Over the years I have reluctantly learned to listen to my mom. When I say reluctantly, I mean kicking and screaming.
The other day she and I were discussing family miscellaneous, kids, etc. and I slipped into my whining over my guilt of not working. Am I being a good role model for the girls…..yadda yadda. Part of my concern stems from the example their birth-mom is setting; I feel like I need to be “Super Mom” to counteract “Super-Stupid Mom”.
The kids remember when I was “Single Mom” and did work. They know I owned my own home and bought my cute little red Nissan “all by my self”. Been there, done that…
Do not have the t-shirt because women in corporate America do not wear t-shirts! (Huff).
My mom in her usual infinite wisdom had this to say: “Your generation has taken things too far. You can’t spend an afternoon baking without thinking “how do we parlay this into a side business?”
“When did “You can BE ANYthing” translate into “You have to DO EVERYthing” ?”
Aaaaand mom is right. Again. One friend bakes for homeless shelters (not really a “business”) and another makes preserves to sell at her sister’s ice cream shop when she’s not at her 9 to 5 job in marketing or working on any of her freelance gigs. Over the weekend I took stock. My friends are all running themselves into the ground. The most talented jugglers can keep several balls in the air, but these chicks are approaching Cirque De Soleil level acrobatics!
We have not freed ourselves of the stereotypical, traditional “female roles” by any means; they’re just now part of a much longer list. Yes, once in a while it affords the luxury of a housekeeper or nanny. But most women I know are facing increased difficulties of caring for relationships, children/stepchildren, aging parents, daily chores due to compounded pressure of careers/re-building careers, home ownership and looming retirements.
Efforts to be independent have created workaholic slaves. The American Dream! I’m fortunate enough to be in an area where the SAHM (stay at home mom) is quite prevalent and I am surprised at how much I am enjoying it. I am also surprised at the degree of difficulty involved – going to work was easier!And I am not forgetting the men, working more hours than ever and coming home faced with the same unfinished house and yard work…
Which lead me to another pondering: With all our modern conveniences and two adults pitching in, why are our lives even more difficult and time-consuming? Hm, I’ll have to come back to that…
Don’t misunderstand me. There are thousands of women who very successfully balance work and home and I applaud them. And sympathize….when I look back on my single mom experience, I don’t remember sleeping. So many women thrive in the dual environment. Are there statistics, I mean, how many of these “kickin ass n takin’ names” women live/work within close proximity to a quality coffee house as I did then?
I only wish, in a perfect world, more parents had the choice. Yup, there it is, my steady diet of Disney “Happily Ever After” movies rears its ugly head once again.
photos: xkcd.com and annetaintor.com