This piece is written as a response to an article by Amy Glass titled, I Look Down On Young Women With Husbands And Kids And I'm Not Sorry.
Hey Amy, its me Alana, the woman with a husband and three kids who you "look down on." What's that? You're not sorry? Thats ok, I don't need your apology, I'm getting along in life just fine without it. And for the record, no, I'm not silently weeping or lamenting over my life choices. Your article didn't make me feel bad, for me that is.
Guess what? I'm an attorney, err sort of, I mean well, I kinda changed my career path when I had **babies**...it's ok...pull yourself together Amy. I'm doing just fine. I don't need your pity, I feel pretty good about my life.
Its not that I've given up working all together. I mean there are mouths to feed after all. Actually, I work for my husband. Amy, are you going to be okay? Breathe Amy. Breathe. Yes, you heard me correctly, I work FOR my husband. He spends a lot more hours in the office and bears the brunt of the stress. We actually make quite a good team I think. Though you seem like more of an independent spirit. Whats that? I'm hedging my bets on a man? Putting all my eggs in one basket? Well, since anyone could lose their job at any time and basically for any reason, I'm willing to roll the dice. Call me crazy. Oh wait, you kinda already did.
It feels good to be in the office, getting to do many things that I love and having responsibilities outside the home without having the pressure and stress of being away from my children all the time. I actually think I am pretty lucky. He's a pretty good boss actually. We agree that it's important that I drop off and pick up our kids from school, help with homework, and sit at the table during dinner and talk about their days. You must find this disturbingly traditional and oppressive. It's quite progressive that you feel women should abandon their roles as mothers, although I'm pretty sure you're content with the fact that your own mother chose not to. I hope you make her proud.
I wonder how it feels to be so "free". Is it awesome? Is it everything you hoped it could be and more? It must be nice coming home to an empty house. Must be quiet. While we're being so open and honest about our feelings, I must admit that I never found complete fulfillment from my job. I like working. It can even be fun to get out there and feel important in the world, as it seems that you feel you are. I guess I'm a bit more difficult than you. I need more. Well, I've always been a bit of an over achiever, but in a quiet sort of way. Not following? Well, I didn't get much sleep last night. My three little tax deductions wanted to snuggle. You are so lucky that you never ever have to share your bed with anyone.
What I mean is that my accomplishments don't need to be held out there for all the world to see. A quiet whisper at bed-time from my kids telling me that they think I'm great, or that today was the best day ever, or a sleepy I love you, is enough to keep me fulfilled. Though I must be honest, its exhausting work, with crazy hours and the pay sucks.
But you know what Amy, my work as a mother and homemaker is pretty damn important...after all, I'm freakin raising humans!
Like, real, live, actual people. But I'm sure you have a lot of responsibilities at your job too.
I've actually read a few of your other articles, in my precious spare time. Do you ever get bored? Sitting up in that ivory tower? It must get exhausting, judging other women all the time. I'm glad that you have your cloak of feminism to keep you warm. All this women bashing must take its toll. But I'm not gonna judge you, after all who am I but a lowly mom and wife to judge you, a career woman.
I think in one way we are alike. Don't be shocked...its true. I'm also a feminist. Amy, that wasn't meant to be funny. No, seriously, you can stop laughing now. Just last week, I was on a flight with my kids and my baby started crying, so I whipped out my boob and breastfed her right there. No cover, just some good old public nudity right next to the man in the window seat (who by the way allowed my son sleep on the whole flight) and the elderly gentleman to my right. See I'm wild. I am using my femininity for something other than the sexual revolution...if you ask me I think I'm quite the multi-tasker.
I'm glad you weren't there. All that crying surely would have caused you so much eye rolling someone might have thought you were having a seizure. Amy, the most amazing thing happened as everyone was getting off the plane. Another woman, not sure if she was a wife, mother or career woman (she was traveling alone), gently put her hand on my shoulder and whispered, you're a very good mom. Really?! Me?
Aw shucks, you are too kind Other Sweet Lady forced to endure that horrible flight with babies crying, toddlers puking and a cup of coffee getting spilled all over me...you are an awesome woman! You are my peeps, my homegirl, my sista....you my sweet friend and Mr. You Da Man in 15F, you are both true feminists, and more importantly you are kind people. Because isn't that what life is about? People? Connections? Familial? Marital? Friendships? Passer-bys? Don't we all just want to connect through kindness with others in whichever way we choose?
Amy, you see, if I've learned anything in life, its that judgment won't get you far, but kindness will. See, I think its great that you want to stay single and be career minded. It just wasn't right for me. I actually waited several years to have kids so I could finish law school and get some work experience. It wasn't for me. There are different paths for different people. I accept that and I hope other women do to.
The OB/Gyn (and mother) who delivered my baby, she's awesome! My stay at home friend, rockstar! My mom, who raised four kids and also worked as a reading teacher, superstar! My mother-in-law who raised six while teaching music, fabulous. My Grandmother who battled polio only to go on to become a wife and mother, and complete her higher education...the awesomest person in the whole wide world. You see Amy, its not a sport, there are no winners. And contrary to your belief, no losers either. Heck, you can probably grow up to be pretty great too, sans kids and husband if you choose. And I promise, I will never make you feel bad about it.
Now Amy, come down off that high-horse of yours and come give me a hug!
Oh, and PS...that little bit you wrote about showers and weddings in your article was written last month by another woman in the Huff Post.