I first posted this blog in December of 2008.
When I was a young girl, I had a single dream. I’d pour over the
Sears catalog dreaming of my future home, furniture, and wardrobe. My
dream was to go to college, have a successful career, and maybe when I
was in my mid-30s settle down and get married. But really I just wanted
to adopt a child. Well, two children. I never thought I needed a man, a
husband to be fulfilled.
Instead, I got married my sophomore year of college. The total
time my husband and I knew each other from meeting to wedding was 4
months. He was older, already a few years out of college and working in
his degree field. I was 18 when we met, 19 when we married. The next
spring Emma was born.
I kept up with college. I finished my associate degree in
marketing when Emma was a year old. Then we moved, bought a house, had
a car payment and daycare bills. I worked part-time while going to
school full-time. Then a promotion came, and I switched to full-time
work and part-time school. Now, nine years later, I am still trying to
finish my degree and have completely changed careers.
I still felt like I had the whole feminist idea down – I could do
it all! Work, go to school, be a good wife and good mother, daughter,
and granddaughter. Instead, I got stressed. Everything was suffering.
One of the hardest things I ever did was to admit I couldn’t do it all,
after all. Not well, anyway. And average just wouldn’t cut it for
So now I go to school a little less, have a job with regular
hours. I still try to do it all. I can’t help thinking lately, though,
that if I had the opportunity, as much as I enjoy my job I’d give it up
to stay at home. And when I realized that, I felt like a traitor. To
myself, to my dreams, to women everywhere.
Then I realized, feminism means we can make our own choices. We
can be an at-home mom, home when our kids get home from school. We can
work our butts off in a wonderful career.
We can do whatever we wish
with our lives.
If we could manage on one income, I think I would like to be at
home for a while. I could pick up Emma from school every day. I could
help her with her homework. I would be more prepared for Girl Scouts.
My house would be clean, laundry would stay put away, and neighborhood
teenagers wouldn’t be stopping by my house offering to rake the yard; it
would be done. But the nagging thought is still there – would I be
I admit, the few times I have been at home for a few months I was
slightly embarrassed when asked what I did. I cringed inwardly every
time I said “I’m not working.” I am ashamed of myself for that. Women
before me have worked too hard for that.