Welcome to Kira's Blog

Welcome to My Blog

Life with young children can be challenging, but with the support and advice of friends, we can feel empowered and thankful for the blessing of being a Mom.

My musings are those of a self-proclaimed attachment-parenting Tiger mom, who juggles full-time mommying with a small (but growing!) baby-related business. I hope some of my thoughts help you
Enjoy your day, Enjoy your night, and Enjoy your kids!!!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

The Perfect Balance Myth

Having attended a feminist all-women's college, I headed into my 20's bright-eyed and ready to take on "having it all." I was expecting to juggle a healthy, happy family with a successful career, deeply enriching friendships, and generous involvement in a few social-interest groups. My children would be respectful, my husband doting, and my career steady and strong. And who was to tell me this isn't a likely picture? After all, women have come so far, shouldn't we still be shooting for the moon and aiming to crash through the glass ceilings?
Into my 30's, I started to look around at my fellow feminists and found that life wasn't serving us what we thought we had deserved. We had children who were brats or careers in flux. We weren't anywhere near those glass-ceilings, or if we were then we sacrificed everything, including our dignity, in order to reach them.
Most importantly, we are finding that the golden picture that had been painted for us was mostly a myth. There is no perfect balance, and there is no "having it all". Parents who work full-time, dual-careers see their children raised by someone else. And parents who choose to take a break from their career track to take care of their babies find themselves side-swiped and face tremendous headwinds re-entering the work force. Many of us don't have the means for full-time help, so we need to choose between time spent with children, with spouses, at the gym (or otherwise "taking a moment to ourselves") or with general "household management": cleaning up, paying bills, taking care of repairs, grocery shopping, healthy-food-preparation, etc. etc. Some of us are divorced or never found the right life-partner. Some of us have faced unemployment more than once. Some of us filed for bankruptcy or experienced chronic illness or loss. And many of us - perhaps the majority - are jaded and confused. What happened to "having it all"?
Since we all have 24 hours in our day, it's a zero-sum game: you cannot simultaneously prepare healthy dinners while also spending dinner-hour at that terrific Zumba class. Likewise, you cannot simultaneously work late to meet deadlines while also cleaning up the mess the kids made in the kitchen over the weekend. I have found that something has to give: for those of us with families, either children are neglected, the house is in disarray, the career isn't thriving, or the feminist-mom is taking valium just to keep from exploding. And alternatively, those of us without these family-related challenges are constantly put in the position of justifying our single-life or child-free status.
We are doing the next generation a disservice by not preparing them for real challenges that feminism has yet to address. While there are increasing women in the workforce, we are still underpaid compared to our male counterparts, and childcare is considered an afterthought. We are terribly competitive with each other, sharing idyllic photo-stories of ourselves and our lives on the internet, so that others may feel shamed if they haven't found or chosen the same work-life balance that appears on the screen. We want to have-it-all, but we don't have role models to guide us to fulfill that dream.
With all of the glowing stories and interviews in the media, I wish there were more space and room for addressing the struggles and challenges that we face. We need role models who will not only break through glass ceilings, but who will likewise break open their hearts and share their struggles and challenges, so that the rest of us can learn and benefit from the fuller picture. Many of us still have big hopes, dreams, and goals for our future and the future of other women across the country and the world. And in order to meet those goals and achieve those dreams, we need to be honest and open about the sacrifices that are made along the way.

No comments:

Post a Comment