A facebook conversation sparked some thoughts in me. A friend shared that she was tired of being told what she should want in life. People tell her she should want marriage and a SAHM type of life, but she doesn’t want that. She is a very talented singer, and she wants to continue her singing career. She gets to work with some of the best names in the business, and she wants more of that. People keep presrruing her, and she talekd about her frustration today. I responded to her status, and wrote one of my own, but there’s more.
People love telling women what to do. For generations, society told women they had to stay at home, make babies, take care of the babies and their husbands, cook, clean, and do pretty much nothing else. Then the Women’s Liberation movement pushed the pendulum too far the other way, telling women they were worthless if they didn’t have a money-making job outside of the home. While true feminism has been and still is needed and has done wonderful things, pushing women into anything is not true feminism.
I interviewed a large number of SAHMs years ago, and every one of them said that they gave up their lives and dreams for their families, but they’d raised good kids and that somehow had to make up for it. . . .
I didn’t find a single one who believed it actually made up for it, or that her life was worth anything, and they all cried when they answered that question. I cried with them. It broke my heart. No one should give up their dreams or their life because of pressure. Each person deserves a chance to pursue happiness, to find fulfillment in life.
“It’s for the good of society” to tell women what to do (whether to work or to stay home). Bull. I lean heavily toward “do something in addition to raising kids, because raising kids isn’t enough, but it doesn’t have to be a paying job.”
Please take care of your spirit, soul, self. I’m not going to tell you what to do. If you don’t have a hobby, volunteer, start a side gig—something—you’ll find yourself living through your kids and grandkids, feeling useless later, and resenting the way you threw away everything for someone else. You have the right to choose that. I just hope it’s really what you want if you do choose it.
I hope that you share who you are with more than just your family, and do some things for yourself. Find fulfillment in however many (or few) arenas you need to. Most of you who read this blog want to write. I encourage you to do it, even if it’s just for 15 minutes a day. If anyone discourages you or in any way gets in the way of your ability to do it, I hope you question that, hard.