Tuesday, August 28, 2007

When Generations Collide

Back when my mother and mother-in-law were raising children, the terms "working mother" or "career mom" were unheard of. They were happy to be like June Cleaver, staying at home with their children while Ward worked and made all the money to maintain their place in middle class society.

Those days are long gone for many families. Women in the workforce are not the odd birds who couldn't find Mr. Right; they are women who want to have meaningful careers in addition to family lives. This issue has been discussed to death in my home as I have fought to carve out a writing career while raising two young children.

There are those in my family--immediate and extended--who believe I should shelve my writing career until both girls are in school, which means two years from now. This is contingent upon me not having to work outside of my house by that time, since any income I would make from my writing until then, would be gone.

And then there are those who understand that being a wife and mother isn't all of who I am. My writing is something I do for me and whether I ever get published or not, I would rather cut off one of my limbs than not be able to write.

So, where does that leave me? Positioned straight in the middle of two generations--one who remembers the days of Leave it to Beaver and Father Knows Best and who would prefer I be more like June Cleaver or Margaret Anderson, and the other who has always been filled with working mothers searching for ways to balance a career and family.

I'm not sure I'll ever know which one is best for my family, but I remember that old saying, "If Mom ain't happy, ain't nobody happy." So, I'm going for being happy and hoping it all works out.


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