Thursday, January 30, 2014

I don't look down on you, I pity you

 "I Look Down on Young Women with Husbands and Kids and I'm not Sorry". 

Do people really think that a stay at home mom is really on equal footing with a woman who works and takes care of herself? There’s no way those two things are the same. 
No, they are not on equal footing. It is much easier to go to work, shut the door on the chaos and the mess and the unpredictability that comes with running a household with multiple people, and embrace the orderly world on cubicles and punch cards. A woman at work has a boss to take care of her tasks and goals; a stay-at-home mom has to set those goals herself and then handle them on an unpredictable schedule. You might be shocked to find out that there are stay-at-home moms who run businesses out of their homes. There are moms who work on the side, and volunteer. There are moms who not only take care of themselves, they manage to take care of others.

We have baby showers and wedding parties as if it’s a huge accomplishment and cause for celebration to be able to get knocked up or find someone to walk down the aisle with. These aren’t accomplishments, they are actually super easy tasks, literally anyone can do them.
When there is a baby shower or a wedding, the celebration is of the potential, not of the actual accomplishment. It is easy to get married; it is hard staying married. (Cue the divorce statistics). It is easy to have a baby; it is hard to raise a decent human being.

I want to have a shower for a woman when she backpacks on her own through Asia, gets a promotion, or lands a dream job not when she stays inside the box and does the house and kids thing which is the path of least resistance.
Wait a second, I am missing something here. The reward for all the accomplishments you mention should be experiences along the way, the learning and wisdom it took to get there. The end result should be  a sense of personal satisfaction. Why do you need external recognition and additional party? Are you so desperate for approval of others? Or is it not an accomplishment if the world does not recognize it?

You will never have the time, energy, freedom or mobility to be exceptional if you have a husband and kids.
Well, not to brag, but I feel exceptional. I will play your game of external accomplishment here. I came to the States as a foreign student. I got a degree in college despite lack of financial resources. I got into a top graduate program. Heck, I got accepted into two graduate programs immediately, so that I cancelled my interviews at other schools. Oh, and I managed to get married, too. I got a paper published of my research. I did a liver donor search for my father. I landed a dream job working from home. I landed a teaching position without asking. I took courses in an area far from my expertise, for the sake of intellectual stimulation. I drove by myself up and down the country. I hike in great parks. I volunteer through my shul. Oh, and I managed to have four kids. I stay at home and homeschool them.
And if you really want to know what makes me exceptional, it's the learning of who I am that happened along the way. I thought I am Type A personality, but I discovered that I can function as Type B. I thought of myself as a brainy science-y type, but I discovered that looking at nature as an artist is extremely enjoyable. I thought I will suck at household chores (ask my mother), but instead I got the hang of them and even a certain rhythm. I thought I will end up a vegetarian, and here I am, stuffing birds' cavities upon occasion. I am flexible like that. I am not boxed in. You, on the other hand, are stuck being a career woman, out to prove something...

Women will be equal with men when we stop demanding that it be considered equally important to do housework and real work. They are not equal. Doing laundry will never be as important as being a doctor or an engineer or building a business. 
It's ironic that as I am blogging this (me, a stay-at-home mom without real accomplishments), my doctor husband (with a real job) is doing housework: picking up toys, wiping the counters, gathering laundry. I guess your parents still do your laundry since it is just so not important. I went to college with your ilk, carting laundry bags home on the weekends. 

So, dear Amy, I pity you. You obviously do not have a husband or kids. You obviously never spent more than five minutes thinking that the world cannot go on if women decide that accomplishments deserving external praise are more important than having kids. We would be dead in a generation in your version of liberated feminism.

Would you like a challenge? Find a person to engage in meaningful relationship with. It could be a friend. Then, once, give up a bit of an ambition for the sake of the relationship. Maybe you will find some meaning in life.


  1. Um, without starting world war three, you sound like you are a little upset about your own choices, and therefore feel the need to justify staying home by putting down women who work.

    By the way, in case you were wondering, it's not easier to work outside the home. In fact, I have DOUBLE the amount of work you do. Just because I work outside the home, doesn't mean I don't work inside the home. Shame on you.

    1. I am not sure why you think I am putting down working women. For a while I worked outside the home AND took care of kids, and yes, it was murder.
      I am sorry that the way you feel good about the work you do is by comparing it to my work and shaming me.