Monday, 1 January 2001

Feminism Starts in the Home

Elizabeth Creehan

I believe being a feminist means that a woman has the right to make her own choices. Of course, those choices are always bombarded by outside pressures. But as a feminist, I have the ability, the intellect, and the moxie to pave my own way. Any way I see fit…and feel good about it.

Becoming a mother is when I found myself in the midst of the culture wars. Was I a woman first? A mother first? Maybe a mo-man or a wo-ther?

When I was pregnant with my first child, some told me I should stay at home for a year and then go back to work. Some co-workers eyed me suspiciously. Others just assumed I would stay home.

Well, since it was my life, I thought I’d make the decision. A copywriter for a marketing communications company in Cincinnati, Ohio, I worked full time from when my daughter was 3 months until she was 12 months old. I enjoyed the work and its continual variety and challenges.

However, my heart increasingly told me that I wanted to be home full time with my daughter. She was my passion, my joy, and my can’t-miss opportunity.

What I ended up with was the best of both worlds. As a mother, I was home with my daughter, having a blast. As a writer, I could freelance. I was there to change the diapers, but I also could exercise my brain beyond diaper duty.

It’s been the right choice for me.

My now ten-year-old daughter talks about what she wants to do when she grows up. I know her dream of a career will change thousands of times, but when she was in her teacher frame of mind, I wanted to scream “Yes, do that!” As a teacher, she could have a job she loved and have summers off…perhaps to spend with children.

But as a feminist, I know it’s her choice. Just as it was mine.


Melaina25 said...

Great post! As a working mother, who's currently on maternity leave, I'm trying to figure out the work/mother compromise.

I love that you've found something that works for you!

Jewels said...

Applause applause!! Empowering women to choose a path for themselves, to think for themselves, IS what it is about. (p.s. I had to comment here using my Google account (a different blog), but my post for this is on The Ranting Mommy). Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

How important it is to be yourself, to let your kids see you being and valuing that self AND them at the same time.

Glad your daughter still feels like she has all of her options open-- because she does.