JANUARY 10, 2013 11:01AM

This Woman’s Work

Rate: 5 Flag

I’ve been applying for jobs lately, in addition to writing, parenting, painting, and running a household. It’s strange to think of how I will do all I do in addition to satisfying an employer- but I suppose there will be a way. I’m going to have to delegate some of my “women’s work” to my kids. Non-mandatory things will probably be neglected.

Is there even such a thing as women’s work anymore, or is there just work?

When I was a very young woman, I was a feminist, tried and true. At the age of nineteen, I presented a paper at a gender symposium about independent women of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. In case you were wondering, they were nuns, and so they did not have the challenges of motherhood. At the age of 21, I told my friends I would never have kids. Fantasizing about a domesticity-free life, I didn’t want to be tied down.

My first born came when I was 25. Amazing how sex changes things.

I don’t regret my decision to have children- not for a minute. If I could talk with my younger self, I would tell her not to worry. I have it in me to mother children. Blessed with instincts, most of us are able to parent relatively well when put in the circumstances.

The really surprising thing about this journey is how becoming a mother made me a better person, a more loving spirit, and a responsible adult. I know I couldn’t have gotten here without my kids pushing me forward. I’m proud of my woman’s work and thankful to do it.

As I move forward, I think about my grandmothers and aunties, who spent their lives mothering children and running their households. Creating a home is making sacred space- a valuable and precious thing. Making homemade meals, caring for children, and keeping the house up are every bit as valuable to the human experience as innovative technological breakthroughs- or even more so.

Even as my days of being a full time stay-at-home mom could end, I honor the women who’ve done this work for millennia. Women’s work is good work- and it makes the world a better place.

 

 


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maureen- everyone's mum used to stay at home and they survived.. But you are doing it all and I send you great hugs and love
HUGGGGGGGGGGGG
Amazing how sex changes things
So true Maureen..about the mothering making us better people, not the sex, though thats true too. ha. Good luck to you on this next phase of life. Been there, done that, it all worked out.
So much has changed in the last 40+ years. When I was growing up, women could be housewives, nurses or teachers easily but I had a female doctor and school principal, so I know there were other options. When I graduated from college, I knew I could be respected if I stayed home and started a family or if I went to grad school or if I worked and I appreciated having options. As I developed my career as a psychologist and had the luck of becoming a mother, too, I still love that there are options. Having a choice is true freedom.
So much has changed in the last 40+ years. When I was growing up, women could be housewives, nurses or teachers easily but I had a female doctor and school principal, so I know there were other options. When I graduated from college, I knew I could be respected if I stayed home and started a family or if I went to grad school or if I worked and I appreciated having options. As I developed my career as a psychologist and had the luck of becoming a mother, too, I still love that there are options. Having a choice is true freedom.
It has been already established that a woman's work is not only important, it is crucial. A woman's work IS the hard work; it makes or brakes; it shapes people and their lives. Excellent piece, Maureen. Good to see you. R
Linda- HUUUUUGS!

trilogy- thank you. Knowing other women have done all this, and done it well, gives me hope I will too.

jackie2- my sis is a psychologist and a mom. I don't know how she does it. Kudos to you for doing all sorts of heavy lifting.

Thoth- thanks! Good to see you here too!
Rarely come by, but to read you I will..
Have been in all phases of this journey. The times at home were the most sacred or cherished I guess. I have a good job and some career accolades but it's the times being the center that I look back on as some of the hardest, most rewarding times of all. Is there any replacement for a child's memory of home?
One of my favorite songs of all time.