I’ve had this blog post brewing in my mind for awhile now. Within the past year I have developed a greater sense of “woman power”. I’m not sure where it has come from (maybe it started reading the book Lean In), but I have really changed a lot of my views on “norms” and how society puts extra pressure on women.
I’ve heard it all. “Oh, so you…are a stay at home mom?”. “Oh, so you…take your child to daycare?” “Oh, so you…will ‘get’ to stay home once you have a second kid?” “Oh, so you…work, cook, clean, and are the primary caretaker of your son?” “Oh, so you…work outside the home 5 days a week?”
The one thing that us women can agree on is that there is a lot of pressure to measure up to some sort of expectations. I’ve felt that pressure when I feel guilty for having a career. I’ve felt the pressure when I am hesitant to tell a new acquaintance that I take my son to daycare. Or when I openly admit that I have not made one “Pinterest activity” for my toddler to play with. Shall I say, “oh so you…have a closet full of homemade fine motor manipulative?”
All of this “pressure” made more sense to me when Chris and I went to DC for a week long vacation. We were visiting a good friend from college and had the pleasure of spending time with his friends that live in DC as well. When I’d explain that we had a 18 month old son, the automatic response was “oh so what do you do for daycare?” As opposed to the response that I receive in Holland, “oh so you stay home?” It was a sense of relief to feel the pressure taken off of me to be something that I am not. I realized how much of pressure on women depends on where you reside.
Why do we as women, feel this need to be this picture perfect person? The mom who makes all organic meals for their children? The mom who has given up a career she loves to stay home? The mom who is working outside the house when all she wants is to be at home? The mom who always has a spotless house? The mom who cooks a homemade meal every weeknight (“Oh, so you…are okay eating Jimmy John’s once a week?”) The mom whose hair is always done, perfect makeup and sporting the latest style.
I know many women are doing what is best for their family. When can the rest of society take the pressure of women and allow us to do what is best. My hope is that when faced with the choice, women of today will choose to do what THEY want not what society THINKS they should do. For me, that’s pursing a Masters degree while teaching 1st grade. I love what I do. And I’ll probably continue doing it as our family grows. Let’s all start doing ourselves a favor and staying true to who we are as a person, and allowing others to see that none of us “have it all”.
“Oh so you…