Feminists fight for social, political and economic equality – but why don’t we hear them fighting for physical equality? There’s no true equality if it is not sought in all arenas of power.
Most young women I know in their 20s all have the same “career vs babies” dilemma. It has in some cases turned into a battle of “settling”. Part of this is not wanting to “give up” something – but they seem to be forgetting how many amazing, irreplaceable things they will be gaining. Some of those things a man can never experience. Many men may say “lucky for me”, but why as women would we throw these privileges and for-women-only positions away?
I understand some women are career driven and ambitious, and less interested in children and family life. And that’s fine by me. I just can’t imagine deciding as a career woman to start a family, and decide to have both. If you threw your all into your career before this moment, you knew the feelings of pride and success and power that comes with putting 100% of your self into it. Why then, would you want to stop putting that in, dropping to 50%, with the other 50% being for the baby. You are a strong, intelligent, furiously competitive and hard working woman. Why then, would you want to do two things at half your full capacity?
Another side of the debate comes down to money, or lack thereof. The amount of women I have met who work and their salary just covers the cost of day care is astronomical, and I always wonder why they choose to do this – if you chose to procreate, and working makes no obvious improvement to your finances, why not be the day carer yourself?
Six years break from any career is manageable, and rearing children full time is a worthy job – I’m not even a mother yet and I am definitely in this camp. It is hard work, long hours, physically straining, mentally exhausting – but endlessly rewarding.
The longer I work in the education system the more I worry about how many children are raised by strangers – they are safe and usually lovely people – but they aren’t mum or dad.
How do you know what morals are being passed to your infant, in small unnoticeable ways? What personality traits are being changed bit by bit? They can become your child’s primary caregiver, a title and responsibility I wouldn’t want anyone but myself (or partner) to hold.
These are the small ways in which you can impact on your child for those first six years, sending them off on their first day of school proud and happy that you’ve done all you can to prepare them for this day – it’s not that you want them to simply survive this day, using their wits and defences: it’s that you want them to flourish, to make the right choices, to make friends, to be successful.
If it means we resort to our men folk bashing us on the heads and dragging us to their caves to procreate, and tying me to a stove with a baby on my hip, then so be it.
I refuse to let modern Feminism make me feel bad about this intrinsically animalistic urge, and I refuse to feel bad that I count being a mother more important than chasing my career.
I only get one shot at life, and being a mother who makes a positive impact, is one thing I won’t be able to re-do.