Family or career?
This is by far the most frequented question in a young woman’s mind. Someone once told me to gear up because as a woman you will be judged for having children and for not having children, that double-edged sword of womanhood cutting deeply on both sides.It was astonishing for me to discover the veracity of her hypothesis.
The world is so pre-occupied with labeling us because you are either a career-stricken Godzilla woman with no motherly bone in your body or you are as close as it comes to a baby factory. And certainly the most cherished breed of them all, the sheroe who does it all, mother and COO.
There isn’t even a breath for thought, does anyone ever bother to ask what do we really want? Which ironically is the question the world pivots men to ask themselves. The very question that enables self-actualization and it is only offered to half the population. If society is just tantamount to oneness how is this defaulting model of the world supposed to ever work? When half of us are set up to fail from the get go.
Feminism has come a long way to ensure women are free from gender-based discrimination but what about gender-based mentalities that are discriminatory? What about the women who do not fit into the categories and boxes laid out. Some of our dreams and aspirations are too curved and big to box up .Isn’t nature already hard enough as it is putting us on a timer for reproduction do we really need the anguish from everyone else.
The biggest challenge with this particular type of discrimination is that as women we are guilty of being the biggest offenders. The most callous judgments on other women and their reproduction emanates from us. And why?
Why must we relentlessly crucify each other and pass on the dreaded task onto our daughters garrulously discussing issues that were never ours to debate about? The tradition of this crucifixion is so deeply set into our psyche that before it is pointed out to you, this elaborate demonic critique continues on.
Children and careers are both the ingredients to happiness, why then must I choose and have to explain or apologize for my choices?To what end is this ridiculous trial? Or worse yet tear myself nearly into two trying to do both simultaneously. Or worry tirelessly about the number of children to have, when to start and the entire charade.
According to me there should be no trade-off, do what you can and most importantly what you want. Allow yourself to follow the rhythm of life that your body directs you to (after all the blue print for personal success is as unique as DNA )without the excessive and unnecessary outside input that is hardly ever helpful. Do not try to do it all because that is simply an impossibility, if you are not at work then you cannot agonize about it and so goes for your children. Accept the position you are in as of now, try to better it if you see the need and enjoy that moment without thoughts of ‘what ifs’ and what have you. You can only do one thing at one time anyway.
Children are definitely a gift on a higher level and if you are gifted ensure that you enjoy it thoroughly but if not then enjoy the other gifts of life because they are there and they’re many, sometimes all you have to do is open your eyes.
But most importantly as a mother, daughter, sister, girlfriend stop the dreaded trade-off conversation there is no cost-benefit analysis here and life is not a spreadsheet and you cannot treat it as such especially at the expense of my piece of mind.
In the words of Magic(Canadian band), just let your hair hang down God knows you deserve it.