Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Why Can't We Be Mom's?

Over the last few months, I have been REALLY disturbed by an issue going around. So much so that I have wrote this blog post about four times just because I have so much to say.

I have read a few articles about toys to let our daughters play with to inspire them to aspire be scientists, business women, doctors and to "disrupt the pink aisle." The goldiebox video going around is an example of what I am talking about.

Not that I don't agree that we should spark their creativity and encourage them to expand their horizons and their interests, because I do.

But at what cost? I feel like these articles circulating and these types of videos are a bit of an attack on being a mother or anything that would be found in the "pink aisle". (i.e. dolls, easy bake-ovens, etc.)

Why can't being a mother be something to aspire to? What if girls are perfectly fine with and desire to be "in the pink aisle"? Why can't girls like tut-tu's, butterflies, cupcakes and rainbows? Why does another girl liking science and math have to demean the other girl who likes the rainbows?

There is SUCH a stigma these days with wanting to be a mother. Like a woman can't want to be a mother without settling to be there in the first place. As if there was no way someone actually chose to be a mother instead of a doctor or a rocket scientist.

It reminds me of that scene from Mona Lisa Smile where the character Joan Brandwyn didn't go to Yale and wanted to be a wife and a mother, and ultra feminist Katherine Watson thought she was settling:
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Joan Brandwyn: No, I have to. I want a home; I want a family, that's not something I'll sacrifice.
Katherine Watson: No-one's asking you to sacrifice that, Joan, I just want you to understand you can do both.
Joan Brandwyn: Do you think I'll wake up one morning and regret not being a lawyer?
Katherine Watson: Yes, I'm afraid that you will.
Joan Brandwyn: Not as much as I regret not having a family, not being there to raise them. I know exactly what I'm doing and it doesn't make me any less smart.
[Katherine looks down]
Joan Brandwyn: This must seem terrible to you.
Katherine Watson: I didn't say that.
Joan Brandwyn: Sure you did. You always do. You stand in class and tell us to look beyond the image, but you don't. To you a housewife is someone who sold her soul for a center hall colonial. She has no depth, no intellect, no interests. You're the one who said I could do anything I wanted. This is what I want.
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I am not saying we need to get all 1950's lock-your-wife-in-the-kitchen about it. But in our efforts to get out of the mentality that being a housewife is the only thing a woman could do, we've gone to the extreme opposite in the way that being a mother is seen as the last thing someone wants to be on purpose.

Any woman that thinks that being a mother is a worthy thing to be on its own is thought be old-fashioned, lazy or non-ambitious.

This may sound hypocritical coming from me, considering before I actually had children and got married--I didn't want kids and I didn't know if I ever wanted to get married. I am not saying I aspired to be a mother or a wife when I was a kid. I was a theatre geek almost from the beginning and I aspired to a life in the theatre. I can say that since having Gracie, there is literally nothing else on this Earth I'd rather be doing. Even if that something was 8 shows a week on Broadway in the role of my dreams. I wouldn't trade it, not for all the Tony's in the world.

I do know women who want to be "just" a mom. I know little girls who when you ask what they want to be when they grow up, they answer enthusiastically: "I want to be a mom!"

Somewhere along the line, those dreams change for those little girls. Because of videos like the one above and those articles, little girls, young women, young adults, feel like the world looks down on being a mother. Like being a mother isn't something to be proud of.

In our quest to have our daughters be treated more equally in every aspect, we have diminished and almost eradicated an entire sector of interest.

Even when people introduce their children, it goes like this: "This is my son, he's a doctor! This is my daughter, she's a teacher! This is my other daughter and she's just a mom..."

I have very rarely heard being a mom met with as much enthusiasm as being a scientist, a doctor, a teacher, a fireman, etc.

And that just bothers me.

Parents literally shape the world. We shape these tiny humans from birth. How we raise them, how we teach them, how we mold them and how we love them can change the lives of thousands. It's a hard job and it only continues to get harder. Outside of being responsible for their physical well-being, we are most importantly responsible for their MENTAL well-being.

My daughter is two so I don't know so much about the hardships of childhood. But, I was a child once and I had the furthest thing from an easy or pleasant childhood. Parents impact your life way more than you think they will and for a lot longer than you ever dreamed. The long-ago actions of your mother, your father...one harsh word, one criticism...it can break you and can cause a ripple effect into future generations. It can literally be a life and death situation.  Does that sound like a job that isn't important?

Part of being a parent is letting your kid be whatever they want to be, letting them know ANY choice is available to them if they want it and that ANY choice is of value. That includes being a mom and it should be held as highly as any other job out there. Because when it comes down to it, there isn't a job that is more important than being a parent.



xoxo-
Tanika

2 comments:

  1. Amen. We should influence our children to follow THEIR dreams. Not society's dreams.

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  2. Oh my gosh yes. Yes! Yes! Yes! I wrote a very similar post a few weeks back. It's like an anti feminism rant... What I Want for My Daughter. I worry about the world she'll grow up in and this is one reason. We've taken it too far. Like the ordain women thing... I'd love to chat snit this for hours!

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Thanks for taking the time to say something back! :) One sided conversations are never any fun! :) Thanks for reading!