Know your role

2/20/2008

Today I had an incident happen at work I won’t go into details but I will say it got me to start thinking about women and our quest to “have it all”. I consider myself to be a pretty independent thinker I grew up with a mom who was home most of my early childhood but went back to work when I was around 12 (I think I can’t even remember anymore) and for her that is what she wanted.

I am the complete opposite of my mom I suppose she didn’t want the “homemaker” role and while I truly enjoy working outside of the home I want the best of both worlds I want to work as well as cook, bake, clean and spend as much time as possible with my family. I lucked out that I work for a company that appreciates that and has been flexible with my hours so that I could achieve this important balance. I think though I am out of the norm.

I believe women in general want the best of both worlds but is that fair? Is it fair to pick and choose those things we want to portray as what we believe a woman to be. Is it also fair to demand women “know their role” and stay that path. Can woman have it all? Can we take only the good things that we want and leave those parts we believe to be demeaning on the side? In a perfect world maybe.

Am I wrong to be realistic and know that while I for the most part have gotten to pick the best parts traits of woman over the last 50 years; a woman who sews for her children on the weekend but climbs the corporate ladder on the weekdays, I will have to deal with some of the traits that some believe no longer makes us equal with men?

And not to say that these stereotypes are not prevalent to men as well. I had a rather heated argument with a man who believes that any man who takes care of his children is not really a man that he must truly want to work to be a financial provider to his family to make him feel complete. I find that asinine but that is me. I know that too many a man who is a nurse, nanny, or preschool teacher is thought odd because those are typical “female roles” we have a lot of growing yet to do.

While I may buck the system in my own ways and work to create a new “role” for my own self I know there will be set backs and I am ok from picking myself up not letting my pride to be bruised and go forward.

Thanks for reading; I promise I will stay off my soap box for awhile.


This lovely photo can be found here.

4 Comments:

Mellissa - wondermommy said...

I understand where you are coming from. I respect all working women. My mom worked her hiney off and still does, but she truly loves what she does. She found her place.

My place is at home. I hate that in this society that women can't choose what they want to be. I feel put down for choosing to stay at home, even among other SAHMs.

I think everyone has the right to choose what fits their lives the best whether you be man or woman. Everyone has to follow their own path.

I think it is great that you are finding your way. Just remember, it doesn't matter what other people think as long as you and your family are happy.

HobbyMommy said...

Oh so many thoughts on this. My husband and I were married 14 years ago. I taught special education 7 of those years and knew I couldn't teach and then come home to my own little people. So we waited to have the little people. The year I had my son I was able to get a part time position as a disablity specialist at one of the local colleges. It was the BEST job I ever had. I loved it, but then my son kept getting sick in daycare and our doctor asked if I could stay home with him. So I did and got pregnant with my daughter. I LOVE the time I spent at home with them and all the domestic things that go along with being the parent at home. My husband and I decided I should never go back to work. I just always felt a bit bad that I wasn't contributing financially. Last October I was contacted about the same disability specialist job and it was a really hard to think about going back. In the end I was able to negotiate flexible hours, some work at home, a laptop and summers off. I'm amazed at how hard just 15-20 hours a week really is. I don't have a clue as to how any woman does this juggling act full time. It has been good for me to get out and work again, but I've had to let go of so many things! I agree with wondermommy that it doesn't matter what others think. It is all about your own happy family. That is where we are in HobbyLand!

Rita in TX said...

We women can do it all, just not at once. That is where we have become confused. I have two little boys and decided to leave work to concentrate on what to me is my most important job, raising these two little guys.

I always think what I want on my gravestone. "She was a great scientist" or "She was a loving wife and mother". I could care less about being remembered for doing some job.

The thing about your kids is that you will never get those years back, and they grow up so soon. Biologically speaking, your job is raising those kids, and after that is done everthing else is icing on the cake!

Stefanie said...

No, women can't have it all do it all be it all. NO. They cannot. If they try, something gives.
Usually, in my experience it is themselves.
It is unrealistic for anyone to be expected to hold two full-time jobs and do even one of those jobs well.
A person at home, rather man or woman, earns a substantial salary, try checking wikipedia.
It is about priorities and what is best for the family.
As for myself, here is a shocker-
I don't want to do it all.
I would rather do one thing well.

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