So, here are our options
– We go to school, get a job, prove to our parents and ourselves we can be independant – then fall in love, hope their salary affords us the opportunity to stay home, and if not raise babies, at least keep the perfect Pottery Barn home.
– Or we can remain independant, dabble in relationships while we prove to the world we can do it on our own, maybe even pop out a baby because it’s our biological imperative, find the best possible childcare and continue to climb the ladder.
Sure, like it’s that simple! For every step on our path to becoming a modern woman, the options and choices continue to multiply as each situation develops.
First of all, you can’t help who you fall in love with. For the most part, we have control over our education and even which jobs we take or even apply for, but when it comes to love, you never know when or with whom lightening will strike.
And if lightening does strike, you face the inevitable struggle we women all face on the day of our wedding reception – “When are you guys going to start having babies?” If you can afford to stay at home, you’d better be trying to have some. Or at least Olympic pole vaulting over the glass ceiling. If you can’t afford to stay home, there’s the childcare, the housecare, and let’s not forget the husbandcare. Heaven forbid if there’s anything left for yourself. Are you detecting the sarcasm yet?
And here I am, somewhere in the middle. I can afford to stay at home, for now, yet I still feel I have something to offer. I went to college, I did OK in the real world – and I was just getting started when I fell in love and had babies. Is it selfish to say it’s nice to have something of my own – that I want to buy my husband’s anniversary present without his money? Is it acceptable to crave outside encouragement or accolades from someone other than my husband (“You look hot today – did you get a shower?”) or my kids (“Clearly we need to go to the grocery store mom, we’re out of Goldfish.”).
Don’t get me wrong – I am really, truly, in love with my husband. He supports me no matter what decisions I make. He helps – a lot, he’s home whenever he’s not working, he’s an amazing father, he’s fun, considerate, intelligent and in my opinion, super hot! And my kids are amazing, healthy, smart, hysterical, and really sweet.
So what more could I want – should my family be enough, or should I still be working? Why do I feel so selfish for wanting it all, especially if I’m willing to work hard for it? I need to re-read “What Our Mothers Didn’t Tell Us” by Danielle Crittenden (read it right after college – 2000)- it’s a good one to help sort some of this out and understand why some of us might feel so torn in this day and age.
We are constantly fine tuning the balance, without much input from previous generations (my mother didn’t work). Women just haven’t had this much freedom and in so many parts of the world, still don’t, so shouldn’t we take advantage of it? So many questions, options, expectations! Ugh, sounds like it’s time for me to do some more fine tuning, or better yet, get some sleep!