Friday, March 30, 2007

Desperate to be a Housewife?

Women often reach the juncture in their life when they must decide: career or family? As my 34-year-old sister says, “I chose a career as a lawyer over having my own family. It is a decision I think about all the time.” I bet that it is a decision one would think about and re-think constantly—even after the decision has been made to break the glass ceiling and put off being a wife and mother. Simply, the decision (at least in my sister’s case) is: Have a closet filled with Jimmy Choo shoes, Hugo Boss suits, Louis Vuitton purses, Burberry trench coats, a lucrative career as a criminal defense attorney and money in the bank or have a husband and a small child wake you up at 3 a.m. saying, “Mommy, there is a monster under my bed.?” She chose the former. And, I feel is secretly yearning for the latter.

But you may ask: why can’t a woman have both? The fact remains, having a high profile career and balancing that with pregnancy, marriage and a family is juggling act that not many are qualified to attend to. As my sister says, “I could not imagine having a screaming baby to come home to after I had a long day in court. And, I do not want to rely on a nanny to watch my children—they cannot raise them exactly the way you want them.” Women who do bare the double-burden without outside help, we all want to ask, what super drug are you on? On Wednesday, after a grueling day in class, I headed directly to watch my neighbors 7-month-daughter for three hours. I was so dead tired; the three hours felt more like a lifetime. However, I found comfort in holding this little baby in my hands and realizing how precious children are. Ah…and this is where the thought of becoming a mother really started to infect my mind.

This choice (between a family or a career) looms over my head as I inch closer to graduating from Medill. While my entire mind is one track: get a job, work up the markets and be a television reporter…lately, I have realized, I want to be married, I want to have children and I want that sooner rather than later. While my mom tells me, “There is more to life than marriage,” I try to not hear her. After all, she calls me every week to cry about why she does not have grandchildren yet and only a grandcat (my baby Wooter—a devastatingly handsome Tuxedo cat). So, once again, I am tossing around this question in my head: do I want a career or my own family? I find it unrealistic that I will meet Mr. McDreamy, he will agree to move to Podunk, Idaho (so I can report) and we will live happily ever after. So, inevitably what will happen…I will work my way up (with the grace of God) the ladder of television news and finally meet someone in ten years. But, by that time, will I quit my career to tend to the home…No! No! No! I will need a stay at home dad.

So, am I desperate to be a housewife or desperate to be a television reporter? Only time will tell. But I will dip my feet into the Chicago dating pool to try my hand at finding a boyfriend.


At Friday, March 30, 2007, Blogger Amanda M. said...

I hear you. I feel like my career drive springs directly from my being single sometimes. If I was in a committed relationship, I'm pretty sure my focus would go to that totally - toward the goal of starting my own family. It's an embarassing struggle. But I'm glad to have a focus, no matter what it is. My early twenties were very un-focused.

At Friday, March 30, 2007, Blogger JA said...

It's interesting, maybe sad, how I've unconsiously accepted the fact that I'm giving up certain things by pursuing journalism-- like settling down soon and those Jimmy Choos!

At Saturday, March 31, 2007, Blogger mm said...

Can a balance be struck between love and labor? I think that depends on whether you're willing to be pretty good - rather than excellent - at both. If you, like me, would rather be the kick butt mom who makes sandwiches for your kid's soccer team and serve on the P.T.A., then something has to give. If you're satisfied with bringing paper goods to the potluck and missing your kid's school play, then (a)find a great husband to pick up the slack and (b)you can play both super professional and so-so mommy simulataneously. But, honestly, who wants to tell her children that she's chosen to be the so-so mommy?
Also, don't you hate that men rarely face the dichotomy of career vs. family? Society places less pressure on them to either side with the "professional camp" and the "fatherly camp."

At Saturday, March 31, 2007, Blogger LL said...

Why must we choose? I see nothing wrong with being a successful, strong, independent news woman who falls madly in love, marries and has a family. I think we are always told that being a journalist is the all-encompassing profession and that you have no time for anything else. If that were the case I would get out of it. To me it just wouldn't be worth it. Life is about falling in love, having a family and ultimately doing the things that make you feel empowered, fulfilled and complete. In undergard I had my heart set on medical school. I suffered through organic chemsitry and biochemistry to find out that I didn't want to spend the next 16 years of my life doing that because I wanted to start a family at some point, make my children brown-bag lunches and coach their kick-n-chase soccer team. As female journalists I think it is so important to know that we can do it all. We can be great professionals and amazing mothers, wives, daugheters, sisters and friends. We just have to do what makes US the most happy, everyone of us wants different things and although there is always sacrifice, no sacrifice is worth regret. And JA I know you can have those Jimmy Choos!! We can't sell ourselves short on any aspect of our lives.

At Saturday, March 31, 2007, Blogger AG said...

I hear you too. What is a girl honestly to do in this situation?!?! I wish there was someone out there to help us along and say, "yes, you are doing the right thing by pursuing a career or yes, you are doing the right thing by following your heart." I do agree that there is a double standard. Men don't seem to have this problem. I have never heard any man think about sacrificing a wife and children for a career, it's just obvious they can do both. It's upsetting that it is a decision that we all have to make.

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