Sunday, November 21, 2010

To Be Or Not To Be

I've been seriously questioning myself lately on what it is I want for myself. Where I want to go. Who it is I want to be. And I have to admit that I am still as confused as always. Its no secret that for the past year I have been saying that I truly wish to raise my own children within my home, cook and clean and keep my home beautiful for my husband and children. Now at first (and still, to some who I haven't spoken about this before) friends and family look at me like I am absolutely crazy. Admittedly, I don't blame them. I have in the past been a very outspoken supporter of equal rights between men and women, so it wasn't unusual for people to ask me if I was a feminist (which I would deny, saying simply that I just want equality within our society). So jumping from assumed feminist to wishful homemaker had tons of people wondering if I had lost my mind. Some of them told me it was a phase (just like my Gothic one), some told me I would want to get out of the house ASAP and I was kidding myself if I thought I would want to stay home with screaming brats all day long (not because they would be brats because they were my children, but rather because all children are brats). Many people also said that it would be extremely difficult, see impossible, in our current economy to have one parent stay at home long-term. Some told me that if I wanted to become a slave to my husband and children, then it was my business, but maybe I should also give up voting and wear skirts every day to go along with my new found mentality (true story). All that to say, the response I received was largely negative.

But why was that? How come people are so against the idea of a woman staying home if she so chooses? Is it in remembrance of days when we didn't have a choice in this matter? It seems people are now afraid that because I look at a more traditional role I am dooming all of womankind to the same choice, that I am not appreciating the sacrifices of the suffragettes, all the women that defied society and the men that ruled them to offer us a more diversified future where we could make choices for ourselves. Well I say that there is nothing more liberating then the idea of being able to raise my children, instill in them our values, our way of life, etc rather than having a daycare educator see them 8-9 hours a day, teaching them what I would not. I will bear my children in me for 9 months, then in pain give birth to them. Why is it such a foreign desire to take over their education? Not only will I be doing so, but they will be seeing me running my household and doing all of that which is needed to have a beautful home. What better way than this to instill in them what I wish for their future, to give a message to my daughters that this is a possible way of life, and to my sons how much work the stay-at-home parent must do in order for this home to be possible. That I, as a parent, would become my children's role model, the person to emulate, is I think any parent's wish for their own children. But how can this be so when from, say, 9-5, children are with daycare educators. Then when work is done mom or dad goes to pick them up, rushes home, makes supper, cleans up after supper, and has scant hours to make lunches, do bathtime, and then its time for bed. That is not including all the stress one might have from work, which is brought home. How can anyone have any time to teach their children what is truly important to them? I don't want this for my children, for myself, or for my husband (to be). And I can make it otherwise, and I have the inclination to do so? So WHY so much negativity?

As for the people that tell me that I will never be able to afford living in this way, I have to say, everything is possible. In this day and age, where each child has an X-BOX, a Wii, a PS3, a laptop, a TV in each room, where children are taken to McDonalds for supper every second night because mom and dad are just too worn out to make supper, where family vacation means Walt Disney World resorts, having only one parent working seems to be nightmarish, and doing so willingly could sound like insanity. However, and the more I think upon this the more I appreciate my childhood, I was raised in a household that didnt have all that. We never went to Disney land, we didnt have a TV or a computer in each room (thankfully) and we very rarely ate outside of home. But we had each other, we had a strong family that sat down with each other for supper and talked rather than everyone seperating into their respective bubbles, or rushing to eat to move on to the next task to be completed. And best of all, when we did do something out of the ordinary, my sister and I were so thankful and appreciative of it. And this is what I see lacking in so many children, teenagers, and young adults that are given everything. I was privileged to live a life where I saw all the sacrifices that my parents went through, to see the hard work that is needed to keep a home clean and the fridge full (I appreciate my mother so much more now that I have my own household, and see it even more). And I want that sense of respect and thankfullness within my chidren. So what if we probably wont be able to afford the latest toys and gadgets? I choose family suppers or PS3, any day and every day.


  1. I hear you! I very much agree that most of the time women are probably threatened if they've been enriched by our present educational system and opportunities (and what woman here and now hasn't?). I think though it's also that sometimes people are offended on some level if they've made different choices and feel guilty, or on behalf of their own mothers, if they worked, etc. Also remember that people without kidlets have no idea what it would mean to leave those sweet cheeks behind to go to work!

  2. Yes I agree to that! My intention is never to guilt someone into staying home, I can fully see how this is not a vocation for everyone out there, just like I couldn't (not couldn't, rather wouldn't) be a career woman that puts a career first and foremost. And my own mother worked as a waitress my whole life, and I remember her saying that she wished she could have had this option for us. I totally understand some people can't and/or won't make that sacrifice. I just don't get it when people try to discourage me, and are just really negative. I am thinking of the women who have children, and most of them look at me, and say 'You are studying to work with children all day, and you want to stay home with your own?' in a tone of voice that means 'You must have been dropped on your head'. I have heard this so many times that I just don't bring up the subject anymore. I never thought the world to be so against this, and women so bent on telling me I can't do it! Discouraging!