Although I don’t have a ton of time these days to keep up with all of the reading materials I subscribe to, this week’s New York Magazine cover story certainly caught my eye. The title is “The Retro Wife” and was written by Lisa Miller.
I was immediately drawn to this article because I’ve always struggled with the idea of whether women can have it all, and if you can still be a feminist and an empowered woman while staying at home raising your kids, cooking, and cleaning. How I feel about both of these debates is this:
1. You can have it all, you just won’t be able to do it all 110 percent. Something has got to give. That means you may have to leave work earlier than you used to in order to get home in time to relieve your childcare or you may not be able to make it to all of your kids’ soccer games because you have a job that requires travel or you may not have a hot dinner that you made on the table every night (or even a couple of nights a week).
2. Yes, you can be an empowered feminist and still stay home as long as you decide that that’s what you want to do and are not forced to do it. My mom always told me I could be anything I wanted when I grew up, and if I want to be a stay-at-home mom or housewife, that falls into that category. A woman can still be an independent thinker, smart, and powerful while staying at home.
And although I’m still working, I work from hom as a freelancer and can make my own schedule leaving my time open for H. I’m not saying I would never go back to a fulltime job, but it is overwhelming to ponder how I would work with a nanny or daycare center on how to raise H the way I have. I love that I get to be with him 24/7 and guide who he becomes without anyone else’s opinion or interaction.
I want to make it very clear, I am not judging. I’ll admit it, I used to do that before I had my own child and started staying home with him. I don’t think there is one right way to raise your kids and work. I think every mom and parent has to do what is right for them. And the grass is always greener. Some days I find myself in sweats running to grab some caffeine with H strapped to my chest jealous of those briefcase toting office goers, but I think they are probably jealous of me sometimes too.
So my question is this: Do you have any regrets about the decision you’ve made? Do you think women can have it all and do everything at full capacity?