Monday, June 04, 2007
I wish I could change the world.There are times when I am amazed at how far we have come as women. I can't believe I get to live in a culture that allows me to do the things I do. I can express myself, I can live my life the way I want to live it, I can move freely about, and I have a say in how things are done in my country.I'm also amazed at how archaic things still are. I'm amazed at what it takes as a woman to carve a place in this world, and what guidelines people use to judge other women. How we judge ourselves, and how fucking hard women are on each other.I am "lucky" enough to stay home with my kids. I get to be there for them whenever they need me. If they are sick, I'm there. I have the freedom to do certain things whenever I please, even though I have to accommodate the schedules of three different schools and all the various activities my kids participate in. Whatever; that's my choice, too. I suppose I could homeschool all of them and make my schedule completely my own, but that's not what I want to do right now. I run my family, I am CEO in my home, and I am blessed to know that I have a husband who only wants me and our children to b happy. Somehow, we've gotten to a place where we can afford to do this (it wasn't always this way).It's not enough. Why? I don't know. It's killing me that I don't know. I don't want to go back into social work. I don't want to deal with things like abuse or rape like I did as a victim witness coordinator. I don't want to go sit in some fluorescent lit cubicle doing some asinine job just so I can get some credit for "working" (because I don't work, you know. It's all bon bons. All the time). I don't want to be beholden to some bitter employer and ask to leave so I can go care for my kids when and if they need me.I suppose ideally, I would have a career that impacted the people in my community in a positive way. It would be a dynamic, challenging, meaningful job that garnered the respect of my peers and those around me. There would be soft lighting in my office. I would get fifteen weeks off each year (summer, spring, and Christmas school breaks) and I would also have the freedom to leave whenever my kids needed me. I would also make $225,000 a year.You think I'm kidding, right? I'm not. I really think I can attain that. I'm just not sure how, not yet.I'm reflecting on my past weekend. I attended my state's PTA conference, and may I just say that if you have an opportunity to affiliate yourself and your school with the national Parent Teacher Association, do it. What an amazing force, both legislatively and at each school, making the voice of each child heard. I was so inspired by the great things we can do for our future by working together and making things happen.I'm also reflecting on the different types of women I encountered. Sure, you had your bevy of mousy, appliqued smock-wearing moms who have clearly given up any sense of femininity and power to serve their kids. You had the moms who were obviously a force, both as individuals and as involved advocates for their children and their children's schools. I had no idea if they worked outside the home or not, but they were smart, savvy, and interesting. Then you had the queen bees who had enough carats on their left hands to fund a third world army (yes, I admit to some bling lusting. I may or may not have licked the hand of the woman with the SIX carat asscher-cut solitaire). These were the women who immediately let you know what their husbands did (plastic surgeon/ anesthesiologist/ business owner). I wonder why they didn't just outright say My husband is really, really rich. This makes me important and if you couldn't tell by my clothes, my fake breasts, and my Rock of Gibraltar, you obviously are a minion unworthy of sitting at our table. Pay homage, or move on. And by the way, what does YOUR husband do?I encounter these women more than I care to admit. Both because of the town I live in, my own husband's job, and the schools where we send our children. I have decided that the next woman (because it's never a man) who asks me what my husband does for a living is going to be told that he is an out of work trucker who loves me as good as he can, and would maybe be a little nicer to me if only I would remember to bring home the damn Schlitz each night.In the meantime, I am also going to continue to try and work through these issues, and write a letter to Monster.com asking why the job with the aforementioned description is never listed.