9 May 2010
“I grew up watching a mother who became with every new day whatever that day required of her. She produced gills when she needed gills, grew wings when the gills became obsolete, manifested ferocious speed when speed was required and demonstrated epic paetience in other more subtle circumstances.”
Elizabeth Gilbert, Committed
I remember coming home from a typical day of grade 2 classes and activities (whatever that may be) and my mom announcing to my brother and I that since our family was expecting another baby, she was quitting her job and would be staying at home with us full-time. My brother and I really didn’t know any better so we started jumping up and down and were extremely excited to, I guess, have our mom “back”. My mom tells me that she was overwhelmed that day and knew that was the best decision she had ever made.
Fast forward to 2010. Am I still so naive to think or want it all? To want and think that I can handle an accomplished career and a stable family? To be a loving daughter while pursuing my vision for a better world? I hear that many women want both, but I always see one take a backseat to the other. Our house had an interesting discussion last year and I asked “If you could only have one of: a loving family or the accomplish all your deepest dreams, what would you pick?”. It saddens me that there isn’t an established support structure to help women do both. Women who decide to solely devote their lives to raising children or solely in pursuit of their dreams (or careers) seem imbalanced or selfish for not taking on the superwoman-like duties of not only trying to do both, but excelling at both.
My mom gave up so much for herself for me and family. She put her career on hold to care for children who couldn’t understand or appreciated the depth and breadth of her sacrifice. And I’m sure she’s not alone in this. So today, I’ll hug my mom a little longer for her extraordinary gills, wings, and speed. But as for me, it will be a long-time coming, so I’ll put this thought into the parking lot until then. And yes, I still want it all.