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Thursday, January 13, 2005

The road obscured

This blog was started to see if I could still type after being out of work for two years, to buff my writing skills, and to unite women as they transition from career to motherhood, a journey that often leaves women feeling displaced and confused along the way.

The idea was the developed out of the frustrations of many women that I have met since I have been home with my son. As Scolding Friend, a.k.a. Peppahminx, pointed out, I did not quit a full-time job because I did not have the option to reduce my workload. I was in a career shift, attempting to take on broadcast journalism after being dissatisfied with where my career was headed as the managing producer of a popular web site. For me, there was no job to go back to.

Just because I am writing about the internal struggle of women I know, not exactly as I experienced things, does not invalidate the premise: It is unfortunate that in 2005, women rarely have a choice beyond a) working full time, and b) not working, after they have a baby.

This blog is not an attempt to pit working women against at-home moms. It is not about whether you can afford to stay home or whether your family needs two incomes to live in the Bay Area or anywhere else. (I know of a family who moved to a less expensive part of the country because having a parent at home with their child was more important than where they lived.)

I am in control of my destiny and I am doing what I want. I am parenting, writing, and actively pursuing freelance work. And hopefully I will have some soon since I just heard back from a local magazine I've been trying to work for (!!).

So, to my dear Scolding Friend: Just because you do not relate to what at-home moms are struggling with does not mean it is all in our heads. We are exchaging ideas, encouraging each other down new roads, and supporting each other's decisions as we try to fill that hole we can not always put our finger on. That does not make us bad or spoiled or mopy or whiny; it makes us human.

1 comment:

  1. Since becoming a mom, I have often tried to console myself over not being in the workforce by reminding myself that "working sucks; no one likes their job." That has certainly been my personal reality in the workforce at times. But then I remember, that probably 85%-90% of the time, I LIKED the last job I had (a one-year legal clerkship, with my own office, a secretary, a hands-off boss, nice colleagues). Could I get a similar job again? I've tried. Do I need to try harder? CAN I try harder?

    Not to pit at home moms against workforce moms, but I'd like to say: I think it is perfectly natural for workforce moms to be envious of at home moms, and I think it also natural for at home moms to envy workforce moms some of their "luxuries"? - a car ride without a toddler in a car seat asking for THEIR music; a lunch when you don't have to ask for a high chair; freedom to have an uninterrupted; in-person conversation with another adult; a paycheck.

    Workforce moms and at home moms should be allies. If more at home moms can get into part-time, professional jobs (which I don't think are as easy to find in this economy as "Scolding Friend" seems to suggest), then maybe workforce moms would have a better chance to reduce their hours.

    Thank you, Mother-in-Chief, for starting this non-whining, non-moping dialogue. It makes this "season" of my life more enjoyable. :^)