When a woman becomes a mom, she has to lay aside many dreams and aspirations in order to take hold of this new dream and new life she holds in her arms.
Careers are laid down. Degrees are forgotten. In today’s society this can be a big blow. Before where a woman's place was solely in the home and she was honored for her ability to keep house and cook - she now has choices. The women’s rights movement gave us many things, but unfortunately I still don't see the equality being the outcome.
My children and I recently have been reading Laura Ingles Wilder’s book Farm Boy. To me, his mother seems like a super hero. She was a machine in times there were none. And yet there was a sense of love and respect shared between everyone in the home. It worked.
she had no machines (except her loom) and made all the clothes from scratch - wool to dye to yarn to loom to pattern to clothes. And her family was greatful and proud of her work. She actually brought in quite a bit of income as well from all the items she made; from butter to dyed yarn.
You may disagree and that is fine, but I find it odd that now in day and age where we have machines and everything at our fingertips it seems that women are more lost than ever to find meaning in what we do. We now can have a career and stay at home - it is this daily struggle of these choices we must face.
We also face a loneliness I do not see from this artisan mother of the early 1800s. Her heart was full with the life she led. She was not isolated and kept a parlor for hosting and went to church. However, I think there was another reason. Life was survival. Life was not one of laziness. Life was something where if people did not take care of each other they would struggle to survive. There was not time during the week to feel bad for ones self I think? Its just a theory of mine...
Even Sunday - the afternoon was spent in quiet reflection- of God - not of self.
It was a hard life, but from what I can tell from the book they were content and happy.
Today mothers struggle with loneliness, feelings of i adoption, unappreciation, pressure to work and judgemental opinions of others.
And unfortunately I don’t have a real solution to the problem. Because each one of us has to make adjustments in our life to figure out what it would take to choose happy over discontentment.
But I think that it is ultimately a choice. And taking an inventory or your goals and family needs is a great place to start.
Many women need to work at least part time now adays. I grew up on the low income side of middle class. And we prayed for clothes sometimes. But my parents were frugal and we did with less than most. But I felt my childhood was mostly happy because of the focus my parents had on God, family, imagination and service.
I came into adulthood with a lot of school debt. Something that many of my generation have to deal with.
Its not fun. It was life choice I was unprepared for.
I had plans for working it off using my Masters in a low income area, but my husbands job was supposed to take is overseas and then we got pregnant sooner than expected.
I’ve slowly had to let go of many of my dreams. My seasoned friends tell me there will come a time to pick them back up again. So now I turn my focus to my home and family and doing thankless jobs like changing diapers and vacuuming. But why does it have to be joyless? I’m not sure that it has to be.
It has taken me several years to really start to find the joy though and worth in what I am doing. There is no paycheck or verbal feedback. Its just doing.
And last year when I was really going through a rough patch in my life, I took up an MLM to help turn my focus of my lack luster life and the pain I was feeling both physically and spiritually towards others. I enjoyed it.
But here is the flip side. As with anything in life many people had issues with it. They don’t believe in Mulit Level Marketing models for what ever reason. Or they choose to purchase lower quality higher priced items from Francescas or Anthropologie (I enjoy both of these stores) - the corporation - instead of me - a stay at home mom. I have been criticized for not spending enough time with my kids or placing value on something other than God.
but Ive also gotten criticized for how I do dishes and my love of animals. I’ve had people question my choice of masters degree. There will always be that one person at the wedding upset about their placement or who dislikes the food.
There are always going to be people in our life who will question us. Some out of selfishness and others out of true concern.
So what is a woman in this modern world to do?
Soul search my friend. Dig deep. Are you doing what you are called to do? Are you doing what you need to do? Love to do? Want to do? And if you aren’t- what are you doing to pursue that? And if your dreams are just dreams are you doing what you can to find joy in the mundane simple moments you are given? Are you spreading negativity around you or are you creating happy bubbles around you? Get rid of the negative people (though it is good to keep enemies in close watch I do believe and not be ignorant of destructive people) and keep the positive healthy people close. What if its a family memeber who tears you down? Limit time with them and practice truthful self talk to combat their negativity.
And then this Christmas season - focus on serving others. Don’t judge the MLMers, or the Part timers or the Stay at homers or Full Timers ... we all have our reasons. What is important is what is YOUR reason this season.