Can’t we all just hug it out and sing kumbayah?

I’ve been meaning to write about working moms vs. stay at home moms for almost a year now.  I watched a show where a stay-at-home mom had the audacity to say “if you don’t have time to raise your children (stay at home with them), maybe you shouldn’t have them.”  Now I’m watching a show with married women telling single women they can’t be truly happy unless they’re married and have kids.  I’ve also been in the middle of arguments about women taking their husband’s names and/or being called Ms. vs. Mrs.

Why can’t I make my choices and you make your choices and we can support one another?  Why is the value of my decision based on your decision?  I can’t feel good about being married and having a son unless you are also married and have children?  If there is a “recipe” for happiness, I certainly haven’t seen it.  And what makes one person happy is not the same as what makes the next person happy.

When women “burned their bra’s” and fought for the right to vote and equality I believe it was for ALL women to make a choice that was best for themselves, their families, and their kids.  I don’t think it was just for “working mom’s,”  “single women,” etc.

Can anyone say duh.  I can’t believe we’re really still having this conversation.  Last time I checked unhappiness didn’t discriminate.  Unhappiness happens for women, men, married, single, parents, all religions, races, and ethnicities.  I could go on and on!  What are your choices?  Do you think others should make the same choices?

My sister and I could not be more different in almost all the choices we have made (except we are both teachers) and we couldn’t love and respect each other any more.  Right now Jess says she doesn’t want to get married and have kids.  I will support her if she does or doesn’t.

The only problem I have is people who do things because others pressure them into it and people that judge others.  Anyone who wants to tell me that I shouldn’t be a mom because I work can suck it.  I’m a better mom because I work and I’m a better person because I’m a mom.  And I like to be called Mrs. Joshua Hanke in formal situations.  Those are my choices, the ones that make me happy.  And those that don’t like my choices, try living your own life and being happy with YOUR choices.

It’s like people coining the term “pro-life.”  That is implying that the other side is “anti-life.”  Which does not classify me correctly.  I am pro-choice and that implies the opposite is anti-choice (which I believe more correctly defines the other side).  I am pro-choice about everything.  You have the right to choose what you want for your life.  It’s your right to make those choices and stand in the power of your choice.  Let’s all try being supportive of one another instead of trying to cut each other down.

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8 Responses to Can’t we all just hug it out and sing kumbayah?

  1. Vince says:

    It always amazes me how many fanatics there are in the “women’s” movement. Talk to women who are pro breastfeeding, home schooling, etc and they’ll go on and on about how that is the best thing ever and how everyone else is an idiot.

    My wife doesn’t stay home for one very good reason. We can’t afford it. Costs to live are so high these days most people need 2 incomes just to get by. When our kids were small, we lived very modestly and yet with the cost of day care we were forced into a situation where my wife could work and we’d slowly go into debt or she could quit her job to stay with the kids and we’d very quickly drown in debt.

    Nice choice, eh? Wonder what those stay-at-home-mom Nazi’s would think of that?

  2. Denise says:

    Kate, you couldn’t have written it better! I just read the other posts about the messages (I also keep messages… and read/listen from time to time…), about Finn (he is looovely, so cute!) and your grandmother (I hope she’s really fine now!) and I simply loved all your posts and your points-of-view!
    It meets mine as well… I told you I am a teacher, right now not working, to finish my Master’s (and I don’t have a work permit where I live now… :( I love to teach, I miss it… so much. But I always loved to travel. I remember at the teachers’ room during class breaks, that my former colleagues – the majority mothers – attacked me – this is the right word – shouting at me because I would travel on vacations. And they couldn’t afford it. I find it lovely to be a mother, but yes, it restricts some things and give rewards as well. For me, I wanted to travel and up to now didn’t have kids – and I don’t know if I will… would be lovely! But I’m prepared NOW and wasn’t before… to those colleagues, who told me “if I were like you, without kids, I would travel around the globe as well!” I used to say: “don’t expose your kids this way. It sounds as if you preferred not to have them”.
    And I completed: For every choice, there’s something we decline. It’s a matter of choice, like you said. They had kids and had the reward of seeing them smiling, saying “mom” for the first time, so on… and couldn’t travel. I could travel, but I didn’t have a beautiful sweet child to hug and show the beauty of the world… for every choice, there’s something we leave behind…

  3. Denise says:

    I don’t know why it didn’t go together with the previous comment… I was trying to complete it…
    There’s an excellent quote about rights… some say it was Voltaire who said that, some that it was Evelyn Beatrice Hall… it doesn’t matter, what matters is the quote:
    “I disapprove what you say, but I will defend up to death your right to say it.”
    And one of my friends wrote on facebook the following, last week, and I loved it:
    “Selfishness is not living the way you want. Selfishness is asking the others to live the way you do, the way you think people should live”.
    So right…

  4. Jessica says:

    Amen!

  5. Aunt Karen says:

    Mrs. Joshua Hanke-

    You go girl!

    (Or should I say “woman”…”person”
    …”human” …”damsel”
    …”mademoielle”…”lady”..
    .
    you get the point.

  6. linlah says:

    “stand in the power of your choice”, perfectly said.

  7. Kate says:

    Just stumbled across your site. And this post resonates with me today. I barely know the best way to live my life. I make the best choices I can with all the information I have. We ALL do. I hate it when there is a value laid on a choice that has nothing to do with it.
    I’m looking forward to reading more here.

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