Just a little announcement
I am a woman.
Yes, I did marry fairly young. NO, marriage does not mean that I should have popped a baby out nine months after our nuptials.
Yes, I plan on being a working mother. NO, this does not mean I am a pro-choice feminist.
I recently overheard three women (two college students) discussing babies, marriage, and the gender gap. The two college students, both single, were talking about how they felt that the church (and here we come with so many problems -- generalizations) condemned women in the workplace.
One of the students, in fact, said that someone from the church told her that the reason society is in the condition it is today is because of working mothers. Now, I’m not really going to dispute that. I feel that if we had more parents at home and more two-parent (ahem, one man, one woman) households that we would not have the problems today. HOWEVER, I’m not giving all the blame to parents who have to work. Heck, I will have to work after I have children (unless God is willing for another opportunity for my family to arise). My hope (and plan) is for my parents to care for my child(ren) during the workday, and I most likely will have to work.
As much as parents need to take responsibility for their children, I think the government is also to blame. So many European governments have much more lenient rules for parents – Sweden, for example, gives maternity, paternity, AND adoption leave!! AND, if that’s not amazing enough, don’t think that this PAID leave is for the skimpy 12 weeks that we in America usually get – they receive EIGHTEEN MONTHS!!! It’s enough to make you want to pack your bags and learn to speak Swedish.
Why can’t we in America figure this out?
Anyway, I’m digressing because there are so many routes to take with this blog (but I’ll try to keep it fairly short).
I feel sometimes on the issue of “should a mother work?” I take the middle road. I LOVE my job. It stresses me out continuously, I am drowning in my workload, but I love it. I love writing, I love my students, I love it ALL. The good, the bad, the ugly – bring it on.
I do realize that when I have a baby I’ll have to slow down – for good reason. I can’t wait to have a sweet little bundle of joy – but I want to WAIT until it’s the PERFECT time. Oh, and by the way, I do believe that the “perfect time” is different for each couple. If you had a baby nine months after the wedding day (or less, whatever), kudos. That’s your timing. Superman and I, however, are soooooo not ready to be parents.
This comes as a shock to some Christian conservatives (and I use that term loosely and in exchange for other…comments I could call this particular duo I’m referencing) who feel that after three years of marriage, well, heck, we should have at least two kids!
Oh, yeah – we got that spill. In fact, not to go off on another tangent here, but we were called selfish for not having babies. Again, WHAT??!! Sorry, but I didn’t realize making sure everything in your life was as perfect as possible for your future baby was being selfish.
And back to the present again.
I don’t feel that people should be pressured to marry or to have kids. I HATE seeing college girls who feel like they HAVE to have a boyfriend. No, you don’t! I am very grateful that I was raised by parents (both working, btw) who were not only God-fearing, but they taught me how to be independent. Superman came as a shock to me. I hadn’t planned on getting married for a while, and then – BAM. It was perfect timing, and I couldn’t be happier about the situation. And when babies do come, I know (or at least hope, haha) it will be just as wonderful.
So. Let me summarize this blog in a nutshell (because of all the tangents):
1. No one should feel pressured to marry or have children. Not every person is called to be a spouse, nor is every person called to be a parent.
2. The government SHOULD help out with two-working-parent households, but it is unlikely that they will. Until that happy day, I don’t think people should criticize working mothers. If you’re really concerned, HELP A MOTHA’ OUT.
3. The “perfect” time to marry or to have kids is different for everyone. There is no specific age (well, not UNDERage, but you know what I mean…I hope.).
Whew. And I’m done. And I think next time I see those girls (and I will, trust me) I’ll remind them that being a Christian woman does not mean that you have to give up your work dreams.