In this age of widespread feminism and social activism, we have made great strides toward equality. The growing culture of self-love and supporting other women is enough to leave any feminist with a warm feeling in her belly, but there are still quite a few aspects of the feminist movement in need of work. In the remodeling of our society we’ve left behind our most crucial members; stay-at-home moms. In the rush for female empowerment the women, and increasing number of men, who fulfill the traditional role of homemaker have been transformed from respected caretakers into cop-outs.

Women who choose to stay at home with their children are ridiculed for not “living up to their potential” and receive little to no respect for the feat which is motherhood. The common phrase of “oh, she’s just a mom” not only blatantly dismisses the determination and strength it takes to raise a family, but reduces stay-at-home parents to second-tier citizens under their bread-winning counterpart. “Stay-At-Home Parent” is a full time job in which there are few vacation days, no pay, and little recognition.

When did caretaker become an ugly word? When did mother become synonymous with professional failure? There was a time when a woman’s only choice was to be a wife and mother. In some parts of the world that is still a woman’s only choice. In our haste to provide more options we’ve thrown away tradition.

Traditional doesn’t have to mean outdated. Many women only want to be mothers and that’s ok! Mothers are our first teachers. They teach us how to be people and guide us through life until we’re ready to guide ourselves. To be a mother is an ancient, sacred calling and it should receive the respect it deserves. Women are expected to do it all, when really we should be supporting each others choices and  picking up the slack.

Whether a mother chooses to be a homemaker, pursue a career, or something in between is a choice for her and her family alone. We as a society must learn to reconcile tradition with the future, and stop forcing women to try to do it all.