So here I am start of the new decade: a mother to a three year old boy, partner to a super man, part time worker, part time grad student and 4 1/2 months pregnant. It's a lot for this lady to handle at times, but I am surviving and doing good enough at all my jobs, except maybe the laundry.
Life is busy and there are always 15 things on my to-do list. As tired as I am I still feel empowered. I am living my values as a feminist and it feels great to me. I am teaching my children that we can be and do anything we set our minds and hearts to do; by example, the best way to teach them. And I am teaching myself that very valuable lesson too.
But most importantly to me, I am arming myself with the education and connections that will help me be able to provide for myself and my children. I have a real fear of being left alone to support my kids, whether due to separation, death, etc. I really don't want to wake up one day and be in my 40's with no real career prospects and a 15 year hole in my resume with two kids to support. Not so much for the ego-driven reasons, but because I am capable of being a fantastic mother and a professional woman (and I want to). I am also responsible for the care and feeding of other humans, a responsibility I take seriously. I can't be happy with being the "stay at home" parent for years and years (although I firmly support the right of any other parent to do so if they choose to). I just can't.
A couple years ago I was content to think about not ever having a career. I could take care of my family and work as needed or desired. But now I see a different future. I really do feel sad when I think about all the women who think they have to choose between a career and being a great mother or partner.
I do recognize that without the full support and encouragement of a capable and loving partner, it really is near impossible to accomplish what I am attempting to do. I am so grateful for my partner and all he does for me and our family. We really are partners, unlike many couples, unfortunately. As an example of the sexist attitudes that still prevail in our society, even among people who would never consider themselves sexist, I offer this. My partner and I have discussed the fact that in order for me to get a good and desirable public health job when I am through with my studies, we may need to move to another city. He is completely willing to do so. Now when I talk about this with friends or family members often I get the reaction of shock. They are suprised that he would move away for my career prospects. But of course they would say nothing about me agreeing to move for his new job or promotion. Sure sometimes I bitch about the fact he doesn't do more around the house or procrastinates on things, but I also know that no matter what he has got my back. And to me that is more important than having all his dirty socks in the hamper.
So the moral of this story is: behind every successful and happy superwoman is a damn good partner (maybe even some of those are men).