My Mother Doesn’t Understand The Plight Of SAHMs Today

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Journalists have been saying as much throughout this so-called War on Women. Two weeks ago Kate Roiphe remarked, in the context of reviewing the erotic paperback Fifty Shades of Grey, that women fantasized about submission because the “free will” we’ve worked so hard, as a gender, to achieve, has become burdensome to many of us. In other words, too much liberation is not always a good thing – unless what you’re liberating yourself from is the power to choose.

Maureen O’Dowd said as much last week in a New York Times column called Phony Mommy Wars: “Women have so many choices that they’re overwhelmed by the stress of so many choices.”

Hear, hear!

At times I envy my husband, and not in the way you might think. He’s known from the day I discovered my pregnancy that, as the big wage-earner, his role would be to provide us with a steady income. It’s a lot of pressure, no doubt. But he has a defined role and he’s adapted to it.

Me, I’m all over the place. I take each day as it comes, and adapt to it as necessary, whether I’ve got a deadline, a sick child, a class trip or all three. If I were born 50 years earlier (or even 30 years earlier, like my mother) I suppose I would measure my success against my own mother, my peers and my heroes, the majority of which would be stay-at-home moms. And I’d take pride in that work.

Fifty years from now, my grandchildren may be facing a more certain future, possibly supported by infrastructure that allows all parents to work a flexible week and take turns caring for their children.

This is the sort of fantasy I’ve been having lately. Don’t tell my mom.

(Photo: SFC/Shutterstock)

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