Heather hit 5 years today and she opened up her blog to a shitstorm of comments about motherhood, and staying home versus working, in particular. Here is the comment I posted on her thread.
There is no way in hell I have time to read 1,000 comments – since I am not doing what I should be (as in, um, work!) – but I thought I would throw my 2 cents into the ring.
I think the key here, and possibly the point you were trying to make (although I must admit, it came across as slightly pro-SAHM) is that we all have *possibilities.* That, to me, is the greatest gift from all those women who burned their bras back in the day.
Yes, I realize that many women feel forced to work (or not) by economic pressures, social pressures, familial pressures, etc. But I truly believe that we *can* shape our lives. Sure, everything can’t be white-picket-fence every single day nor do things always work out like we hoped – but look at you – you have found a very ingenious way to support your family and live life as you see fit. Five years ago, I am sure people would have thought you were in Amsterdam – high as a kite – if you told them that 2006 would be the year a blog started supporting your family.
As for me, as much as I might like to poke fun and act all judgmental – the past three years with my son have taught me a very important lesson. (OK, 3 years with my son and some therapy). I have learned that, truly, we all make the choices that work for us and they are neither right nor wrong. They are simply the choices that work for us. Having said that, I still have fun making the occasional joke about a SAHM sitting on her ass eating bon bons. Basically because you all can sure be a touchy lot.
I am a better mom *because* I work. There, I said it. I feel like my time with my son is quality time, partly because I have been enriched in other aspects of my life. Again, not saying that people who stay home are not enriched – it’s just not enriching *for me.* And I am sick of feeling guilty about it.
As for what I want for my son… Damn, that is a hard question to answer without sounding disingenuous, not to mention insipid.
I should mention that my husband stayed home with our son for his first two years. He totally values the experience and cherishes the time he had with our son, but essentially, he was going bonkers. He went back to work over a year ago, at a time when school was exactly what our son needed.
So, I guess – for me, it comes back to possibilities. I would love for my son to have any and every opportunity to pursue any possibility that captures his imagination.
Happy anniversary, Dooce.