I may have applied for a job. (ok, so I totally did apply for a job, but the reality of it is a little overwhelming right now)
It’s a part time position doing something that is incredibly interesting to me and I kind of really hope I get it.
I’m also incredibly scared.
Since I’ve sent in my application, I’ve found myself thinking about what would happen if I got the job… Could I actually have it all?
That term gets tossed around a lot in mommy-land…the notion that not only can you have a perfectly organized and awesome home life, but you can also land your dream job and make it all work.
That notion feels like something somebody sells you in a late night infomercial by a man in a heavily patterned sweater and Aussie accent.
|And really…doesn’t it seem like TV perpetuates that notion all the time?|
Meaning…the pitch is always way more impressive than the actual thing being sold. I mean really: Snuggies? Pajama Jeans? The Quick Chop? Okay, maybe the Clapper…
But the reality seems to be that it’s not actually that easy to achieve. After all, wasn’t that the whole crux of the supposed mommy wars? When career moms and stay-at-home moms started “battling it out,” it made the notion that you could “have it all” that much more unattainable.
|Loving the fishnets on the career mom.|
I’ll be honest, I’m not so sure who started this supposed war, but I have a feeling it wasn’t actually a pair of moms who faced off against each other. They were probably too busy cleaning the house, watching the kids, running errands and/or working.
Yet, I would also be naive to not realize the very real way this affects women who have children. Regardless of whether or not you buy into the whole concept of “The Mommy Wars” – it still exists and is pervasive enough in our culture that just the thought of applying for a part time job sets my head spinning.
|Wow. Those kids look scared.|
I’m sure I don’t speak just for myself when I say that many of us feel pulled in both directions. Whether it’s because we gave up careers before becoming stay-at-home parents, or because we now find ourselves at a job while somebody else watches our babies. There doesn’t seem to be a perfect answer…that magical “have it all” notion wrapped up all informercial pretty like.
The more I’ve thought about all of this, the more I’ve started to wish that people would think in different terms. Instead of competing and comparing, isn’t there a way we can find value in what we do, regardless of the choice?
One aspect I love about feminism and the women’s rights movement is the fact that we fought for the right to choose. Betty Friedan vented about her frustrations with being stuck in the home in 1963, because back then there was much less of a choice revolving around what was expected of women. (And I should clarify, that while that feeling was probably shared with many across the country, Betty Friedan really spoke about/to white, married women with children in middle to upper class communities).
Thanks to Friedan and others like her, more women felt comfortable making the choice to join the workforce in addition to having families. And…some women felt comfortable (and validated) making the choice to stay home.
The fact that a war between women eventually developed over this freedom of choice continues to baffle me. Instead of judging the other, why can’t we celebrate the face that we can actually make the choice?
Maybe I’m feeling defensive about it because I’m flirting with straddling the line…working part time outside the home while still being a part time SAHM. Maybe my fear is that while trying to do both (because I want to, not because I think I’m supermom or anything!) something will end up suffering.
Or…Maybe I’m just over thinking it all.
What do you think?