Of Jobs and Motherhood: Guest Post from Mel

Mel is kind of living my dream: teaching and raising her baby. I think she might be onto something with this idea of our inclinations being a reaction to what we saw growing up. What do you think?

I think sometimes this choice [of working vs. staying home] is a reaction to what we see when we're growing up.  

My grandma was really poor, so she always wanted to work, and she worked when my mom was growing up.

Some bad stuff happened to my mom while her mom was working, so she said, "I will never leave my kids," and to this day has never really worked.

But then when I was growing up I thought my mom got trashed by my dad too much and had no options and no respect, etc. so I said "I will always be my own person and I will always be equal to my spouse," which was something I never thought I saw in traditional LDS relationships.  And that has been what I have chosen. I'm lucky to have an awesome spouse and an easy kid and the talent and opportunities to have a job I love and still be very much the primary caregiver.  I get both right now, and I'm very happy.  But it is very much driven by the inequality I saw in my home growing up.

By the way, your thoughts on this will change over time. For me and my good friend, the conflict peaked when our kids were four months old.  She came to my house when her kid was four months old and cried and cried about finishing her PhD.  My kid was twelve months old at that point, and I was like, "Dude, a few hours away feels great sometimes!"  But I remembered it didn't feel great at four months. (Not saying you'll want a few hours a way at twelve months; It isn't for everyone.) I'm just saying be open to change over time.  Your mom/infant relationship will be different that your mom/toddler relationship.  And that's normal!  


Cagney and Laci said…
I agree that your perspective changes as your baby gets older. It's so much harder to leave a helpless little babe than a moving one.
belann said…
Perspective certainly does change. But, I remember it being really hard to think of leaving teenagers free in the afternoon too. Too much was at stake.
Amara said…
Interesting how your experience changes your perspective. I never saw my mom work as I was growing up (at least outside of the home), and that helped to be able to picture myself in that role, when otherwise I might not have. I never felt like she had less respect or an unequal role in our house/family. My parents were partners from what I could see, just working from different sides of a mutual goal. I know this really differs based on the people in a relationship though, a good marriage is somewhat uncommon these days and they had that.
Amara said…
I just realized this might have come off sounding smug, or like if you "have a good marriage" everything will be ok as a SAHM. The truth is everyone is different as is every situation. Just was trying to share what I think I saw with my mom. Hope it wasn't offensive.
Deja said…
I think you're fine, Am. Mel has a good marriage, too. It definitely helps any scenario go better. No worries.

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