I would love to live 6 different lives. Truthfully, there is a part of me that would love to be a small business owner who lives in a small town or a headstrong attorney in the city or an influencer exploring the world or a socialite who parties like crazy or a badass in JAG or just a mom who is raising her babies and supporting the home for her husband and children. The last one doesn’t sound very glamorous (and frankly, it isn’t!) but it is exactly where I want to be and the life I want to be living.It has taken me a while (and trust me, I am still working on it) to accept the fact that it is
alright fantastic if your purpose is raising a happy family. We live in an age where you are pushed to do more and be more and strive for more…and it feels like you are never enough just being mom. I’m not sure where I find this guilt, maybe it’s from my 100 year old Nana who was so proud of me when I graduated law school (she even flew down for my graduation in her mid-nineties!) and told me that she could never have dreamed to be an attorney when she was my age. Or maybe it’s the talks with my husband, who always imagined a working spouse–literally, spring break junior year of college I told him when I “grew up” I wanted to be a stay at home mom; and he replied that people just didn’t do that any more (well young Drew, apparently we do ;)). Or maybe it’s the pushing from my parents when they ask what I’m going to do when the kids are in elementary school and me feeling guilty that they supported me while I was in school for so many years. Or maybe it’s all the self-help books and podcasts preaching to do more and build a bigger life and dream a bigger dream. Or maybe it’s me internalizing all of these outside voices and thinking that if enough people are saying it, it must be true–I must do more in this life than raise children.I recently watched a documentary about the gender pay gap in America. Basically, it said the pay gap is caused by child-rearing. Women take more responsibility with children and even if both spouses are working, the responsibilities with the kids fall more on women than men–allowing men to advance in their careers while women are overlooked because they are more likely to miss work for sick children, not travel as much, etc.
I am so proud and beyond grateful for all the women who fought and continue to fight for gender equality. It is amazing to live in a society where women grow up knowing they can do whatever a man can do (seriously, this should have been the way it always has been!).
That being said, I feel somewhat guilty that I am not taking advantage of their hardwork. I am living a life that women 60 and 70 years ago lived (minus the housekeepers, cigarettes and cocktails around the clock–thats what they did in the 1950’s right?!). I am a woman who, while very educated, is staying at home to cook and clean and care for the children while my husband is in corporate America earning a living to support our family.I am grateful that I went to college and law school and am a member of SC bar; all things that I probably couldn’t have done 50 years ago. I was afforded these amazing experiences and am able to have a career outside the home, if I choose or need to later in life. It is amazing to know that I have a parachute and can support myself/family, if needed.
But, at the end of the day, I am leaning into my purpose as a mom. As I have wanted to be since I was 6 years old playing house in the basement of our small house in Hickory, I am a stay at home mom who is nurturing and raising my babies to be the kindest and happiest people they can be. I am thankful to my husband, for supporting my dream of raising children; to my parents for financing my parachute and for all the trailblazers who fought/fight for women which has brought me peace knowing that I have choices in my life and can be what ever I want to be–which right now, is Mom.