AddThis script

Sunday, March 27, 2005

A struggle for past, present, and future generations

With every choice we make--whether it's to be at home or work part time or work full time--we give something up. And no matter what we choose, there will always be questions about those choices we did not make. And we'll wonder how our lives/career/children/families/marriages would be different if we had made different choices. We'll never know.

Many friends have shared this blog with their moms and I usually hear back though those friends that their moms can't believe our generation of women is still struggling with the same issues they dealt with when they were raising their families. (Now if only these experienced moms would be brave enough to post their comments here so that everyone could read them).

My mother-in-law sends her thoughts via email occasionally, and I hope she doesn't mind that I'm posting one of her recent comments here:

I just read your recent blog article and it is great. I realize how much harder it is on women today to be at home then in the 70's when I was. Although with the new women's lib we were pitied and ostracized. Anyhoo, I just want to say that 25-30 years later (can it really be that long?) I do not regret being home especially as I work with these kids whose parents are gone all the time, or they are so tired after a 10 hour or more day and the stresses to even notice if their little one says "BUS". I also know how hard it is to want to contribute and feel accomplished and I felt that way often with my music...it was not enough to just sing with the toddler or play Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star on the piano, although today those are precious memories. So, all I am saying is I am proud of you and happy you are finding an outlet for that need to journalize and at the same time helping other women who have no voice nor support. The encouragement you are obviously giving as a costruggler is priceless.


They say that the only thing that is permanent is change. I think that's probably true for nearly everything except the guilt, uncertainty, and lack of choices that go hand and hand with parenting. That seems to have been going on for decades, generations even.

4 comments:

  1. i would just like to say we always have a choice on our attitude regardless of the situation or circumstance. at any moment, we have that choice. this is tough to remember when you are in the midst.

    your mom-in-law is right, change is the only constant. you can count on it. it's like the patterns are the same but each instance is very different or changed from the next. a fractal. how everyone's fingerprints are different. how no daisy is the same as another.

    and what of the struggles of mothers 100 years ago, 1000 years ago? similar and yet quite different. and 100 years from now? you think they'll have it figured out???? ha!!!

    ah, i'm waxing philisophical, now.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This post rings so true for me on many levels. Did I *always* know I wanted to be a mom? No. When it came was I disappointed? Not with my son, definitely not. With my *situation,* unfortunately yes. I became more domesticated something I am still trying to figure out. However, the journey back into my writing (and somewhat back into an office with my career) has allowed me to regain some of my *old self.* Do I think this will ever change? Probably not fully, one of the parents will always take more of a role in parenting. And the other will always wish they would participate more.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This post rings so true for me on many levels. Did I *always* know I wanted to be a mom? No. When it came was I disappointed? Not with my son, definitely not. With my *situation,* unfortunately yes. I became more domesticated something I am still trying to figure out. However, the journey back into my writing (and somewhat back into an office with my career) has allowed me to regain some of my *old self.* Do I think this will ever change? Probably not fully, one of the parents will always take more of a role in parenting. And the other will always wish they would participate more.

    ReplyDelete
  4. With the disclaimer that I'm pretty much all over the map these days emotionally, I'd like to say that there was something about reading your mother-in-law's email that brought tears to my eyes. I think it has something to do with being reminded that this struggle isn't one I've created that only affects me. But it is rather depressing that struggle is just a fact of life. So, "this too shall pass" and then the next generation will just step in and suffer? We may always have a choice about our attitude, as "swamps" says, but it sure would be nice if we could always make the right choice. I'm just floating in a sewer line of indecisiveness, lethargy, and apathy over here. (Sigh . . . .)

    ReplyDelete