Working or staying at home with your kids? Honest answers about expectations and reality from mothers all around the world
I published a post on my Instagram page last week after a follower wrote to me and asked if I felt guilt and/or pressure to be working, saying that she felt as it was looked upon as selfish to not stay at home with your kids in the US if you could afford to. I answered that here in Denmark it is expected that women go back to work after a year of parental leave. And that I don’t have any guilt, because the kids have pretty short days, so the work/life balance is good in our family. And that I also think it is beneficial for my children to be in daycare, because they learn how to socialize with other kids, and learn and do things I wouldn’t think about offering them. I added that I was aware of that we have a system where we pay high income taxes and get highly subsidized childcare in return. An in the end I asked: “But aside from that, I am interested in hearing what the norm or expectations are (towards moms working or staying at home) where you live?”
I got a lot of answers (thank you so much!), and it was really interesting reading through them all. Women wrote about what the norms are where they live, but also about the general conditions for mothers after having given birth. It was especially heartbreaking reading some of the comments from mothers from places where they do not get much parental leave, if anything at all. In the US most mothers do not get any paid leave at all and may loose their jobs if they are not back to work after 6-8 weeks. And in Europe mothers get very little leave in both the Netherlands, Belgium and Switzerland, where they only get paid leave for about 3 months.
Some people asked if I could save some of the answers, so I took screenshots of several of them so you can read for yourself under here in alphabetical order from 30 different countries around the world. Here we go!
9. Costa Rica
11. Czech Republic
21. The Netherlands