Saturday, July 7, 2012

I Don't Know How She Does It

Movie night! I decided to stay in tonight and watch "I Don't Know How She Does It." I actually read the book several years ago. It's a memoir of a working mother of two children. I remember that at the end of the book, Kate Reddy, the woman who "had it all," decided to quit her job to stay home with her kids. I was wondering if the movie ended the same way.

It turns out, at the end of the movie, Kate Reddy doesn’t quit her job. She does, however, have an epiphany. She says, “I have two lives, and I don’t enjoy either one of them…and trying to be a man is a waste of a woman.” She tells her boss that she can’t go on last-minute business trips anymore because she wants to spend more time with her kids. I’m glad the movie ended that way. Sometimes you have to compromise in certain places in order to balance everything.

I always promised myself that I would find a way to balance career and family. For a few years, I was adamant that I would never have children. I was afraid that I wouldn't be able to handle a full time job and little kids. I also cherish my free time. I love to read and travel; and I know that having kids will change the nature of my leisure time for about eighteen years or so.

Now, I'm pretty sure that I do want kids in the next few years, but I know it's going to come with a lot of challenges in terms of balancing career and family. Everyone says it's worth it, but I guess you never really know until you dive in and try it. I know my husband will be a great father, but I'm a little scared that I won't be the best mother. My mom is amazing. She stayed home to raise three kids, and she was so attentive and caring. She came to all our little league games and dance performances. I hope that I will be able to be half as good as my mom was at raising kids. I'll just have to find a way to balance my career and being a semi-super-mom.

I just read an article in The Atlantic entitled, "Why Women Still Can't Have It All." It was written by Anne-Marie Slaughter, a working woman with two teenage sons. She talked about how women from my generation are starting to quit their jobs to take care of their kids. I completely understand why women are choosing to give up their careers when they have children, but I just don't think I'll be able to do that. I complain about my job a lot. A LOT. But I get so much satisfaction from my job because it's challenging and rewarding. I feel important when I'm at work. It also feels good to pay half the mortgage and bills. I can't imagine giving all that up. Just like everyone says, people always figure it out once they have children. I hope everyone is right!

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