Hi Everyone! I continue to scratch my head to figure out why we as women continually believe we have to choose between family and career.
In my case because I know the workings of academia are unlikely to change anytime soon, so I won't be shooting for being department head one day to make sure I have time for my career and family. But often I read that women feel they need to give up their careers to be effective parents? Why? Can you not be true to own goals and dreams AND family at the same time? I certainily think so! The only issue I see is that sometimes the pendulum swings 30/70 in the direction of family, and sometimes it's the reverse. Does the acceptance of this fact make me a terrible parent? Absolutely not!
I'd say if there's anything that needs to change is that we shouldn't allow the men in our lives to leave the onus of raising family primarily up to us. They were there when this family got created, right? Men also need to DEMAND that their employers give them the same "parental" rights that women have. I think this is key for us to be truly happy as professional working women and mothers!
As an aside, I used to tell my ex-husband that if he would wash the dishes after we ate dinner, I'd be more in the "mood" (you'd be suprised how HUGE a help removing this one little chore was for me in terms of my energy level!). A few months into our marriage, I was still washing dishes and he was still longing for more "special attention". Lets' just say that it wasn't too much longer before he "got it" and in the end, everyone ended up with a big smile at the end of the day!
I couldn't agree more. Sometimes I hear mothers who are also professionals tear themselves up so much about how hard the balance is and how they want to stay at home so that a stranger won't be raising their children that I feel guilty about NOT feeling guilty when I leave for work each day.
When we had our daughter 2 years ago I had no idea how I would feel about continuing to work once she came. Fortunately we were in a position where I could stay home if I had wanted to, and I warned my husband that if that was how I felt, then that is what I would do. But I waited and waited and that feeling never came. I love my daughter more than life, but I have yet to have the feeling that I'm cheating her or my job. But so many women do feel that way that I sometimes wonder if there's something wrong with me to NOT feel that way.
I know a lot of stay at home mothers who quit their jobs as doctors and lawyers and they look at those of us still working with either pity, bewilderment or contempt. When I was pregnant I thought I might join their ranks, but the pull to stay at home never came.
I am blessed with a magnificent husband who does far more than his share of the housework and parenting, and who worships every puff of breath that comes out of our little girl's mouth. We only have one child, which I'm sure must be infinitely easier than having a larger family. I'm sure these factors go an enormous way toward allowing me not to feel overburdenend.
But there is so much talk in the world about how awful it is to cheat your children by working that I wonder if I have a screw loose because I don't feel guilty and I don't feel an enormous desire to bag the career I spent so long training for. So I was very happy to see a posting by someone with a similar lack of urgency to stay at home.
I absolutely agree that any attitude on men's part that the woman must bear all or even a disproportionate amount of the work is abominable, Neanderthal, and utterly un-workable. I am shocked that there are any men under 45 still out there with such attitudes, and I am very happy to say that I only know one of them.
I see I have balthered on here at length, so I'll shut up now except to say SOLIDARITY with those who are happy with parenthood and career, and to ask if anyone does think it monsterous not to feel guilty about enjoying both. I am certainly open to criticism.
Iwould love to join this bandwagon! Since when are my hopes and dreams for my life supposed to take a second seat until I get my kids grown up? Why wouldn't I want them to see how I value myself by continuing my work even though I have them and am raising them? Every single one of my children have gone through a period where they wanted me to stay home and not work. My response to them was that if I stayed home with them then they would have to also stay home. They would have to not go to school or go to friends house because if they left me I would miss them way too much. Every one of them thought about it and decided that maybe I should go to work after all.
I hope that I am demonstrating to my children that I respect myself and understand my worth by not giving up my career to stay home with them. They know that I love them. I demonstrate it every day. They prefer me over everyone else. But they also seem to understand that I have this job that I also love and they seem to accept that I need to do that job as well. Maybe those who really do feel torn need to examine how much they want their career and if it is worth it all to them. It was definitely worth it to me and I have no regrets!
I'm so glad to see there ARE women who feel the way I do. While I'm excited to be in good company, it took a while to get any response to this thread. Plus, given how few responses there are, really makes me wonder if WE as women are more of the problem in getting the men in our lives to take more responsibility in helping us balance parenthood and career. :confused: