Monday, November 12, 2012
Just walk away, there'll be no more tomorrow
Apparently today is the day to read More Working Mother posts. Laura Vanderkam has a post about the resignation letter from a lawyer who detailed her hellish schedule trying to juggle her family life and work. The original blog that posted the letter, and the HuffPo article about it (I'm lazy, Laura's post above has links) are about how the work culture in the US is stuck in the 1950s and doesn't jive well with two working parent families. This, I can totally get behind.
What irks me is all the posts and comments people are making on the different sites about how this woman isn't doing it right, that she's not outsourcing enough, that her quitting to handle family stuff was really an excuse for her not liking her job, and really how she's not prioritizing her time correctly and should be able to work full time, goshdarnit, because everyone else does it.
This is what sets my teeth on edge. Yes, *some* people can and do outsource everything, down to the night nanny to handle frequent baby wakings. Yes, *some* people need to work outside the home and would go batshit crazy if they were home with kids all day. Yes, *some* people thrive on a constant level of busy.
But not all of us are like that. And again, maybe it's because I haven't found my people in blog land so what I'm reading is biased.
Everyone's life activities are prioritized differently. Some people simply need more sleep (or uninterrupted sleep). Some people have a passion for what they do for work. Some people homeschool. Some people can only handle having one or two scheduled activities on a weekend.
Tonight, both kids in my house were finally asleep by 7:45pm. I wasn't going to blog. As you can see, some of my previous projects had to be dropped, like NaBloPoMo.
But then I read the comments in this AskMoxie post. Specifically, the ones by Jan and by Gina. I had to write this post after reading those. These women have articulated how I feel about working, far more eloquently than I ever could. They do work outside the home, but regret that it changes the relationship and time they spend with their kids.
There are those of us who do work, but whose work is quite simply a lower priority. Yes, maybe that means I don't LUUURVE my job so much I can't imagine not having it. (For the record, I do like it.) I've already detailed why I work.
But for me, and apparently at least a few of us out there, the answer is not always "outsource everything". And that's how I feel every time I see helpful tips like "hire an au pair/nanny" or "have the nanny give the kid a bath before you get home from work" or "just buy the cupcakes at the grocery store". This may work for some people, heck, even most working parents, but it doesn't work for me.
I want to do these things myself, even if "they" don't think those tasks are important. I'm very lucky to have an equal partner in my husband, a great preschool, and parents who live nearby for part of the year. Even with all that, *I* still want to do the hands on stuff, and not squeeze it into the 1 hour we have between dinner and bed. I'd like to make cupcakes from scratch and discuss and execute elaborate birthday plans with the 3 year old. And though it's not pleasant, I want to be the one who wakes up with the baby at night, not some person I hired.
I'm glad to know there are other people like me out there, and want to give a shout out to Jan and Gina for making me feel like I'm not an anomaly. But now, I must go. There is pumpkin bread to be baked and Project Life pages to be made.