Reflections on life, marriage, and a young woman who is constantly learning how much there will always be to learn!

Sunday, October 16, 2005

On Motherhood and Work

"I'd like to think that an enlightened society is not one in which all its economic and cultural forces combine to encourage women to deposit their children in state creches and walk away without a backward glance. And if I'm right, then any solution must begin with the recognition that women need help getting time away from the workforce to be with their young children and not, as the current advocates would have it, in subsidizing day care to free Mom to go to work to pay the taxes to fund day care.

In the end, changing government policy can only do so much. Ultimately the solution to The Problem [of how to combine work and children] will rely upon changing our own attitudes toward the value we place upon work. So long as we insist upon defining our identities only in terms of our work, so long as we try to blind ourselves to the needs of our children, and harden our hearts against them, we will continue to feel torn, dissatisfied, and exhausted. Is this unfair? Maybe. But it is an issue to take up with nature, not politicians. We are the most radically equal generation of women in human history and we have collided with one of the oldest facts of our s*x. There may be ways to ease our situation, but we cannot change it. Nor should we want it to be changed. The guilt we feel for neglecting our children is a by-product of our love for them. It keeps us from straying too far from them, for too long. Their cry should be more compelling than the call from the office.

-What Our Mothers Didn't Tell Us


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