Some women just know they were born to be mothers. Others feel that it’s not for them. I’m neither – I just prayed I’d find my soul mate and not wither away in my NYC studio apartment watching Lifetime movie marathons.
As luck has it, I met Mr. Right and had 2 amazing children. Am I happy with my choice? Hell, yes. Do I feel that every woman needs to experience this to feel whole? Absolutely not. And I actually commend women who choose not to have kids because they don’t have that maternal need, rather than procreate to fit into that societal norm. I’m sure these women will have many rich experiences that would never be possible if they had children.
Amy Glass is entitled to her opinion, for sure (in “I Look Down on Young Women With Husbands And Kids And I’m Not Sorry”). When referring to mothers, she writes: “If women can do anything, why are we still content with applauding them for doing nothing?”
Insert gasp here.
As a working mom, I feel the need to clarify some things:
- Our higher self isn’t always found at work. Although work can be exhilarating, there are plenty of times it’s just mundane, humdrum horseshit. Even in the most “exciting” of industries. I’m a writer in advertising, and I have found working on my kid’s cotton ball art project more creative and enlightening than a recent dreadful project I was working on. Not to mention, my little one was much more appreciative than my client
- Having children is the most challenging and fulfilling “job” I’ve ever taken on, with the hugest of consequences. I have the capacity to screw up a human life! How heady is that? It’s not all about making play dates, nuking some chicken nuggets, and doing laundry. It’s up to me whether my kid is headed towards Penn or the penitentiary. And if my kids excel, I do believe that will feel better than any “promotion” in the world
- Before I had kids, I didn’t get it. I was just a typical, single, ambitious 20-something living in NYC who was destined to conquer the advertising world. How cliché, I know. I resented those moms at work for dashing out at 5:00 while I could never get away which such a crime. “Are you taking a half day?” I would hear from some moron as I’m running out at 6:00 to get the last doctor’s appointment. It wasn’t fair. Little did I know that when these moms got home, their job had only just begun. At least when I left work, I was done. I was free
- I’ve seen my share of workaholic mothers who burn the midnight oil and never turn down a business trip. Are they just devoted workers who are doing what they need to do? Or are they running from the much harder job of homework, bedtimes, and tantrums? Just sayin…
I do agree that by choosing my path to have children, I have walked away from certain personal milestones I perhaps could’ve achieved on my own. Do I wonder about that? Sometimes. But I don’t feel that I’m any less of a person because of it. My 2 best accomplishments are 8- and 4-years-old, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
This post originally appeared at MommyUnplugged.