• People Talk and My Ear Bleeds


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    Monday, December 10, 2007

    Closing a Chapter pt. 1

    I sympathize for the dilemma that faces American women today
    Last week my wife finished her maternity leave and went back to work. My wife had reservations about returning to work. She, like many women today, grew up expecting to work, gained meaning from her experience in the workforce, and enjoyed it. The housewife role is rapidly disappearing from US life, and is preceded by disappearance in little girls' dreams.

    My wife was afraid she'd miss her child upon returning to work, yet she felt guilty every day of maternity leave for yearning to be working. Now that she's returned to work, she feels guilty for not missing him, but enjoys the sense of purpose that an 8am to 4pm job brings.

    I sympathize for the dilemma that faces American women today. It would be hard to give up my dreams, my years of schooling, to stay home and raise children. Promises that, "you are doing a better work, raising your children. What you could achieve as one person, you're multiplying by successfully raising many outstanding children" sound incredibly trite and hollow when actually faced with the prospect that my dreams are being ended prematurely.

    The other day I was reading a post on a friend's blog (which mysteriously isn't there anymore, so I can't link to it...but it's still in my RSS reader!) and she (I'm not using her name because there might be a reason why the post is no longer available) related accompanying her husband to a law function.
    Anywho, while at the dinner, ...I tried to converse with some sense of grace and poise, while I attempted to look the part of a lawyer-to-be's wife, I started questioning...Would I ever feel at home all "dolled" up? Can I really be that kind of woman?...
    This introspection caused me to view my wife's predicament more fully. Would she ever feel at home all "dolled" up at physician functions? Does she want to live that life? The answer, not surprisingly, is NO.

    So I should change to accommodate her. How, I don't know. But I do understand that she wants to get a Masters in Public Health, and she wants to work for non-governmental organizations--preferably overseas. Balancing these dreams with the bonuses of being home to raise your children will be hard. I believe strongly that a mother in the home is FAR better than any child care agency on earth. However, I have faith both can be done--my wife's that amazing of a woman.

    1 comment:

    Sara said...

    Hmm..wonder who that gal was ;) No, I took it off with the intention of rewriting it, but forgot. And, now, eh, the inspiration has passed.

    And, yes, it IS hard to reconcile the dreams you have being a young girl with the expectations of being an LDS woman and the pragmatics of reality associated with them.

    I imagine it's even more difficult for women like Thi and I who grew up non-LDS. I think that men who grow up LDS don't really understand--and perhaps never will--that aspect of being a woman LDS convert. I normally am an optimist and a believer in overcoming one's background; but no amount of pondering can shed a real sense of reality on this situation :) You fellas just see the tears and can sympathize. Not empathize :)