Friday, October 13, 2017

Why being a working mom is no longer a choice and what women are doing about it....

(I wrote this a few weeks a go and didn't post it....)

My birthday is on Sunday and usually this time of year I get really reflective.  However, since I've been home with the kids my perception of time is so different from when I was working.  I rarely know what day it is and I've been far less focused on the future.  Instead of being reflective, I'm like oh it's October?  As someone whose struggled with wishing life away, I am really happy about this.  For awhile I've wanted to write a post about being a working mom, but every time there's just so many things.  Instead I've resorted to a few (really long) bullet points.  I'm sure I'll return to the topic again.

1.  My life has somehow epitomized feminism.  In the past I've not only believed I could do the man's job.  There's lots of time I've known I could do it better and I've done it.  At the very least I've always believed that women should have the choice if they want to work.  The power of choice is so powerful, but I'm afraid this feminism movement is no longer about choice.  The pendulum has now swung so far toward working women that unless your husband makes a considerable amount of money, a working mom you are.  No choice involved, because you've got to make ends meet, and now days you can get a job fairly easily. Oh an you just get paid slightly less than men.  This has become so bad that we have an entire franchise called The Housewives name it.  Are these the only women staying home now?  Where has the choice gone?

I was speaking to my grandmother about it.  She had seven kids and stayed at home.  A women who I feel strongly lived life fully.  She was heavily involved in politics, her religion and most of all her children.  My mom is an exceptional pianist and seamstress because of this women.  She also explained to me how tight things felt when she was at home.  They planted a garden and bottled food because gosh, they have seven kids to feed.  She sewed clothes when she had to and sat down each week and worked that family out a budget.  I don't say all this for you to admire my grandmother.  I only say this because I don't see as many women out there making this choice anymore.  Feminism or maybe consumerism has somehow taken it away.  Now shouldn't there be a franchise about the women going this route.  I think I could make one, it's called - Mom's who start their own business out of necessity. 

2.  Flexibility, gosh if a mom is going to work isn't this the golden word.  I remember how strongly the men in my office offered up the flexibility of our career as a trophy.  I worked in Park City and many would hit the slopes, golf, or do whatever manner of things they truly loved when things were slow.  I found flexibility is a man's career intriguing.  There is no way a women would hit the slopes when things were slow.  There's an entire house at home to clean, grocery shopping to be done, and in my case I often found myself running to the outlets to pickup the boys socks, or a winter coat long after it snowed.  Thank goodness for that flexibility and I really did love it, but flexibility for a man and women are different and I really wish that people would stop trying to make them one in the same.  Separate, but equal feels slightly better to me but I'm not even sure how I feel about that.  I have an extremely hands on husband who jumps in, especially when it comes to helping with the boys, but when I was working there was nothing equal about our work loads.

This flexibility I spoke about, toward the end of my working days became harder to navigate.  The boys had a number of doctor appointments.  Mason was struggling with ear infections and his tummy issues.  Caldwell needed to go to Primary Children's to get his legs checked out.  I laid it all our there about doctor appointments and of course my boss was great about it.  Family first he'd say. Until his wife came into the office one day and asked, "gosh, can't your husband take the kids to the doctor sometimes. You've sure been gone a lot."  That comment crumbled me.  It was obvious my bosses frustration with my absence has manifested through his wife.  First off, it wasn't her place to say, but this comment was the first time I started to believe I could make a different choice.  It took 5 years! Also, I was deeply concerned for my kids at the time and the tears flow again as I write this.  I wanted to be at those appointments.  In fact, there was no way I was going to miss them.  This flexibility these men had all bragged about wasn't flexibility.  It was them doing whatever they wanted and I learned quickly that as a mother and women you often don't get that choice.  I wouldn't learn until later what a blessing this truly is.

3.  That brings me to my last topic.  Sorry, I told you this was long, but it's the issue of Mormon mom's, or mom's in general being kick butt business owners and mommy bloggers.  There's a part of me that didn't fully realize what was happening with these women.  But I consider them today to be the new force, pulling the pendulum back to the center.  I'd like to propose for a second what a great small business owner or mommy blogger my grandmother would make today.  She's scrappy and paid her tithing, so when they needed something more she would have come up with a way to make it happen for her family and I believe that's exactly what these women are doing, and they are doing it with the real flexibility mothers need.  Today, making your own clothes isn't cost effective and I have no idea about growing your own food, even though I do have a garden.  But what I do know is that the Lord provides a way for you to have the ideal.  Isn't that what all those genius little mommy ideas are about, whether their Mormon or not?.  A way to have the ability to choose your family first and still make ends meet.  I hear on the news all the time that they wish more women would become CEO's.  I can't help think to myself.  Why run a man's company when you can run your own company and be their fully for your family! I don't know what this looks like for me, but I have full faith I will figure it out and I'll get my ideal because that's what feminism is all about to me.

Last years pumpkin patch picture because this year....I didn't even try!