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.