I went through all of the dream jobs when I was little- ballerina, pediatrician, journalist, ambassador in a foreign country (what, not all 10 year olds dream of that?!). But the older I got the more those dreams started to feel less like dreams and more like jobs- something I needed to do in order to make money. And when pressed I answered “teacher” on the outside and on the inside I was thinking “mom”. I never said that out loud because I wasn’t supposed to, right? I was supposed to have this magnificent career where I was changing the world. I was supposed to rise above the lot I had been given, get a college education, make everyone proud by having a fancy business card. But when I really thought about it, those prospects drained me. They left me feeling empty. Internally I knew, though it felt taboo to say, that I just wanted to be a mom.
I want my children to know that women can do or be anything. I want them to champion for women and equal pay. I want them to believe that their mom is strong and smart and capable. I want them to fight for legislation so that women have control of their own bodies. I want my son to be an example of how women should be respected and appreciated.
But I also want them to know that being a mom- JUST being a mom- is enough. If the fire inside a woman is fulfilled by raising tiny humans and maybe writing a blog every so often, than that’s ok. She’s still doing her part. She’s doing enough.
I often get asked in social situations “Do you do anything else?” when they find out that I am a stay-at-home mom. And I really don’t think there is any offense in that question- they’re being polite and making small talk. But each time I feel a twinge of self-doubt. Do I do anything else? I work part time from home to contribute to our pile of student loans. But SHOULD I be doing something else? Am I doing this wrong?
We have this idea in our heads that being a stay-at-home mom- JUST a stay-at-home mom, is archaic. That we as women have come too far to be homemakers who have dinner ready for their spouse at the end of the day. For some women, the thought of being a stay-at-home mom is unfulfilling. Working outside the home brings them joy and that is amazing! For some awesome women I know, running a business that they are passionate about fills their souls in a way that being a parent can’t. And again, THAT is amazing. But I don’t have that. I don’t have dreams of an empire. I don’t have a passion for photography or an incredible skill at event planning. Instead, being a stay-at-home mom- JUST a stay-at-home mom is enough for me. I think the fact that we have the choice- career or no career- THAT’s what feminism is.