Monday, April 20, 2009

For everything there is a season

They say confession is good for the soul. And confess I must, even if it is to the few who read this blog. Not only did I leave my job for the last time last night, I intend to step off this career path and wander for a while. So here's my confession: I do this without any of the anxiety that many working mothers feel about losing their identity in the world.

You see, I never really wanted to be a career woman. I did what was expected, though, and got that college degree, chose a career and got busy. But, truth be told, I always wanted to be precisely where scores of women decided they didn't want to be all those years ago: at home. Today and to me, it seems horribly short-sighted of them to have compared apples (men) to oranges (women) and then decide they wanted to be apples. Nearly 40 years later, I'd rather be an orange. And, leaving my so-called career last night, the only bitterness I hold is that one generation's clarion call became my generation's cross to bear.

Today, I and other women are imprisoned by the unintended consequences of the very movement that aimed to break women from bondage. Yet some of us didn't feel like our home was a prison with the children and husband as the wardens. Society now expects me to want to "have it all" when I'd rather be with my children full time. Society now makes it difficult financially for families to choose to have a parent at home. Please don't mistake my feelings for a problem that needs to be solved by the government. The last thing I, and likely other libertarian-minded mothers, want is for the government to craft an inane "solution."

Will I work at outside the home again? Probably. If it's sooner rather than later, it will be out of sheer financial necessity. If later, it will likely be a more well-thought out reentry that fits a job around my family; not the other way around.

What I truly wish, though, is that women had the wisdom all those years ago to understand that, in the words of Ecclesiastes, "For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven." We live our lives in seasons and are meant to enjoy each one in the present. My season of all-consuming motherhood is so very short relative to my entire life and, for now, this is my identity.

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