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Wednesday, July 04, 2012



I think our generation (those of us born in the 60s primarily) were sold a bill of goods our entire lives. You cannot wait to establish a high powered career and then have children whenever you want to...biology doesn't wait for tenure. Nor do children understand or care about the demands of a boss or a job or a deadline. In many ways, more choices bring more difficulty. It's easy to follow rules (you must work, you must not work) and I think we've seen a rise in religiosity because strict religious observance often provides a framework and rules to live by. It makes for fewer choices and less agonizing.

And for those of us who had working mothers at a time when most middle class women were homemakers, I think they had an easier time too, ironically. It's easier to rebel against something, have a position to take, than to have to narrow down choices and make decision after decision. Don't get me wrong, I'll take more options over fewer any day, but I do think it's harder, significantly more complicated, and more likely to require frequent adjustments and compromising than not.


I think it will get easier over time as we have more role models to look to. When I was making the most important decisions of my life, I thought about a few women I knew who worked but didn't have kids, my mom who didn't work and a few moms who worked and hated it. It has been about 10 years since I first started thinking about these things, and my posse of role models has expanded considerably. I am hoping that by the time my daughters are older they will have many women to look up to and will be able to pick and choose what they want to do.

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