Saturday, April 2, 2011

Fan. Tas. Tic.

I rarely feel "Mom Guilt" when I leave my children for my paid gig as a nurse. Every once in a while I will feel bad when Scrunch asks if she can come with me, but she quickly forgets when she realizes my temporary replacement. They are with their Papa and he's lots more fun. Even if her bows don't match. Or her pants to her shirt. Or the pants to the socks. He's taught her to put her shoes on the right (and left) feet, so that makes up for things like that. Porkchop is easier to dress, but he doesn't speak English yet so it complicates things a little. He handles them just fine without me and with even more patience, I think.

I had to make a quick stop by the office on Thursday to review some new changes that will affect charting, billing, and reimbursement. I wore heels, got to talk with other adults, and to visit with co-workers who have become my friends.  I loved it. I felt like a productive member of society. Amazing what a blow dryer and some gloss will do to the psyche. While I was there I was informed that there were two new positions available that would not involve direct patient care, and I might be eligible to apply. When another nurse who has usually only ever seen me in scrubs saw me dressed up she asked if I was there to apply for the job. My supervisor overheard the conversation and quickly piped up. "No. She doesn't want the job. She wants to stay home to raise her kids. And who can blame her!?"

I felt validated in that maybe had I wanted it I would have been a competitive candidate, but I would be lying to say I wasn't bummed. What if I had wanted it? Do I want it? I even called Husband on the way home to make sure we really didn't want this. It would more than double our household income and bust open doors professionally for me. I hemmed and hawed all day long about it. When Porkchop had a blow out I thought about it. When I was dragging dripping laundry over the side of the washer into the dryer I thought about. When I spent two whole days feeling like I was going round in circles and getting nowhere in the housework, I thought A LOT about it.

Thank goodness I remembered what it was like to be on the fast track in a different path. Not like I was an attorney or Senator or anything, but at twenty two I was offered and took my first nursing management position. I hated it. I tried it again a year later and when I gave my notice that time I was offered an Assistant Director of Nursing position. But I left anyway because I really didn't like that either. I had a really good job, was literally making a difference, and making good money, but it just wasn't cutting it.

One of the hardest things to accept and balance for me since becoming a mom is falling into the lie that it has to be one or the other. If you choose to raise a family then everything you aspire to doing and becoming needs to be placed on hold. Lame. Why would anyone choose scraping diapers over anything? But if you choose not to then you are rejecting what was inherit to our nature and you'll screw up an entire generation. Great! Who wants that on their conscience? You can't win for losing. Do I want to be a feminist ready to rock the world or is barefoot and pregnant the goal? It's frustrating, and it occupies my thoughts.

Thank goodness I'm not the only one. I stumbled across one of THE best essays on the subject. You should read it too. It is my latest gift from the Internet.

Steel to Gold: Feminism vs. Stateswomanship

Post edit:

Oh, and the role of a woman or mother is not exclusive to having a husband and popping out babies. It is so much more than that. I'm telling you if you don't read this, you'll have missed out. It's really, really good stuff.

"For me, a mother is any adult woman who mentors youth, who helps them grow into contributing, happy adults. There are as many ways to get involved as there are women, but all of us must do it. And the marital or maternal status of a woman has nothing to do with her fully participating in this mission."

"Much to the dismay of the die-hard Modern Feminists, Reactionary Feminism and Anti-Feminism are growing. Conservatives are thrilled with the trend as more and more young women choose to have families, but in reality there is a big problem with this trend.
The truth is that many Reactionary and Anti-Feminists, who tend not to rant against men and who really like being mothers, are still conflicted. The competing voices have left them doubting, frustrated, wondering if they missed “what could have been . . . .” And this is the big lie, the real tragedy of Modern Feminism.
By defining a controversy between being a fulfilled career woman contributing to society on the one side, and an unfulfilled, barefoot and pregnant house wife on the other, Modern Feminism has convinced our generation that women must choose between home, hearth and family and societal leadership. The result is that as young women choose home making, they stoically turn inward, focus on their own family, work on the side or stay home, and wistfully watch the world move on without them."

1 comment:

Myhappybliss said...

You are a beautiful Mom, and I totally agree we can have it all, if we choose to. I am a mom, and I stay at home most of the time, I teach Massage so I can do it when I want to, I still contribute to this world when I can, but its not my priority. I consider myself a mom first and I am happy. Yes, working is fun and I do enjoy it. And even though being with my crazy son all the time sometimes makes mommy a cranky person, I would never change my life.

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