jueves, 9 de julio de 2009

Sobre la ideología detrás de la decisión

En la entrada anterior, les invité a leer la carta de una joven madre estadounidense llamada Anna. Anna, madre hace apenas unos meses, busca consejo sobre cómo lidiar con la toma de una importante decisión: convertirse en una "stay at home mom" para criar a su hija. Es una carta franca. Pero tanto o más interesante que la carta son los comentarios y reacciones de las lectoras (y alguno que otro lector).

Como son muchos, he hecho una selección de algunos de ellos para poder discutir lo que algunas feministas han llamado "ideology of choice". Es increíble, pero hemos estado hablando de lo mismo por ya casi 40 años y todavía estamos paradas sobre la discusión. Si acaso, hemos retrocedido porque sin haber alcanzado el derrumbe de la doble jornada ya las madres jóvenes están recogiendo velas. Veamos algunos de los comentarios.

There are hundreds (thousands?) of women who would love to be in the position to stay home (although we are no longer allowed to admit it, lest the pro-work feminists attack us). Feminism, for me, is all about being able to choose. You chose a great career, but now you’re choosing motherhood. And it’s not like all of the work experience you’ve gained since you were 16 will magically disappear. Depending on your career, stay up-to-date on the latest developments in the field (software, research, whatever). Only you can decide what’s right for you. Don’t listen to those who tell you you are wasting your time/talents, nor those who would tell you that simply considering staying at work is the most selfish thing you can do. Your heart already knows what it wants to do. You just need the reassurance that it is ok. It’s ok. It’s ok to work. It’s ok to stay home. Do what’s best for you and your family. As someone who has gone back to work, I’ll say this, it never gets any easier, and that longing never goes away

As parents, we need to stop being ‘ashamed’ of the desire to be an active part of a relationship that is a natural and vital part of humanity.
This letter literally had me in tears, as I, too, spent my entire life dedicated to my career (I am an attorney), only to have my priorities shift when my daughter was born nearly 3 months ago. I would love to stay at home with Bitlet full-time, but that is not possible. I commend Anna for reevaluating her priorities, and for her honest evaluation of those early days, and wish her nothing but the best of luck.

I am a professional and have two young children and went back to work 8 weeks after having each of them. They are extremely precious to me. I do all that I can for them and spend as much time as I can with them. I love my career and I spent many years in school and worked hard to get where I am. When I think about what adjectives define who I am, a mother is only one of the many adjectives that I would chose to describe myself. Even before I had children I did not want to be defined by them. I wanted them to be part of what defines me and my career is another part of what defines me. I would not take that away just like I would not take away the definition of being a mother. Everyone needs to make their own choices. There is no wrong or right but what make us happy and gives us pride.

I must say that when I started reading this article, I started getting mad. I thought it was going to be the usual, tired song and dance about how “I’m a woman, raising a kid is a pain in the ass, and my real job is working in an office.”
Then I continued to read further and was amazed that you ended up going in the other direction. I have always been skeptical that women who were hard-core about their jobs and positions could ever be turned from then for the most important job ever: child care. This has made me think otherwise.
If only more mothers, even those who are stay-at-home, would think like this, families would be far better off, in my opinion.

I take comfort in knowing I’m not alone in this and that many women struggle daily with this decision. I also know that I have the power to change my situation if I want to and that no one situation is truely perfect. I think we’ll always feel like we’re leaving a little something behind, whether it’s the career we downsized in order to stay home, or the loss time with baby that we sacrifice in order to work.

if you have just taken three months PAID maternity leave and you quit now are you making it harder for all the working moms who come after you at the company. Every mom who doesn’t come back or quits shortly after returning from paid leave seems to be brought up a regular basis at my company when another woman is pregnant and going on leave.

Don’t sell yourself short. You are the best person to care for your child. I am a stay at home mom and I see wonderful nannies all day long and I see terrible ones. But even the children who have the wonderful nannies still want their mommies instead.

Decide what is right for you - not for society or anyone else and don’t feel guilty about your decision. Enjoy your time because your child is gonig to grow up before you realize it.

As a childfree woman, I can’t help but wonder if your employers will be hesitant to hire a woman to replace you for fear of her doing the same thing you’ve done.

I am SO glad, now that we’ve all settled in, that I kept working. I am contributing needed income for my family, accruing SS and disability benefits, making sure my professional skills stay sharp, partaking in our larger society outside of my role as a mom, and I get to go the bathroom all my myself, ha ha. AND I get to be a mother to a wonderful toddler who is very happy to see her teachers each weekday morning but also runs to hug me each evening.

My simplistic, male, point of view:
Can you image, 30 years from now (maybe while watching you daughter walk down the aisle at her wedding), wishing that you had spent more time at work, rather than with her?

It would be nice if this blog could write about moms who have no choice but to work, who don’t bother agonizing over the question of whether to return to work or not but rather, need to focus their attention on being both good workers and good mothers because they have to be both no matter what- maybe a discussion/suggestions about ways in which moms like that/us make that juggle work. I feel for Anna, but I’m tired of this same old middle class opt out discussion.

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