I JUST posted on the same topic! Women and men are different.
And IT IS OK. We are MADE THAT WAY.
I’ve been rolling around ideals about my identity for some time now. Struggling with my decision to stay at home. Struggling with the images I put in my daughter’s head. Struggling with a place for a strong, empowered woman in a traditional home context. I’m educated, I’m strong, I’m willful. I’m also a woman who cries, gets irrational and stays home to clean the house and care for her children.
And I no longer think these things are mutually exclusive.
I’ve recently started reading The Red Tent and find the role of women almost empowering. The community of females working together to care for the families; The work, actual hard labor, it requires to be in this role of caregiver: That alone is empowering.
But to find a group of women, online and in person, who share your views, help raise your children, walk through life with you: that is where empowerment becomes confidence. And while I appreciate, and admire, and respect and live up to, the role of being a strong woman, that does not include being a woman for woman’s sake or working in a job because “it is my right”. It’s also my right to choose to stay home, to care for my family and to be a woman.
Did you hear that? I’m ok with being a WOMAN. I’m ok with being a GIRL. I’m ok with having boobs and hormones and PMS. I’m ok with makeup and wine and shaving my legs. And I love that I’m a woman and that means I am not a man and I’m more emotional, hormonal, and social. I love that I care about hair and makeup. I’m ok with that. Being a feminist does not mean I have to be a lesbian or butch or equal to a man in every way, but rather as a New Feminist, a feminist of the 2000’s. It means I am strong, confident and capable with being a woman: A life-giving, home-making, emotional-at-times woman.
And that’s what I want to pass on to my daughter, who will enjoy not only equality but strength in who she is: a woman.
I JUST posted on the same topic! Women and men are different.
And IT IS OK. We are MADE THAT WAY.
I think we’ve actually gone back somewhat in time. We are back to the original women’s movement of the late nineteenth century when women were fighting for equal rights and equal opportunities.
The Feminism that evolved through the early and mid twentieth century is very different and is what created the perception of the militant feminist.
I’m going to think on this a bit…there’s a post here for me…
*nods* I too struggle with this issue as I will be going back to school but know that I want to stay home at least part time with any future babies I have. How do you even begin to balance the expectations of society and what you want? BUT! I am okay with it I know that I will do well in my choosen field(veterinary medicine.
Oh, and if you’re ever up this ways drop me a line!
OMG, this is such a loaded topic and I get dizzy when I think about what I want to say about it. Thanks for getting the ball rolling. I plan on posting about it at some point…the words are still swirling around in my head. I whole-heartedly agree and THEN SOME. I personally think something got screwed up in the 70s. I’m not exactly sure what, but somehow things got twisted and now it’s up to us (as in this generation) of WOMEN to set a different example for our children. As in it’s OKAY to be a Mother and a Wife and it’s fine to have a job where you don’t punch a clock and work for someone else’s agenda. (contrary to life in the 80s where perhaps some of our initial expectations might have been set.) Even when you’re a SAHM or a WAHM, you’re still the CEO when it comes down to it! <dammit!>
I have a son (but want a daughter some day) and I say the same thing about what I want to pass on to HIM. It’s also important what kind of role models we are to young men as well as the gals because they also have their place in the society’s views of women. All I can say about that is I thank God for my Mother-in-law and how she raised her sons because my husband is so supportive of everything I do and I just think a lot of that has to do with the relationship he has with his Mom. I always think that it’s super important to look at what kind of relationship a man has with his Mother. (Wish I had known that when I met my ex.) It was one of the things that sold me on marrying my loving husband. (His little sister - now SHE’s the force to be reckoned with!)
Anyhow, kudos to you, I hear ya roarin’ loud and clear!
One of the greatest benefits of the times we are living in is the ability to choose. Choose what is best for us… best for our families… best for our children. The fascinating thing about being unique individuals with unique personalities is, surprise! we all have unique needs too and what’s right for one family isn’t necessarily right for another. Although sometimes I feel pressure from one side or another to feel or be what “they” want, ultimately I’m the one who has to live with what I do and become. I’m really glad to live in a time and place where I can freely make those decisions.
Loved that book, by the way.
Right on, girlfriend.
*Some* people have a hard time believing that staying home is *actually* what I’ve always wanted. *Some* people think it’s not “feminist” of me to stay home.
GAH to those people!
I agree. I have a college degree and a full time job. I’d rather be home playing peek-a-boo and I’m ok with that.
There must be something in the water, I was having an internal struggle (that, OK, I outed on my blog) about being a SAHM yesterday but wondering what qualifies as a “career”.
And, yes, feminism is about choices, not 9 to 5. We have the option to check the “all of the above” box if we want to.
Right ON, my friend! As a Women’s Studies minor in College, I always struggled with the thought that I wanted to be a mom and stay home to raise my kids. I came to realize that believing in women’s rights & equalities means that you believe women can do ANYTHING they want. Including, being President of the US (maybe sooner rather than later) or being a SAHM.
And I’m so glad that you’re okay with wine. That, in and of itself, makes being a mom SO MUCH EASIER sometimes! :0)
Right on, momma. Personally, I think that’s exactly what the real feminist is: a woman who doesn’t mind BEING A WOMAN: this means understanding that we ARE different from men, and that’s just fine!
A little kid in the neighborhood recently asked me, “So, you don’t have a job?” The boy standing next to him (a few years older) responded before I could, “DUDE. She’s a MOM. She has a JOB to do ALL DAY LONG.”
That kid’s mom? RULES.
feminists get to make choices. I’m grateful I get to make a CHOICE. woot!
I think this is an ongoing struggle for many, if not most, women. I find it hard to be a career oriented professional at times. At least as hard as I find it to be an almost stay at home mom. I turn down work all the time in the professional world in order to keep my time away from my kids minimal. I get frustrated sometimes because I want to build my career, open a private practice, really DO IT the way I WANT to do it. But I have these two little ones that I’m obligated to.
Other times I want to bag my career for now and really give 100% to being a mom. Not have to divide my attention between work and kids, just REALLY DO the mothering thing. I get frustrated with work nagging at me almost constantly (I do all my administrative work from home office) and sometimes wish it would just go away.
If I try really hard I can keep it balanced. It works for me 95% of the time, and the reason it works for me is because I know I have choices. At any time I could decide to put my kids in daycare or public school and really do my career. At any time I could quit my career and really do motherhood. And at any time I could choose to maintain being a 30% career oriented professional and a 70% stay at home mom. Sometimes it’s actually the choice that becomes the struggle for me. I WANT TO DO IT ALL!
Apparently my current formula is working as I’ve maintained my current arrangement for 4.5 years. If I had to choose between work and my kids, I would choose my kids—no questions asked. And yet, I am quite thankful to have the choice despite the stress even that can sometimes cause.
I think the best we can do for each other as women and mothers, is support each other in figuring out what works best for each of us and our respective families. It’s not a one size fits all deal.
Clap, clap, clap. And I’m standing up too.
I am proud to be able to stay at home and raise our four kids. I have the rest of my life to work. If I want to. Great post!
Awesome post. I’m totally feeling you. I am often trying to figure out how to say this exact thing, and you’ve done it!
The Red Tent?? One of my favorite books of ALL time.
I absolutely agree with every single word of this post.
Brava, girlfriend. We totally think along the same lines.
I love that you’re giving yourself props about being a woman. But you’re not JUST a girl and a mom, you know? You’re a friend, an inspiration, a source of information for other mothers, AND you’re working - from home - and helping support your family. You’re doing so much more as a woman that you should be SO proud of. It’s a very cool thing that a stay at home mom can raise her family well AND bring in some bacon doing something she loves to do.
That’s the thing: teaching our kids to be OK with who they are, whatever that is.
Because so many of us are uncomfortable in our own skin, or feel guilty, or any of other emotions which take away our authenticity. Once we truly believe that we’re good, right where we are today (even if where we are is confused, since that’s just a stop on the path), then we’re truly powerful role models for our children.
Right on. Being a woman is so much better than being a man. Anything they can do, we can do better…
I have always felt that true feminism is a woman’s right to choose what she wants to do and be. And NO ONE should judge us SAHM any differently simply because we choose to stay at home and raise our children rather than juggle work and day care and family and motherhood.
I have a university degree and my GPA was over 3.8. I am not a dummy. I like to think that rather than a jane doe raising my child in day care, he will be raised by a highly intelligent woman.
Yay! I want to scream when someone questions my feminism because I stay at home. I MADE that choice! I do what I want, and my husband loves me for that. No one told me I have to stay at home. Screeeeeeeem!!!
Well hey, at least you’re not barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen again. It gets annoying after a while, especially when the hubby leaves the counters (that you continually bump into) sopping wet.
Love this! I agree that we women rock.
I loved the Red Tent. It made me feel empowered and made me want to embrace my womanhood.
Wow, what a great post to find as an introduction to your blog! When I first became an at-home mom a little over a year ago, I had this same issue. For the 1st six months I felt confused about if I were somehow letting down the women who had gone before me to create opportunities to excel in the work place. And I felt depressed a lot because I wasn’t *accomplishing* anything… hard to brag about the number of times you did laundry in a week or the money you saved by shopping frugally and menu planning.
Now though, I’m proud of myself. I am raising my children. I’m home when they get off the bus, I’m teaching my youngest to read, I’ve become an excellent cook and I manage my home. I can tell that my family’s life is better because I’m at home. Those are accomplishments to be proud of. And now I’m feeling my way as a new freelance writer… a career that won’t cause me to put my family LAST.
I think that’s the true meaning of feminism and having the right to make your own choice. To choose what works best for you and your family and your life and that is what I hope my husband and I will show my children (both sons and daughter).
Great topic. I’m definitely bookmarking your site to visit regularly.
Fabulous, my friend.
In my opinion, the true spirit of feminism is supposed to be the right to make the choices that we want, NOT what someone tells us they “should” be.
OTHER women, included.
I also would like to stay at home and spend more time with the children but can’t at the moment but am working on it for the future.
As a fellow educated, strong, confident, woman-of-a-daughter, YES! and, THANK YOU! I used to work at a career job with a nice paycheck. Then I (we) made the decision to have a family and I CHOSE to stay home with my baby(ies). And have been home for nearly 7 years now. And I’ve struggled with my identity because being home is hard on many levels. But at the same time, I couldn’t imagine having these kids and then leaving them all day for a job, just for the paycheck. I’m lucky - I don’t HAVE to work for a paycheck. My work is my family - at least for now. Later, we’ll see. That’s the beauty: I have a choice. And I no longer feel 2nd class about it. I’m teaching my daughter that she has choices, too. That I EXPECT her to be educated so she DOES have choices. That being a mom isn’t 2nd fiddle to working for a paycheck. That family is IMPORTANT and should be valued.
I also loved the Red Tent but read it so long ago I may need to give it a second read soon.
Its hard to silence all those voices in your head. All those voices that seem at constant struggle to get your attention to get their view across. But of course, nothing like a good glass (or bottle of wine) to help silence those voices and just be.
I decided a long time ago that I wasn’t going to be a SAHM or a WOHM. I wasn’t going to be a crunchy Mom or a traditional Mom. I wasn’t going to be anything except a MOM.
WooHoo! This is exactly what I want to pass on to my daughter.
But to find a group of women, online and in person, who share your views, help raise your children, walk through life with you: that is where empowerment becomes confidence.
That is so very true!
Amen Sister! I don’t have little girls but I def. will be teaching my boys about women and respecting them!
I find this subject a bit sensitive depending of who i am talking to. Regardless, I am proud to be a stay home mom. Been in both world (working mom and full time mom), it sums up to family priorities and personal growth (in that matter for my own). I’ve been criticized by some when i was a working mom and still get some not so nice comments to other women when i tell them my job is at home. Can’t please everyone but we can sure make our home happier. Love your site and your entry. Take care.
This is a great post, but I really must say one thing…
I am *not* okay with shaving my legs. I really hate it.
You make me want to move near you. Can we be neighbors?
10 guests here now.