Monday, December 1, 2008

Third Generation Feminist

I just got off the phone with a friend (one of those friends you say you are going to call, but never do, then she calls you and you realize you are friends) and we were having a "Oh-my-god-you-like-so-and-so" conversations that made its way into a discussion on 3rd Gen Feminists. It takes talent to make that conversation happen.
I remember sitting in my Feminist Studies classes saying that I wanted to be a working member of my community, but I was also very aware that if/when I would have kids, I wanted to stay home. I was shocked then at the comments slung at me, I was a traitor, not a real feminist, a sell out, the whole nine yards. Looking back, I realize that freaked me out. Big time. I was scared that I would have to choose. How could I do that?!
I got pregnant within the first year of our marriage and I was then in my last year of graduate school. I was thrilled to be pregnant, but, honestly, a bit sad. I assumed I would have to give up everything I had been working for in school and in my new big-girl job. I am not one to share my feelings, especially when it involves me being scared, so I just sort of pushed that fear down. As a result, I found myself pushing down any gumption to make a compromise. When we found out it was twins, I nearly forgot that I was good at anything professionally. But, then again, I forgot a lot of things then. Ask my husband how my cookies tasted during my pregnancy!
Bam, I am a stay at home mom and I am frustrated. I find a GREAT job working for a woman who is unnaturally accommodating for a work at home mom. After pushing down the idea that I can be successful professionally and personally simultaneously, I now realize I have not been willing to try my best because I assume my best at home would suffer.
Only now do I see that the only way for me to be successful at home is to be content in all areas of my life. I am sick of that little voice in the back of my head that says "don't try too hard, you might like it." I do like it.
Bam, I stay at home. I have talent. I can use my talent at home and professionally. I never thought I would agree with my 19-year-old self, but turns out I knew more then now. At least then I knew I had the strength to be a part of my life in all areas. I am just getting back to that idea now, 11 years later.
All that from a 10 minute phone call. It made me realize that this generation of woman who may or may not identify themselves as feminists for what ever reason, may have the same struggle I do. But it all comes down to choice. I can choose my path; at home, at work, or anywhere. I can choose who I vote for. I can choose to stay home. I can choose to go to work. I can even choose to do both! Lucky me! Thank you to all who let me choose. Sorry I got freaked out about it before. Hopefully I can embrace my talents in all areas and allow them to meet each other.

No comments: