Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Having It All: On Being a Working Mother

Or the post otherwise known as "fun with Photo Booth." ^_^

Last week, Tara wrote about the Huffpost article that talked about how data shows that while women have experienced increasing levels of education, opportunities in the workplace, and overall autonomy, they've also reported that their general levels of happiness have also diminished. I've heard these reports before (you can't go to something like the Women's Conference and not hear this sort of thing) and have spent some time considering what it all means. I don't have the answers (because really, can there be one answer to explain away the experiences and emotions of generations of women?) but I do have some guesses.

I'm a working mom, by choice. I have two children - my son Rowan, who is currently 5 years old, and Kate whom many of you know from various fitting room review cameos, who turned 18 months old today. I love them like I love nothing else and am constantly in awe of the fact that somehow, my husband and I have been able to create such incredible little creatures. I mean, they grow! And learn! And do all kinds of amazing things like talk, and laugh, and wind various adults around their little fingers with their sweet smiles! I say I work "by choice," because I have had the opportunity to be a stay-at-home mom (SAHM), and found that while I loved being with Rowan, I neither had the temperament or the desire to do the work attached with being a SAHM. It's hard work! And I sucked at it! (Truth be told, my own mother-in-law told me towards the end of that 5 months, that I was more useful outside the home than in it, and actually helped me find my current job. Embarrassing? A little. The right thing for me and my family? Without a doubt.) I have great respect for SAHMs and on a side note, think the weird rivalry that seems to exist between SAHMs and working moms is bizarre and ridiculous (in the words of Rodney King, "Can't we all just get along?"). I enjoy my work outside my home - it's stimulating, rewarding, and makes good use of my education. That being said, it's not easy to be both a mother and a career woman, and while my husband and I have jerry-rigged a system that seems to work well for us, we still have our dips and valleys from time to time.

I agree with Tara's hypothesis that quite possibly, the decrease in overall happiness for women is closely related to the impossible expectations we have of ourselves. How many of you have heard or read phrases like, "having it all," and "creating a work-life balance?" Yeah, mmhm, me too. And here's the thing - there are no such things. Really. There is  no having it all. At least, not in this world. And what does "work-life balance" mean anyway? The way it sounds, you should be able to take your life - or hey, let's use a more manageable unit of time and say, a day - and split it up evenly. You know, something along the lines of 8 hours for work, 8 hours for home and family, and (since we're fantasizing here anyway) 8 hours for sleep. 8 + 8 + 8 = 24, and we have an even number of hours allotted to the three great time-guzzlers in our lives, and as long as we keep these discrete, we have - wait for it - achieved balance. Hm, what? You say there is no having it all? Oh, right...back to that, are we?

(October 2010)

What you have then, instead, is an opportunity to manage expectations. I totally expect that there will be days when I'm working well beyond 8 hours. Days on which, long after my children and husband are asleep, I will be sitting up with my rapidly cooling cup of coffee, trying to stay productive and meet a deadline. I also expect that there are days when my children are sick or are having a birthday or need me to attend a "Dinosaur Breakfast" (the events at school which you absolutely must not miss, because if you do, your child will be the only one there without a parent in attendance and s/he will remember that particular heartache forever), and I will cut back on my work hours in order to care for them in my role as their mother. I also expect that I will - once every month or so - be able to sleep a whole 8 hours in one night - though, maybe, not without waking at least once. I expect that I'll probably be harboring a sleep deficit on more days than not. And I expect I may be cranky from time to time because of it. However, I also expect that I'll catch myself and snap out of it, sooner than later. After all, I have so much for which to be grateful. And I expect myself to enjoy it - all of it - as much as I possibly can.

For instance, the simple but overwhelming fun that can be had with Photo Booth (taken yesterday, shortly before bedtime):


It helps enormously that I have a true parenting partner in my husband. From getting Rowan up, fed, dressed, and dropped off to school in the mornings, to caring for Kate when I'm at the office, my husband (who works from home) pulls double duty and then some, when compared against what's usually expected of dads.


And this leads to my other guess at why women are not as happy as may be expected. While expectations surrounding the roles and opportunities for women have increased vastly over the past four decades, the expectations of men have more or less stayed the same. 


True, many younger men have stepped up, and like my husband, do much more than log time at the office only to come home, pat the children affectionately on their heads, then put their feet up, open up the newspaper, and ask what's for dinner. I'd venture to guess though, that the great majority of men - young or old - have had little or no preparation for child-rearing, housekeeping, or other traditionally "female"-oriented tasks and duties. This is not at all to say that they can't learn to do these things on the fly or do them well (obviously, my husband did) - but that's a huge leap from having been raised with the expectation that when they reached adulthood, it would be their responsibility to actually do these things on a regular basis, which is usually the circumstance for most women.

So, meanwhile, (surprise-surprise!) women continue to take up the slack on the home front, while simultaneously holding down full or part-time jobs, and are they exhausted? Yes. Do they feel stretched thin? Yes. When standing in front of a poorly-stocked refrigerator trying to figure out what to make for dinner after 8 hours of work with a couple children clamoring for attention, are they going to feel a little stressed and uncomfortably inadequate? God, yes! And when you call them and ask them if they're happy about this, are they going to tell you they are?

Work that one out for yourself, please.

As a working mom; as a woman coming of age in the 21st century in the USA, I - along with all of you - am still making up a lot of this as I go along. The generation before me (the baby-boomers and some of the older Gen-Xers, God bless them) have laid down some of the basic groundwork for us younger women (they say the 30s are the new 20s...^_- ) but there's a whole lot left to be figured out, and maybe Kate and her contemporaries will still be working on these issues when it's their turn. But I do hope, if nothing else, they'll realize from our examples, that being a woman is neither prescriptive or proscriptive. That if nothing else, what they have are choices - the choice to be mothers or not be mothers; to work outside the home, or in it; to be strong, independent, and self-reliant, and still live, love, and work well with a life-partner; to be sensible, smart, and conscientious, while still being silly, fun, and full of whimsy.

To spend their small and precious moments of free time, writing a style blog, if that's what they want.

 Sweater: H&M v-neck cardigan, 2009
Top: Gap boat-neck tee, 2006
Skirt: Circle the Globe skirt, Anthropologie, 2010
Shoes: LAMB flats, 2009
Necklace: J. Crew 

35 comments:

  1. This was wonderfully written! It's really amazing to me that we're taught from a young age that we need to "have it all" and that it's wrong if we can't or don't want everything that entails. I'm still in my early 20s, but I have a sister who's significantly older than me and it never fails to amaze me how many people genuinely seem shell-shocked when they hear her age and find out she doesn't have kids. Their eyes grow even wider when she says the reason why she doesn't have children (not sure if she wants any). It's like people can't wrap their heads around the fact that not everyone in the world is chasing after the same exact goal.

    I think what's also really terrible is that being aware of these issues still doesn't fully help us get rid of the problem. At least for me, it feels similar to the way that I feel about body image issues that I struggle with. Even though I'm aware that society has had a tremendous influence on what I perceive is an acceptable standard of beauty, and even though I think that standard is bullshit (for lack of a better word), I still can't help but feel guilt when I look down at the scale and see that I don't measure up. The work-life balance feels the exact same way to me.

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  2. Great post Carol, i read it from beginning to end, and agreed with your every word. I am married, but don't have any kids yet. I am working in a full time job, and already finding it difficult as it is;to come home and make dinner, wash up, clean the house, figure out what to have for dinner the next day, shopping for groceries..etc. It would be even tougher with kids!
    I think a lot of this "have it all" syndrome stems from the media - look at the gossip mags of Angelina Jolie; gorgeous actor husband, top paying acting roles and a rainbow family to complete..oh plus she has her side charity projects in Asian / African countries - come on! This is far from realistic.
    Even though i've never met you, I think you are doing a brilliant job as a mother, wife and colleague. The smiles on your kids' faces says it all!

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  3. Thank you Carol. That was lovely and gratifying. I sit here squinting through blood-shot eyes, sleep deprived and over-caffeinated. I am a mother of 3, overworked, sometimes stressed and cranky, but always grateful. I find tremendous comfort in your post. It was just what I needed this morning. That, and maybe a nap.
    Mechelle

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  4. Carol-
    I think you have summed everything up beautifully. I am a baby boomer that did stay at home with only one child and I felt very guilty. Lonely, too. My first marriage fell apart after seventeen years and I went back to work. I became busier but much happier. To my surprise I married again to a man that was raising his three boys on his own. Kind of like the Brady bunch. We both worked and we both parented. Our youngest is now 16 and my husband,because a series of health issues, stays home full time.Now he does all the chores I used to do or we used to share. It is really wonderful to come home from work and smell dinner cooking. It is wonderful to work hard and bring home a paycheck. It is wonderful and lucky to have happy, healthy children. From where I sit having it all isn't really having it all. Having it all is just feeling happy and content with what is. The answer is what works best for you. I think you have more than accomplished that. And a blog to boot. Thanks for your post. You really gave me cause for reflection and inspiration.
    Susan

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  5. Carol I love this post.

    I'm also one of those women who think that in the future I am not cut out to be a SAHM.

    I might love it, but my best guess right now? No. No I won't. I'll want to go back to work ASAP.

    I too will also have someone who will have the expectations of wholly helping out rather than taking on the "traditional dad role" by sitting in the backseat because they bring home the bacon.

    I'll be bringing home the bacon too! :P Sharing the tasks is something we do now, and in the future it will be just like that.

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  6. I don't know what it is, but I love reading articles about being a woman in the 21st century. Whenever I watch Mad Men, I am fascninated by how much things have changed. By the looks on your children's faces, it definitely seems like you and your husband make a great team.

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  8. Great post. As one of those boomers (late 40's) I can tell you that for me, having it all was impossible. I quite the full-time work force 5 years ago (after 20+ years) when my kids were 5 & 7. My DH has a very demanding job that requires him to be on call 24/7 and I had a management job at a large company, with a small (driven 20-something staff-that I didn't hire) plus a 30 minute commute. It was the worst job situation I ever had, so I quit. Once we really evaluated my earnings vs the expenses of child care, clothes, commute, lunches, dry cleaning and lattes, we realized I could make up the difference by earning a fraction of my previous salary by eliminating all of those expenses. I began working part-time in direct sales and did the occasional part-time consulting gig in my previous field. My direct sales experience and training lead to a new opportunity to help men and women achieve a fully working wardrobe, which has been a rewarding experience that I never anticipated. DH is a great partner, and we easily slip in and out of traditional roles (he cooks, shops and helps with homework or whatever needs to be done), which is key for me. Like you, I'm not a big fan of the work that goes with being a "housewife". I'd rather work to pay a house cleaner than clean the house myself. All that being said, I am glad the employers in every facet of the economy seem to be gradually becoming aware that they need to be family friendly, not only for moms but for everyone that needs to be a care giver at some time or another to an aging parent, sick child, spouse or partner. It is great that you have achieved your "balance". Happy parents raise happy kids-which IMHO is the bottom line.

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  9. A great post, Carol.

    The sad thing is the rivalry that exists between women who work outside the home and SAHMs. There is definitely a subtle (or not so subtle) disrespect for "the other side," and I think it is due to the fact that whatever you choose, you can't win, you can't have it all. And therefore women feel guilty or insecure, which leads to belligerence towards women who have chosen something different.

    I am a well educated, very capable and intelligent woman who is a SAHM. The circumstances in my life allow this and make it the best choice for my family. Though I am happy with the decision, I absolutely feel disrespected for it. Society, friends, and family members look at this role as giving up on life. Like a person who does not earn money at a "real" job is stupid, lazy, and does nothing for the world. I hear the comments frequently... or maybe I perceive the insinuations because I have become so thin-skinned about it.

    From my perspective it seems that working moms are the ones saluted, sadly almost because they are running themselves ragged trying to do everything. A martyrdom complex exists in our society where people compare how exhausted they are, how busy and overloaded - and the one with the most chores, activities, responsibilities, and least sleep wins! A person shouldn't have to be working themselves to the bone in order to feel valued - yet I think women are held to this standard, by society and by themselves.

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  10. I really loved this post. I am a single mom. If you ask me if I am happy, I will usually say it depends on what time you ask me.

    It is stressful to work a demanding job. I work in a men's field and I have to put in long hours and even work on weekends... but I have to do it in order to support my family on my own. (No child support.) BUT, it is rewarding to be successful in my field and to be respected by my colleagues. I actually love my job.

    It is stressful to come home and try to manage a household and two children on limited time. I cook meals, help with homework, settle arguments, clean the house, and do a million other things before finally getting to settle in for the night. BUT, I love hearing my children talk about their days at dinner and I love hugging them to pieces every night at bedtime and I love doing art projects with them or going out with them to do something fun when I have free time.

    I agree that balance is not something we can achieve. I know that I can't. My family will end up eating cereal for dinner some nights because I couldn't make it to the grocery store, or I will be late for work because my kid forgot to take her cello in to school and I have to drive home and get it and bring it in... I never have all the balls up in the air at the same time.

    HOWEVER, happiness is very possible. I have as many happy moments as I do stressful moments. Maybe the question just needs to be asked at the right time... :)

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  11. SUCH a well-written post, Carol. Thank you!
    I am a SAHM, and I am so happy to be. My husband and I made the decision together, and were in full agreement. As much as you may feel the negativity from SAHM mom's for working (I do not feel that it is wrong to work, at all!) Many times working moms look down on SAHM mom's. So there is skeptisism on both sides, unfortunately. I wish we could all encourage and support each other. I am in a position to have an influence on younger moms, and I frequently ask, "What is your motivation? Why do you want to stay home/work? ECT..." It ususally helps them narrow down for themselves what the is the right thing.

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  12. Jennifer makes a good pt, there is definitely a 'beneath the surface' rivalry that goes on between working and sahm moms. I think the perception is out there that sahm moms don't work, when in actuality, they work all the time, without a break often. All moms have the ultimate challenge.

    I work and thus, deal with many of the challenges that you addressed, Carol. It's exhausting, and I always feel pulled in so many directions.

    Great post, Carol

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  13. Either way - being a mom is demanding, exhausting, all encompassing...I think in additon, working moms are critical of other working moms and SAHM's are judgemental of other SAHM's - and ladies who aren't yet moms are often looking at you struggle through the grocery store thinking they'll do it so much better one day...we all need an extra level of GRACE. I have never felt so inadequate as I do sometimes raising my boys - because there has never been so much at stake - I wish there would be more support, encouragement and recognition that we're doing our best.

    Oops, I didn't mean to pull up a soapbox...I truly enjoyed reading your thoughts Carol! You are beautiful inside and out, and I'm saying it! Even if it sounds cliche!

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  14. Great post and I so agree! As a full-time working mom who often has pangs of envy to be a SAHM, I really am not sure it would make much difference. So I choose to be happy, appreciate that I have a good job that affords a comfortable lifestyle that includes hard work, a little fun, and a precious family. Some days suck, some are great, and I definitely don't think I have it all...but I know deep down I am very blessed!

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  15. Amen (says a 38-year-old mother of three who is also a partner in a large law firm, doing her best to keep it together on a daily basis).

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  16. Thank you for this post. I struggle with these issues on daily basis as well. I appreciate your optimism and positivity. I am working on that myself... and yes, some days are better than others!

    Oh, and I love the pics. So cute!!!

    (40 year old mother of two -- 14 months and 5 years -- and a software engineer).

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  17. i am a SAHM, and i still can appreciate the impossibilty of "having it all". i find it so strange that instead of being supportive of each other, we mothers are so quick to point out flaws. maybe its because things ARE so hard, exposing what everyone else is doing "wrong" solidifies what we are doing "right"? whatever it is, the competition is rough. SAHMs think that working mothers dont love their kids as much, working mothers think SAHMs are uneducated freeloaders. from either side, there is dripping disdain. and jealousy. im sure alot of the judgement stems from the jealousy. if you can convince yourself that the other side is awful, you wont have reason to BE jealous i guess.

    i hate that i am viewed as unsuccessful. i raise my son, i work 24/7, i keep a clean house and get dinner on the table. i do all the errands that make a household run smoothly. its not easy, and its often lonely. i am a great success. my husband is a fantastic help (this was NOT so in the first early weeks of parenthood, and i was scared, but he quickly caught on and dove in!), but he does work 40+ hours a week. so i would say i do 90% of child raising.

    i love being home with my boy. i wouldnt trade seeing all his little accomplishments for the world. he is 10 months now, and i am amazed by him every day. BUT. i miss adults. i miss adults who are not parents also. its like when you have a baby, you get the plague. all your non parent friends feel awkward hanging out. the only places you get to go are mommy groups, friends houses who have children, or the mall. i miss adults. desperately. i miss working, and making new friends. meeting new people. i am lonely alot. going to mommy events is all well and good, but you feel compelled to keep on your SuperMom face. you dont get to be yourself. you dont get to admit how you made a mistake, because the harpies shall descend on you! competition and judgement runs rampant.

    it feels good to talk about it.

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  18. I agree with you that the rivalry is weird. I think it comes from unthinking little comments, though. A woman might be speaking from her heart, but it somehow seems insulting to people who have made the opposite choice.

    The SAHMs will say something like, "Oh, I just love my child so much I could never, never leave him." How it's interpreted: Working moms don't love their children as much as I do.

    The working mom will say something like, "I'm just too intense and need too much stimulation. I would be bored." How it's interpreted: If you can stay home, you're not as intelligent as I am.

    People do what's right for their own families. I'm never offended by people making different choices. They're not me. Sometimes, the way they choose to explain it, however ...

    (And I've been a working mom and Stay-at-home mom. What I've usually been is a work-at-home mom, so I've felt as though I can fit in with both groups.)

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  19. Carol - I've said it before but I will say again how gorgeous your little ones are. You and Lawrence (I think I'm right there?!) have created such beautiful, happy children from what I've seen when they've featured on IPoPT.

    I don't have any children yet, Robin and I just don't have time right now but I think if we do have children I would like to continue working, maybe just part time at first. TBH with the economy as it is I couldn't afford not to!

    My mother was a SAHM with my sister and I for 8 years before going back to work p/t then f/t so I've had it both ways and honestly appreciated both. I loved that Mum collected us from school but always got super excited if Dad had a rare afternoon off and surprised us at the school gates.

    In the end every women, every family is different and ultimately they will do what is right for them as a family unit. As someone who has yet to pro-create I applaud mothers and fathers no matter what choices they make regarding work/SAH - it looks like bloody hard work raising kids but joyous at the same time :)

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  20. Oh Carol I love this .... totally agree with what all these women are saying! I am a SAHM and love it, but man do I feel so inadequate a lot of the time! I agree with Jan and think we all deserve an extra level of grace from each other!! LOVE this blog and I am beyond jealous of your adorable style ... you have such a talent!

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  21. Carol: Thanks for posting this. Your kids are adorable.

    I am too a Working mother with two children. My biggest frustration not from having to do it all, but the lack of appreciation and the false assumption. What I mean by false assumption is that even though you are putting all the late night hours to make up for the time you had to take your sick child to the doctor, people assume that you do less. But when men does that, people would say oh, what a great father he was to help out. That is just load of crap!

    Don't really have issue with SAHM though. I really appreciate how much patience some of my SAHM friend have. I really I can have that kind of grace.

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  22. One of my fav posts of yours Carol :) I'm a SAHM mom and I also work part time. My husband and I work opposite shifts so our kid don't have to go to daycare. But because of my choice to be both, I currently work at a call center 'coz the hours are flexible. And I feel the negative vibes from my family and some friends. Almost like it's beneath them to do such a job. But when I read your post and Tara's post, I feel like in the end, it doesn't matter what other people expect us to be. We only have to answer to ourselves and make the right decisions that will make us happy. I echo what the other reader Julia has said - Happy Parents make Happy Kids and that is all that matters in the end.
    Also, I'm thankful to have a good husband who helps out like yours does. I tip my hat off to single moms. I really have NO idea how they do it.

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  23. I love your blog and read it every day, but I rarely comment. But this post? AMAZING! So well said! I am a capable and college-educated woman who worked for several years before starting my family. Then I took about 10 years off, had 4 children, and LOVED being home with them. And I will say that truthfully, full-time parenting is the hardest job I've ever had. And I am lucky to have a very involved and hands-on husband. But,I just recently went back to work part-time and it's really hard to juggle everything, and like others have said, I never seem to have all my balls in the air at once and the resulting guilt and stress and feelings of incompetence take a toll. Our family is working as hard as we can to make it work for us, and we're all making sacrifices, but in the end, we're happy and learning and working together. And that's enough for me. I can't concern myself with what everyone else thinks of our choices. I'll echo Jan again and remind other women to have an extra measure of grace not only when judging others, but especially when judging yourselves!

    I think you are doing a great job and congratulate you for your hard work and dedication to both your family and your job!

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  24. Thank you for this post! I am a new mom and constantly find myself explaining why I went back to work or why I spend my free time writing a food blog. I sucked at being a SAHM. I needed the normalcy my career provided to balance the chaos of a new life. I plan on re-evaulating my career goals in a couple of years. Perhaps being a SAHM is in my future some time. And for the precious few moments I crank out a blog post after my little bean goes to bed, allows me to have a sense of humor about this whole situation.

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  25. Hi Carol, what a great post! Such great timing because Chris and I were just discussing about this today. We starting to seriously consider kids into our lives and since we're also trying to build a photography business, I was saying today how I wished I took up photography earlier. Because I really don't know how I'm going to deal with a full time job, a baby, and a dream to chase after a business. I don't think I can have it all and I think eventually, something's gotta give. I just don't know which of the three. I am one of the lucky women that married a wonderful man who's willing to split household chores and I'm sure with kids, he'll be just as helpful. But you are right, we ladies sometimes do need a break sometimes and that's where I find blogs like yours so enlightening. Keep doing what you do, Carol! Love it!

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  26. Great post, Carol. I think several things would be of help to moms today:

    1) if they chose to work, being able to work part-time and not being professionally docked for it - this is really the only way to effectively do both work and family

    or,

    2) based on a study recently, where many workers were asked if they had a choice, would they prefer more pay or less hours (about 90% said less hours), a choice to work either 5 days per week of 6.5 hours, or 4 days per week of 9 hours, something like that. It's unrealistic to expect moms or anyone to work what amounts to 10 hour days (8 hours per day plus commute) and think that they will even remotely be able to have a real relationship with their children.

    and also
    3) allow more telecommuting, job sharing, and things that would appeal to both men and women and allow them to really "be" parents, rather than someone their child sees for an hour or two at the end of the day (while juggling homework).

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  27. I feel strongly that most jobs are not that interesting to warrant being away from your children 10 hours per day, also. Maybe if you're a naturalist who goes out on an ocean boat daily and is studying marine mammals, that might be different, but to spend hundreds of thousands of hours in a halogen-lit office pushing papers for an employer and getting up at 6am because they say you should seems inane.

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  28. What a well-written post, thank you for sharing that with us! As a pediatric psychologist, I see just as many SAHM's and working moms. Regardless of how or where the moms spend their days, the children fare about the same, and I don't see one group of kids doing better or worse than the other. What really seems to make a difference for the kids is how well the moms as people are doing! The mothers that are finding personal satisfaction and happiness in some way seem to have children with the best outcomes.

    I hope that is a helpful perspective, so as not to add to the debate that one group of mothers is right and another wrong. I'd rather encourage all moms to find a work/life strategy that allows them to feel fulfilled, both for personal happiness and for how that trickles down to their kids. And that strategy is going to be different for every woman, and shouldn't be judged.

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  29. Totally agree with anonymous above. My kids are grown now and those are years I can never get back. If I had known then what i know now......I would have spent much less time at work and much more time with my children.
    A couple of hours after the end of a long workday doesn't cut it. Be smart and figure this out before it's too late. I never figured it out until it was too late.

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  30. Carol, I just wanted to say how uplifting it was for me to read your post. My husband and I are considering starting a family soon, and it's so reassuring for me to hear from someone with your experience as a working mom (as I would be). Best to you and your family!

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  31. what a wonderful post, carol!! i'm so happy to see that your husband and you share the weight of parenting and i love hearing how you guys manage your time and priorities. thank you!

    cute and little
    come join the Color Brigade!

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  32. One thing I am grateful for, and I know my best friend is grateful for also. My mom passed away when I was a teenager; my friend's mom passed away when she was 11. Both of us are grateful that our moms did not work full time and we were able to spend a lot of time with them growing up. Those are years we would not be able to get back in any event. Careers are not as important and my mom had a great one before becoming a great mom. I thinks parents can work, just not full time if you want to have the relationship with your kids come first.

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  33. Very nice post!

    I think there definitely still exist very strong expectations of women that there aren't of men. I knew a long time ago that I wouldn't marry someone who wasn't willing to do over 50% of the childcare. My position is identical to that of what? 80%? 90% of men alive today and yet if I admitted it out loud to most people they would be... negative. I don't understand why it is morally fine for men to want to be parents that aren't primary caregivers but morally wrong for women to not want to be primary caregivers while still wanting children.

    And the truth is, if you work full time, if you work for many careers that are full time and a half, of course you aren't going to be the primary caregiver - it is impossible or certainly impossible while still retaining sanity and some kind of enjoyable life. If we all aknowledged that and women who work full time did not strive to be primary caregivers or think they could or should be and didn't feel guilty over it - I think life would be easier. I always think of my mom as the most involved (overinvolved?), present and emotionally close parent I've ever met but recently I was really thinking about my childhood (most of which I don't remember)and realized that my mom was frequently not the primary caregiver, my grandparents played a very large role in addition to schools etc. I think grandparents/uncles and aunts/babysitters/nanies, some kind of resources need to be lined up when you have two parents that work - or even if one parent works part time or from home, you still need resources in addition to parents. We should all be kinder to ourselves.

    Not to mention that kids really don't stay kids forever. Being a SAHP is great if it suits your personality and family situation but it's a temporary thing and it's a positive thing to have a long term plan (even if you end up changing it) and spend some time researching what your options are likely to be in the future following the path you've choosen today.

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  34. Being a working mother is not an easy job. You have to juggle your business/work, your family, and everything in between all at the same time. It takes a lot of strength and determination to be a mompreneur.

    nyc moms

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