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Curse of the Feminist Movement-June 16, 2011

Starting in 1848 with the first women’s rights convention and still going now with President Obama signing the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act the Feminist Moment has been a major change and driving force over the last 150+ years. Living for only the past 30 of those I have a hard time even imagining what it was like to be a woman back then.

However, somewhere a long the line equality came to be defined as equivalent. Somehow we went from the right to vote to the right to be and do everything. I completely agree that a woman can vote, fly a plane, be a doctor, be president and drive a car just as good as a man. It is just that this change has brought with it many more expectations to being a woman. To be a woman used to require the ability to sew cloths, bake bread and care for babies (I can’t really do any of these things). Adding women, mothers especially to the work world has created lots of internal conflict in the minds of women and in the workings of the family. I believe a woman can do any job but I struggle with the conflict it creates in a mothers mind.

I have worked full time, worked part time from home and been a full stay at home mom over the last 7 years of raising my kids. Each one of these has been frustrating in someway because I like both the work and home world and can‘t do both at the same time. I have read lots of articles and there is lots of strong feelings on the subject. There is no good balance for mothering and working. (some people claim they have reached it but I don’t know if they sleep). I loved working, loved my job, the challenges and the adult interaction. But, I felt guilt every day I sent my daughter off to daycare. We went through 3 daycares in 18 months of me working full time and there was stress, issues and expense.

But staying home with my kids has been a huge challenge. I have never been good with kids or really liked them much (still only can handle a few besides my own). There were and are lots of days I feel trapped, lonely, and crazy. Still, I am really glad I have chosen to stay home. I have grown and learned with my kids. I get to hear their stories first and see discover new concepts. I am working with my son learning to read and do basic math and it is awesome to see it click and see his excitement. Still, I miss working.

I love and respect mothers that work. Everyone has to work through these challenges themselves. For myself and what I believe I feel kids need their mothers. Different situations and challenges create different needs (like single parenthood) but I think it is sad that 2 parents work so that they can have enough money to give the children everything they deserve. Kids need their mothers more than dance and piano. They need their mothers more than a big house or even their own room. They need them more than movies, fancy vacations or new cars. That is what kids need, but what about what mothers need?

This curse makes simplicity in parenting so hard. There is guilt created on both sides that often just lives silently inside a woman’s head. It is no wonder that women are so stressed and suffering physically because of it in greater and greater numbers.

Hence the curse of the feminist movement. Creating the ability to do anything but not creating the time or energy to do any more than before.

I have no answers on this one, just calling out an benefit to women and a enemy of simplicity.

….. On a side note, monetarily speaking I save more than my husband makes. Well into the 6 figures J (and this is a few years old, I couldn’t find the updated numbers) http://salary.com/sitesearch/layoutscripts/sisl_display.asp?filename=&path=/destinationsearch/par639_body.html

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