Some Parents Want To Stay Home

How this might raise wages

Shefali O'Hara
4 min readJul 26, 2022


Photo by Jimmy Dean on Unsplash

Several years ago, a co-worker told me about a male friend of his who had chosen to take two years off from work. I was curious and asked for more information.

“When they had their child, the wife took two years off so she could easily breastfeed and bond with the baby,” he explained. “They were both earning decent money and they’d saved enough to be able to do this. Then, after she found a job, he quit his.”

“How did it work out?”

“Well, it’s been trickier for him,” my co-worker said. “Employers look differently at men who take time off. After a year and a half, he started sending feelers out for his next job. It’s a good thing he gave himself the extra time to land something, because it took him almost a year.”

This highlights the discrimination that men have faced when it comes to taking time off. Even if they did it for health reasons, they face a stigma.

For people who are wed to their careers, therefore, and dream of climbing the corporate ladder — taking time off is not a great idea.

However, for some people, the pandemic revealed to them what they were missing when they prioritized work. And many of those people are no longer wanting to be on a hamster wheel.

Some parents have realized that they would rather spend time with their families than work at jobs where they don’t feel valued. Some have decided that they will only do it if the pay and benefits are more substantial.

I remember another co-worker.

She chose to work part time after having her daughter. I asked her about it.

“I can’t stay home full time,” she told me. “I’d go nuts.”

She wanted quality time with her daughter but she also needed time at work to feel fulfilled. While the added income was part of the equation, it was really more about personal satisfaction and fulfillment.

Her job was not an executive position — she was a technician. However, she loved solving problems and socializing with peers.

So she worked three days a week, from Tuesday through Thursday. That gave her long weekends to do chores and spend time with her…



Shefali O'Hara

Cancer survivor, writer, engineer. BSEE from MIT, MSEE, and MA in history. Love nature, animals, books, art, and interesting discussions.