love your value question. i wonder if there is a way to condense and combine these two. the well being part could include emotional issues, basic needs, and such.

    Rachael Heath

  5. These are all good questions, but I just had an idea for a completely new one: How might children who grew up in a single-parent household compare with children who endured a divorce? I’m thinking that children who were basically born into a single-parent household might accept it as more normal and may not even be emotionally damaged at all, whereas children whose parents divorce in the middle of their lives might have a completely different perspective.

    -Joey Tucker

  6. Hey Siarra, As a former stay at home mother I love your inquiry question. I too have been at home for the last five years and this is my fist time back in school since 2001. I love the fact that I was a stay at home mother, I think that it was the best decision of my life to stay at home with my three babies 5,3,&1. It was a very difficult thing to go back to work too. I went back to work when my oldest was about 6 weeks and it was super hard, daycare wasn’t reliable and i was constantly worried about her well being so when I got the ok from my husband to quit working I was elated. I have experienced both being a working parent and a stay at home mother and I will say that I feel that my children are better off when I stayed at home. There was less stress in the house hold and the family was happy. I’m excited to read your blogs and learn more about your opinion on mothers and staying at home versus working. I would also like to know what single parents are stay at home parents too and how are they able to provide for their families.

  7. First off, I’d just like to let you know that GOD I love this topic! It’s highly controversial and there’s so many aspects that can be appreciated. The biggest thing that intrigues me about your research proposal is your question, “What is the definition of a stay at home mom?” …as a Mom that was previously exclusively stay-at-home for the first three years with my son, I can attest that motherhood + work does NOT mean that a mother must leave home. I’ve run an in-home daycare, successfully mastered courses at Clark online, and even started my own business endeavors via emails during that time!
    Also, when you mentioned some parents’ claims stating, “I’ve done what I could. They are who they are,” …this reminds me of the saying that “a child’s behavior only reflects on the parenting”. When we invest in nurturing our children, they become nurturing adults. To divulge further into the controversial aspect, I’ve been deemed a “lazy person” and an “anti-feminist” by my own sister, just because I made it a priority to stay at home as long as I could. My sister’s a work-a-holic mother and rarely spends time at home with her own son to what I believe is to his detriment… thus making this as controversial of a topic as it gets, lol. My only critique might be to hold off on religious interpretations since they can be highly offensive. Much love and appreciation,
    -Caitlin.

    Word count: 242

  8. Siarra you have such a fantastic topic! I’ve been really excited to see what sort of things you have found! If you’d be willing to though, I’d like to give my own experience in the matter of a “stay at home mom;” which is quite different from what others have said on this post. My mother, grandmother, and any other amounts of greats thrown into it have all been of mormon relation. My mom fourished in the church, would take me to sunday school, and I remember vividly helping her cook for church picnics and special events. Irony so, using that same quote you got from “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” in my family no matter how much time was spent educating, nurturing, preaching to us, cleaning up when we were sick, the men on that side of the family were not the kind lovable people you may know. Anyways enough of my childhood, xD what I really wanted to tell you is my own take on stay at home moms. Personally I think both partners (what ever is your sexual orientation), should be held responsible for sharing the responsibilities so that one is not doing all of the work. My parents were married quite young, and within six weeks of dating (slightly creepy), and then had me, but then my dad left to go on a business trip for 8 monthes. This happened nearly every other month, and it was a nightmare when he did come home; its wasn’t that he was a terrible person or anything, he just doesn’t have people skills.
    One other thing that I thought would be of some help for you: Isn’t the idea of marriage based on love only been around for about 500 years? I would want to know if marriage went back even to like primitive hunter and gatherer times. Oh boy, I just did way more than 200 words xP Whoops. I guess I’m just a hopeless romantic, looking to change people perspectives about the ideas concealed by tradition in marriage. You don’t have to listen to me, but I will be looking forward to what else you find. 🙂

    1. Thanks for your thoughts! I’m working very hard on utilizing Lindsay’s advice of gathering information from different “camps.” She explained that it’s imperative to gain understanding from all perspectives and I’m very pleased at the respectful way in which you shared your views with me! Will you tell me your name so I can figure out who you are? Thanks again!
      ❤ Siarra

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