Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Unashamedly Politically Incorrect

I'm sorry if this is a little rambling. I've been rather sick for about a week now. I just have a few thoughts on the overdone career/mother debate.

Strangely enough, once upon a time I was the sort of girl who wanted a career. I wouldn't have minded in the least to have a stay-at-home husband while I earned the money. Time has a funny way of changing a person, though. I gradually became a person who wants nothing more than to stay home with my children, to teach them and play with them and love them. Now that I have made that change, however, I find myself trapped in a life of career and work. Is that not ironic?

As a result of being trapped by the feminist push, I have less sympathy than I ought for those women who want to work but pressure themselves into feeling like they have to stay home. I have achieved a level of compassion, but at the same time it fills me with frustration to see them tying themselves with strands of rope and then blaming everyone else for their predicament. (It's the men, the Church, society, culture, employers, etc.) "If only I could work and still stay home with my children, or, even better, be paid to just stay home." "If only other people would hand me praise for something that does not benefit them." "If only other people would validate my choices." "If only I could have my cake and eat it, too." Rather than growing up and realizing that adults often have to make decisions that require some level of sacrifice, people exhibiting these sorts of attitudes expect everyone else to make things work for them. They want the happily-ever-after without having to go through the dragon-slaying.

What many of these women forget is that companies are not paying for more family-friendly benefits because they do not see the value of them. If we mothers took responsibility to show companies the value such policies could add to a company's bottom line, more companies would implement these policies. Unfortunately, we sell ourselves into running the rat race like everyone else, thinking more time at work equates to good work. Those few of us who do get the opportunities to be more flexible often fail to provide equal returns, only proving the companies right in their nine-hour-per-day-work-week outlook.

I see mothers as faced with a choice of three options.
  1. Either choose one or the other and accept the price for either choice: a) work full time and realize your children will be raised by someone else or b) stay at home and realize you will lose career mileage, or
  2. choose to work with your company to achieve more flexibility, realizing you're going to have to work your tail off to prove the value of such an adaptation on their part.
Such are the realities of life. We mothers can either raise our chins, show some maturity and face those realities or we can continue to look like a bunch of whiners expecting everything to be handed to us on a silver platter.

One funny observation is that if all people in America were to follow the Proclamation on the Family, this problem would be a non-issue. But then, so many problems would be resolved were everyone trying to live the gospel of Christ.


  1. SR, just wondering, "if all the people in America were trying to follow the Proclamation," what do you think that would look like? All mothers staying at home? All companies offering concessions to working mothers? More work-at-home options for women/both sexes?


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