I’ve always been a very carefree fly by the seat of your pants kind of person. I hate schedules with a passion and suffer anxiety any time I have to make plans (and I almost always break them). I moved to Europe with $500 to my name, counting on my usual luck & good fortune (with a dash of relying on my charming personality) that I would find work and everything would fall into place. People often use words & phrases like “firecracker”, “spunky”, “spitfire,” and “free spirit” to describe me.
I’ve never NOT lived paycheck to paycheck – the most I ever managed to save and put away was $1000. I’ll be damned if I know where all the money went (food? booze? coffee?) because for many years I made a decent living at my web development/trainer job. In Prague… well, no, didn’t make much there and I COULD have made tons of money doing private English lessons, but I wasn’t all that motivated.
“Career” is not something that I’ve ever thought or cared about. There were lots of things I wanted to DO – travel, write about traveling, translate… I wanted to be the person that made the brain matter for horror movies once, too. And now – now I’m working on making myself a postpartum doula and birth educator, but it’s still not something I consider a “career.” It just doesn’t interest me. Never has. The things that interest me are quality of life, quality time… the coziness of laying in bed on a rainy afternoon, going out to eat brunch at favorite cafes, train rides & fat novels, making playlists, road trips, and of course, world travel.
This is me. (See? There’s a reason Holland has always been so close to my heart.) The men can have their careers, I’m quite happy with my inequality, thank you.
Mr Nikki, on the other hand… he IS career driven, though it’s not even so much about his career as it is that he’s incredibly passionate about what he does. He’s made strategic moves and networked and worked his ass off to get to where he is now. He lives & breathes his job and for the most part, I’m happy to take part. He is also financially savvy and hasn’t lived paycheck to paycheck for a good decade. He’s got stock options and savings accounts and had amassed a good chunk of change, over the last decade, for the sole purpose of buying or building a house. He plans, he thinks ahead – in short, he’s the perfect match for me. I force him to cut loose and be spontaneous, and he gives me the freedom to live my “Dutch woman” life. It benefits us both, really, because that means he comes home to proper, delicious, home cooked meals every night and has a cozy house to come home to.
When we’d met, he’d told me about the explosive breakup with his previous girlfriend that partially involved her “career” (though, really, it involved her trying to sleep her way to the top but that’s another story.) My response was, has always been and will always be – there isn’t room in a relationship for two careers. There just isn’t. And if some feminist woman looks down on me for being happy at home, jolly for her – the thing is, unlike some women, I think I’m pretty damned interesting & fulfilled on my own and I don’t need a “career” to complete me.
Anyway. Interesting how these two articles I read this week (thank you Jezebel, and thank YOU, Sarah) tie together. I read this article about breastfeeding the day before that one about Dutch women and WOAH, where to begin? Ok, let’s start with this – Hanna Rosin, who writes for Slate and who I LOATHE, said that breastfeeding contributes to women’s inequality.
Uh. Yeah. I had to read that a couple of times to let it sink in.
Listen – I don’t care who the hell you are, if you think breastfeeding is holding you down & making you “inequal” to men, you’re an idiot and you should not be having children. At all. Ever. Along those lines, shouldn’t we be saying that PREGNANCY contributes to our inequality? I mean, why stop at breastfeeding? The very fact that you’re able to give birth, well.
So, just don’t, ok?
I don’t care if I piss anyone off – I am so sick of this feminism/identity/female/motherhood bullsh*t. It’s true – breastfeeding does contribute to inequality – as in men are inequal because women are able to sustain life, give birth, and then sustain that life, all with their own bodies . As Lynn said – doesn’t that make us far SUPERIOR? Since when does a stupid job – of which there are a dime a dozen – make you worthy and equal? I think the inequality/feminism argument is a lot of loud squawking to cover up the fact that those women feel horrendously GUILTY.
I love being a mother, unapologetically. I love staying at home with my son and teaching him to really enjoy life. I love that my husband loves his work and loves being a provider and I am eternally grateful that we can afford to do what we love. Even on the tough days, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I am confident, as a mother, and I avoid the stay at home versus work at home mom battle because it simply doesn’t matter to me. I don’t feel smaller or less of anything for being a stay at home mom and no one can make me feel that way. Not even the one thing that has always defined me, the one thing I’ve loved above all else – travel – can satisfy me or make me as happy as seeing my son smile when I walk into the room. I feel sorry for any woman who feels inequal for being a mother, and for BREASTFEEDING. I feel even more sorry for their children.
The only thing that makes you inequal is your lack of confidence & passion for what you do.