Sharon Osbourne is the latest celebrity to jump on the stay-at-home motherhood bandwagon. Because obviously our choices concerning work life balance should be subject to Hollywood style trends. Even though the mother-of-three has a busy life as a television host after introducing the world to the celebrity-as-reality-stars genre, she says that she would give up her career to have stayed home 24/7.
“If I could go back and have the choice of my career or being a full-time mum to my kids, I would choose to be a stay-at-home mum any day,” she said. “I would gladly give up the career. Women who have the luxury of bringing up their own children have no idea how lucky they are.
“It’s a big regret of mine and I would give it all up to be around my kids 24/7 while they were growing up.”
And it’s funny, because stay-at-parenting seems like more and more of a luxury every time another celebrity comes along touting it as the preferred path. Taylor Swift recently announced that she wanted to be a stay-at-home mom one day. She followed in the footsteps of celebs such as Ryan Gosling and Rosario Dawson.
Sharon Osbourne isn’t quite like the celebs promising to quit their jobs one day and settle down in their own little mansion with a white picket fence. Obviously, Sharon’s kids are already grown and having babies of their own. Her comments are a bit closer to those of Vivienne Westwood, who looked back and decided that working motherhood wasn’t the best idea for her. Of course, Westwood added a bit of guilt and shame for mothers who were trying balance careers and kids, generalizing her own personal regrets to reflect other women.
Osbourne’s comments are nearly as incendiary, though I have to admit that I bristled at the line, “Women who have the luxury of bringing up their own children…” I may not be a stay-at-home mom, but I am most certainly the one who is “bringing up” my daughter. She may go to daycare, but that doesn’t mean that I am not her mother, her guiding influence, and the one doing the work of raising her. I consider daycare providers and educators partners in that endeavor, but the responsibility falls to me and it’s one that I take seriously.
In general, the latest rush to idolize stay-at-home motherhood seems like this odd retro trend, a super late Mad Men effect. Like suddenly staying home is the epitome of the American Dream, whereas being a successful working mom would have once earned everyone’s admiration.
The one saving grace in this situation is that Hollywood trends are over so quickly, hopefully this one won’t make much of an imprint on our culture as a whole.