29 May Women: Career or Home and Family…
What has our society done to us?
Has Hollywood and advertising caused us to focus on looks rather than depth, and instant gratification rather than virtue and self-control? Have we become caught up with priorities that may bring status and recognition while true and lasting fulfillment are eluded because we have not focused on selfless service? If only we could place our causes and priorities under a type of magnifying glass that could clearly project the future outcome of our time and efforts. We could then examine whether our time commitments are helping us reach the top of the mountain we are really wanting to reach.
Recently I read an article entitled “The Bride Who was Groomed for a Career” by Lea Singh. What an interesting viewpoint on feminism. In years past I have rubbed shoulders with many women who believe that first and foremost they should prepare for a fulfilling career. These women eventually want marriage and family too, but they have been so focused on priorities dictated by secularism and feminism that other concerns are given only a side-glance.
Several years ago my husband and I became good friends with a fortyish-age woman who had made quite a career for herself in the fashion world. Her name and photo were regulars in some of the more exclusive New York magazines. She once told us that she lived the life of “The Devil Wears Prada.” In fact she had worked closely with the woman who inspired the above-mentioned movie. She said that her schedule required that a sleeping bag be kept in one of her office drawers, and evening gowns were kept in her office closet. There were many weeks where her office WAS her home, and she loved the excitement and lure of all the glitz and recognition! That is she loved it until she realized that with this kind of pace she would never find serious prospects for marriage. As she neared her 40th birthday, she made a courageous decision. She actually quit her job and began writing a book. Her time became her own, and amazingly she was married within a year. The last I heard she had two small children, and she was finally living the life she really wanted all along.
I’m not at all implying that women should not attend college and get a degree. Any and all education received gives confidence and perspective. It can inspire and empower….making any woman a better companion and mother.
I found Lea Singh’s viewpoint extremely interesting. The following is taken from Ms. Singh’s article:
I wish that as I was growing up, the role of wife and mother had been more fully present as a respectable and important option that also needs time and training, not just an afterthought that automatically tacks on to a career. Much of the skill set I acquired in university is not very useful in the home. Although I know how to write legal briefs, I wish I knew how to sew, play family songs on the piano and cook without a cookbook, and even that I was more familiar with caring for little ones and for a busy household. All the chores I was protected from in order to enable me to study as I was growing up – maybe I should have done them after all, including some babysitting. I want to give these experiences to my daughter, so that she will be better equipped not just for a career, but also for motherhood.
I even wish – and this is sure to get some hair frizzed – that it had been explained to me that a high-flying career does not go well with family life. Men and women really are different. When the man gets married, it is just a sweet step in the direction of all his life dreams. He can climb up the career ladder and still be a good father to his nine kids. He will get a deep sense of meaning and fulfillment from providing for his family.
But where feminism has confused women, it has made us dream that we are the same as men. Men are not mothers, and children don’t need them in the same way as they will inevitably need us. So if we want to have children, we can’t pretend to be men in our career plans and aspirations. Do we really want to have someone else caring for our homes and our children? It does not have to be that way. We need to embrace a model of life success that is less career-oriented and more family-centered. Giving of oneself to others, while it comes without diplomas, year-end bonuses and frequent-flyer miles, is just as worthy and important as building up one’s own career.