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.