Should Low-Income Moms Get The Chance to Stay at Home With Their Children?
1 year ago
Or is that only a privilege for the wealthy?
When I found out I that was pregnant with my second child, I was weeks away from transitioning from my part-time position to a full-time one within the same company. I had been excited about finally getting a decent paycheck, benefits, and paid sick/vacation time. It represented stability for my growing family.
But now that another child was on the way, I was concerned about the conversation I needed to have with my boss. I sat across from her, stumbling over my words, and finally just blurted out that I was pregnant.
She smiled and replied, "That's great news. Will you be coming back to work after the baby is born?"
I looked at her, puzzled. What did she mean? Like, will I be coming back to work immediately? A couple more seconds passed and I realized that she was asking me if I planned on being a stay-at-home mom after becoming a mother of two.
Until that very moment, I hadn't 't realized it was an option.
[ALSO READ: Why Obama's All About 'Working Moms']
Sure, I knew some moms were stay-at-home mothers, but I didn't know any personally. All the women in my family? We worked. Sometimes two or three jobs to provide for our families. We may have wanted to be able to spend the first year or two at home with our children, but instead we hauled it back to our offices when the company said so because we didn't have any other choice.
But for low-income women, perhaps that will be changing soon. The proposed Women's Option to Raise Kids (WORK) Act will allow child care to satisfy the work activity requirements for the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families program. This act will give low-income women the opportunity to stay at home with their children for up to 3 years while still receiving welfare benefits.