I’ve repeated some version of what I’m about to say on here before. I don’t like it when women justify their choices as they make them. I think we do it because we’re insecure. I know we do it because we’re insecure. But the reason I don’t like it when other women do it is because I myself am insecure. It makes me question my own judgment (though it shouldn’t). It makes me think you question my judgment (which you don’t, I don’t think). I especially get distressed when women defend their choice to leave the general workforce (or, um, not enter it) to raise kids.
Because even though there was a time when it was not considered the feminist thing to do, and even though many people wonder how a family could possibly raise kids on one salary, and even though there is still some lingering judgment about the choice to stay at home, the fact is that the vast majority of people get it. Of course it’s ideal to spend time with your kids, at any age, but especially when they’re young. Of course it’s amazing to have a person who can keep the household running smoothly doing the things that are next to impossible to get done when you work somewhere else. You don’t need to tell me that this is part of God’s plan for your family.
This is where I’m a hypocrite, though, because I am going to defend my career choice now. Not because I think I’m different (I’m not), but because maybe it never occurred to you that taking a corporate law gig jives with wanting a family. (Which is stupid, actually, because I can’t think of a lot of women with kids who would object to her husband taking my job because, um, kids need to eat. But that’s not my point here.) Here’s what I don’t know: I’m not actually sure my job will mesh with having a family. Here’s what I do know: when I started my last year of law school and considered my options, this was no doubt the best one. It wasn’t what I wanted to do, but it felt like the right thing to do, like it was in the cards for my family. When I think seriously about leaving, I feel strongly that it’s not time yet. When I look around at my co-workers, I see women. Some of them even have kids. The two women that I work with most closely are pregnant. Most all of them are happy. So maybe I will be, too, even though it seems counterintuitive to build a family in a career that is known for tearing them apart. I hope that’s the last I have to say about that.
If this post is scattered, it’s because James Franco is on Conan O’Brien tonight, and I’m forcing this post out a few sentences at a time during commercial breaks. First things first, and all.