I am grateful to have choices and as much freedom as this country can afford me. I well up knowing the freedoms I have. I am a female with a supportive husband and community. My husband is not only financially supportive, he is supportive of the choices I make and most any decision I come to. Just as importantly my family and community are there for me when I need them.
That being said, I’d like to kick the person in the teeth that said you can have it all. You can have it all but the thing they left out was you can’t have it all at the same time and without real support.
You cannot be June Cleaver and Mary Barra simultaneously. Which was the inference I understood when I began to internalize feminism. The option to do it all is there but the things we need to do it all at the same time is not part of that gift. Most women are born to nurture, even if we’re not, our culture assumes that the burden and joy of childrearing still lands squarely on us. At the same time, we are gifted with the drive and ambition to make a difference in the world outside our families.
I have come to this acceptance. It’s been a hard journey and quite frankly it’s made me sick, depressed and riddled with anxiety. I worked very hard to create a successful business before my children came along. I put all my drive and ambition into it and did quite well. Since then, I have worked hard in becoming comfortable knowing that I add to this world by raising children who are kind, empathetic and loving. I take the inherent drive and put it into our farm, where I can include my children’s homeschooling into lessons every day, while bringing in an income. Although outside of the box, it’s working for me.
I am coming to understand that the real gift of feminism is that whatever a woman decides to do IT’S OKAY and you should feel comfortable in that. If you decide that your efforts will go into a career, IT’S OKAY. If you choose to do some combination of career and mothering and you feel healthy in that IT’S OKAY. If you choose to stay home with your children, you should feel proud in that and when the inevitable question is asked “Do you work?”. You reply “Hell yes I work. I work hard raising children who are kind and empathetic and who are more thoughtful than to ask that question”.