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Family life in 2013.

by Christa on March 22, 2013

in Daily Digest,Just Nothing

I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately.  One of my majors was sociology, and while a lot of what I studied revolved around religion, I took a course called Sociology of the Family that really caught my interest.  Today family life continues to evolve, and what you might think is that more women are in the workforce, wanting it all, etc. but truthfully there has recently been an influx of stay-at-home-moms (and the proclaimed “mommy wars” that came along with this).  WTF is a Mommy War?  Well, basically, it’s women telling other women that they don’t know shit and that their way of doing things is better.  *Spoiler alert: if you’re telling other women what they should or shouldn’t be doing, you’re an idiot.

A few points, since I can’t organize my thoughts right now.

  • All of this focuses on the F word – feminism.  Now, I’m a feminist. I think women should be able to do everything that men do.  And should be paid exactly the same rate for doing those things.  And they should have the rights to their own bodies. Duh.  Do I think women should HAVE to do these things to be viewed as valuable or as an equal contributor to society?  No.  Feminism to me means doing whatever you damn well please and NOT having other women judge you for it (as well as not judging other women for their choices).
  • I read THIS piece a few months ago.  Besides the inane title, this is VERY interesting to me, because while I’ve always said I would like to stay at home if the opportunity is available (we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it, though!), I’m the personality type for whom it’s easiest to leave the kids and go to work – the elusive INTJ. While the author is a little blunt about some things, the facts are there and I tend to agree with a lot of it.  It just makes sense.  Either be a breadwinner or marry one.  Somebody’s gotta make more, just the way life goes.  Both men and women should be smart about who they’re choosing to oh, yknow, SPEND THEIR LIFE WITH.
  • We watched the 60 Minutes piece with Sheryl Sandberg (COO of Facebook) featuring her new book and campaign, Lean In, and she also made a lot of fair points.  Women sometimes DO shy from asking for raises or promotions, and men would never even consider it.  Hell, I’ve even made that mistake myself – not anymore.
  • This article was published in New York Magazine.  Basically there’s been an uptick in SAHMs (stay-at-home-moms) recently.  It used to be strictly more affluent families (which to me makes no sense because how do people not making as much at their work continue to work and afford childcare? – maybe they have a relative to help for free?? I do not know).  Plus, wouldn’t the more affluent families continue to justify bringing in their balla power couple double income?  Also, I don’t know.  I guess the option is there.  Now, it’s more middle class young women making the conscious choice to be fulfilled at home, which is great – if it actually fulfills you.  I personally think it WOULD be fulfilling, but let’s face it – some women would rather work and NOT stay at home, but maybe feel like if there’s going to be a working spouse, it should be their husband (especially if he makes more).  I don’t like the comment about how sexism is internalized.  That’s like an assholic way of accepting it.
  • Of course Jezebel has a rebuttal.  I agree with a lot of the opinions in this article.  Stay at home if you want to freakin stay home, but don’t make yourself out to be some kind of martyr.  You either want to work or you don’t.  You either do or you don’t.  Nobody cares. Especially agree with this remark – “Why state, specifically, that you are “grateful” that what you do is gendered?”
  • Now Jezebel has posted a response from the women featured in the original article, stating they were misrepresented.  How?  It’s their words.  It’s their lives.  They make the point that this was all stirred up right around the time of Sandberg’s Lean In campaign.  Ooo, a “shocking” glance at the lives of women who choose to “lean out”!

I don’t know what Shane and I will choose to do when we have kids.  I don’t know if I’ll quit working, we’ll see.  But if I do, it will be because I WANT to be at home with our kids, not because I feel like my being a woman dictates that I should.  Plus, I’m an INTJ, and I don’t know if you got the memo but that basically means I do whatever the hell I want anyway.

What’s your take on all this?

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INTJ FTW
September 10, 2013 at 1:29 pm

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Becky March 23, 2013 at 11:00 am

Amen, sister! I wish I could like the hell out of this. The “woe-is-me-I’m-a-stay-at-home-mom” mentality drives me insane! You wanna work, make it happen work. You wanna stay home and play with your badass kid and do fun things with them and teach them how to be an awesome little person, do it (I mean, honestly, I can see how that would absolutely bring you fulfillment!). But please don’t stay at home and expect to get pity from me because “you’re a woman and that’s your role.” F that. EFFFFFFFFFF that.

Sorry. I think you got me riled up.

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Christa April 6, 2013 at 4:51 pm

oops! didn’t mean to rile. but agree.

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terra April 3, 2013 at 6:03 pm

Love this post, lady. I don’t think I’m going to have kids, but this is a topic I’ve thought a lot about and really, there’s no simple answer. Making a family is a personal thing, full of personal decisions. It’s interesting the way the family has shifted over time and the way it continues to shift.

And I was a sociology major and focused a lot on religion as well. Fascinating stuff, for sure.

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Christa April 6, 2013 at 4:52 pm

absolutely – personal decision for everybody. i don’t know why people care what other women are doing. that’s like the antithesis of feminism to me.

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