Friday, March 8, 2013

What have I forsaken by choosing to stay home with my children?

First page of the newspaper Aftenposten today;
Our Minister of Children's Rights and Equality, Inga Marte Thorkildsen, says, "One can say it is just as valuable to stay at home with the children as to work - but it is not."
She also believes that Norwegian women must think about what they renounce if they choose to work part-time.

I am upset and a little sad about statements like that. In her position she has so much influence on young women and that is exactly why I wish that she would not only see it from the the woman's side. She is, after all Minister of CHILDREN's Rights and Equality.

What have I forsaken by choosing to stay home with my kids? Career? Yes. Extra money, interesting colleagues, trips and Christmas parties? Yes.
What did I get instead? Most of all, a good and close relationship with four wonderful people that I have been so lucky and blessed to be a mother for. It has often meant less income, hand-me-down furniture, fewer bikes or new clothes. But when all is said and done, it is the relationship with people in the family that really matters. It's the only thing I can take with me.

I have great sympathy for anyone who does not have a choice, but if working part-time is an option that provides enough income, it's a great way to allow extra time and energy with the family.

That a job is more valuable than children . . . I certainly do not agree.

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