Is it wrong for women to work?

I guess in general it isn’t, but it seems to be a problem if the women are married.

would it be wrong for a mother to work not out necessity but out of enjoyment? for example, a scientist who really likes their career or something like that.

I posted a similar question before on this thread.

the posts near the end almost made it seem like it was a sin for women to work out of the house.

what about those quotes from the pope? are they out of context?

I don’t see anything sinful about it. However, if the couple has kids, the parents need to work together to raise them. Although rare, I have read stories of stay at home dads. Whoever is best suited to raising the kids while they are young (before school age), should accept that responsibility for the good of the children. Usually that will be the mother, but in some cases I do think the father is better suited. For example, a mother who has trouble with anxiety might not be up to the task of caring for noisy kids all day.

No, but you do start to wonder if it’s the right thing for people to become so career-oriented that they hire someone else to raise their kids.
Just keep in mind family > career and the career is for supporting the family not the other way around.

Of course it’s not wrong, at all. “Necessity” doesn’t have to be monetary. “Necessity” would also include emotional, spiritual and mental necessity.

I posted a similar question before on this thread.

If we’re going to be completely honest, some of those posts sounded as if some of those replies came from men downright fearful and in completion of women.

Cherry picking quotes out of references from the Vatican usually are either taken out of context or don’t paint the whole picture. You’d have to read more of the document from which these quotes come. Women have been working mothers for centuries. In fact, the stay-at-home mom is a relatively new option for women to enjoy, and we women enjoy a countless number of options. What is a concern for anyone is finding balance in their life, and in their service of others.

I’ve met very few women who DIDN’T work…SAHM’s are the hardest working of all. :smiley:


Does that hold true for men as well as women?


Everyone knows what they need to be the best parent and if that means the diversion of working to keep balanced, it is different then working long hours and neglecting family.

If this was not ok, then Catholic colleges would not have women students except for those entering the convent or single life.

This women worked:

(her husband was a successful businessman and they didn’t need the extra money either)

Don’t worry about some of those posts on that thread- there is one member here who pulls things out of context to support his own opinion, which usually isn’t in line with the Magisterium when it comes to the dignity and intelligence of women).

I don’t think it is a sin for women to work. But I do believe women should really consider how this will effect their children. If their job starts to require them to be gone all the time, say for days at a time, or chronic 16 hour shifts then I would have to wonder if this is a good idea. There are too many “latch key” kids out there.

I do come from an era when mom’s were at home. We were used to knowing that someone was at home in almost every house, and it seems like kids got in less trouble. Then of course there is the concern over day care and how good it is or is not. Had I been fortunate enough to marry and have kids it would have been hard for me to accept the idea of working. Different generation I guess.

Still, I don’t think it is a sin. Parents just have to be able to manage time better and make sure the kids are not suffering as a result. Extended family and good friends do make it easier.

It is not wrong for women to work. In fact, in today’s economy, it may be required in order for a family to survive.

But as other posters have said, it is absolutely a priority for both parents to be attendant to the needs of their children above all else.

My mother worked and also raise 5 children; we all turned out just fine! It is not right or wrong; it is something that has to be worked out within the marriage.

My mom worked full-time raising me and my brothers. Knowing how much she loved us and that she was working for us to enjoy benefits that she never had made us in turn work hard in school to get decent jobs, etc. We would never had thought to do anything that would disappoint her.

I think if the child knows that either parent is working in order to help them, then no matter the hours spent at work it sort of works out - it makes the hours spent together even better. But if the parent is working for selfish reasons, and the child is being neglected, the child will know! It is like a parent loving another ‘sibling’ more ;). Another benefit of having working parents was giving us lots of free time to explore and do stuff on our own, but to also ‘look up’ to them in terms of having responsibilities, etc. It would have been weird having a mom around the house all day every day, I’m proud of my mom :).

It’s definitely necessary in this economy. Whether or not they work part time or full time will vary according to the financial needs of the family. I believe as a women- yes we should work to help the family and secondly we all are given brains so let’s use them to help the family. Furthermore, you never know how the world is going to hit you. I know one family where the father was diagnosed with stage 3 cancer so he was on sickleave for about nine months to a year. I forget exactly how long it was. Regardless, he was only receiving about half of his salary. During that time, the mother (who was already working part time,) was able to pick up some extra shifts in order to support the family. Furthermore, by her supporting the family financially, the father was able to concentrate on getting better which he did. He is celebrating over 20 years of remission.


In Catholic culture, it can be unusual for married mothers to work but there’s nothing in canon law that forbids it! Especially when you think of so many wonderful women saints who worked both in secular and religious fields.

And you should see what happens to the house when she doesn’t work. :eek:

Truly, all women are working women. Some even do part of their work outside the home, for pay. :slight_smile:


Of course.

I definitely see it as a personal choice. In America, standard maternity leave that’s provided is usually measured in weeks, as opposed to other countries that may measure in years as a standard. I know plenty of people who had a parent stay at home with them for the first couple years of their lives, and some who remained a stay at home parent even after the kids were school aged. I also know plenty of people who were raised by a single working parent or two working parents, where they chose to or didn’t have a choice but to return to work in a matter of weeks.

In terms of latch key children, or kids being raised to be independent or respectful or with whatever other values are important to a parent, looking back, I don’t see that these characteristics were always more prevalent in those raised by their parents full time, possibly more to do with the parenting style and how well that meshed with the individual child - for example, my parents both worked, and I spent the majority of my days with an amazing babysitter before I was old enough for school, and then once I was school aged, I’d go to a daycare before and after school, so that my parents could work. I was able to be home alone after school by the time I was in middle school. However, I knew my parents had high expectations, and I was raised to respect them and their expectations, and I wanted to please them and do the right thing (usually ;)). Every situation is different, because every child is different and every parent is different, and I don’t see a universal right or wrong.

As to whether or not women should work or are qualified to work, or deserve the right to work and support themselves/those they care for, I don’t see how gender should matter. If a person can perform a job and an employer is happy with their performance, I see no reason why that person shouldn’t have the chance to work - male or female. There’s many ways to contribute to society, and everyone should be able to give in the way they think best. If a person and a family decide that working is best for a woman, then that’s their right, and I don’t see that it’s anyone else’s concern. And on the flip side, exactly the same applies if they decide to stay home with a child/children, for any amount of time.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit