Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Case for the Stay at Home Mom: CHOICE

My husband recently shared and article with me: "Elite Women Put a New spin on Debate"
It's about high exec women who are starting to say that being 80% responsible for the children's care ad 100% responsible for a job and 80% responsible for household management just mathmatically doesn't work. It may not be "having it all". It may not be what it is all cracked up to be.The feminist movement may have, in fact, enrolled millions of women into an idea of a lifestyle of constantly being overwhelmed, feeling inadequate and resentful. They aren't saying the latter part out loud yet, that was my doing, but as a former business owner with two children and now three, I can see now that that was there for me. I thought I wasn't good enough unless I was doing it all. And that had me not satisfied with anything.

Many Moms were that way before, dissatisfied and resentful, of course, being the stay at home Moms and handling all there is to handle in raising human beings to be responsible and a contribution to society. The job is humongous on it's own....and at one point that job for women occurred to us a "have to". We "had to", we had no other choice.

And in the past 60-100 years we women have added new dimensions into our expectations of ourselves that many are seeing now don't serve us as women and our families. We are grateful to have choice now....and some choose to not partake in the corporate world while raising children.There is nothing old fashioned or non feminist about that either.

Steven King was asked what defined success and he said "I define success by how interested I am in the thing I am currently doing."

In other words by how present, lit up and alive he how much fun he is having in the moment.

The debate need not be about judging others, but looking to ourselves. How interested am I as a Mom in what I am doing? How successful do I feel as a Mom? Or as a working Mom? Whether we take on corporate or entrepreneurial endeavors as well, how interested are we right now in the moment in doing only what we are doing? Are we choosing what we are doing?

As a corporate or entrepreneur Mom of young children especially, this is incredibly challenging. It just doesn't work to be present and lit up by a conference call when the baby is screaming for a diaper change. It just doesn't work to be interested in the droning on of co workers at endless meetings when we are feeling guilty about not being able to stay home with a sick child. It just doesn't feel successful to yell at your child for demanding something when you have a deadline to meet and they don't understand that. I have been there. We may be able to put the pull of our children aside for a few hours and accomplish something and feel good about that, but in the quiet hours of the night we wake up, feeling like we missed something, and wondering how much we matter in the guidance of our child's development.

We women are compelled to focus on more than one thing at a time, and we often do, but we are most fulfilled, feel most accomplished and effective when we are present to one thing at a time....and to what matters to us most. It is a lot more fun, too.

I submit that we women work because we want to provide for our kids, so what really matters is not the work, but the kids. We also want to feel fulfilled and accomplished, and doubt ourselves that we will feel that way being "just a Mom". What possibilities in partnership open up when we trust our husbands to provide and we trust ourselves to nurture our children?

We all get to be present to what really matters to us.

For the child to have their mother to be present and curious about them, to gaze at them, listen, and hear about the world through their sparkling eyes...and then to whisper those stories to your husband before sleeping, has him filled with purpose and pride that he provided that.

To be home when they are sad and distraught after a school tiff on the playground IS having it all.

To go on an adventure with your child on a Tuesday to the beach, to volunteer at their schools and see them learn and grow or to manage the budget on one income so you can go on a camping vacation and let the boys dig in the dirt for hours....IS having it all.

To choose to live on one income, where ever that works, and create partnership in the marriage where each partner's role create trust, support and dependability as the foundation, IS having it all.

To be present to the concept that to be a working Mom is not a "have to" but a choice is meant to be liberating, not create guilt...that inside that choice there is actually possibilities and freedom, trust in the abilities of your husband and your self, and relatedness with your child.

To be the Mom available for snuggles, comfort, complaints to be heard and stomachs to be filled, to be open to be crawled on and tattled to, to be relied on to find things and wash stuffed animals, to be THE One that is always there for your children is fullfilling beyond any amount of money or recognition. In being present to our children we are present to the greatest gift we have to give, ourselves.
The fact is, that CHOOSING to be a stay at home Mom means sharing in the greatest adventure of all with your children, LIFE.
THAT is having it all.

Zen Honeycutt

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful! I love reading your words and peaking into your brain through this blog! xo