The New Women’s Liberation

I don’t know what my proverbial “grandmothers” were thinking but as far as I can see, someone just got a little discontent and created a world of frustration for women after that.

I’ve been working since I was fourteen. Younger than that if you want to count non-paying jobs. I graduated high school early, got into college, graduated with a pre-law degree, spent 3 years working as a paralegal, 4 years in law school admissions. I’ve spent 130 full 24 hours day in commuting.  All of that is supposed to be the epitome of women’s liberation. Education, working, a good career. As a young girl in America- that’s the message- fulfillment as a woman is found in that career. You can’t just be a mom, that’s a limited, confining role that we were freed from. Thank your grandmother for breaking free from those limited views so that now you can work!

I’ve done my time on as a “liberated woman” and I hope to never go back to that again.

Don’t get me wrong: I guess I believe in things like equal pay for the same job, women being allowed to do most things (as long as they can cut it), uhmm…freedom of education- that kind of stuff. I appreciate that those things are available to me and I respect the work that was put into that.

But this whole idea of not being a free woman as a wife and mom- that somehow that role is limiting- is pure and utter BULL.

Never in my life have I had such the oppurtunity that I have now. Never have I been so free to explore the world, grow as a person and work on things I want! This is utter freedom. I am truly a free woman as a wife and mom. I have limited responsibilites (feed, clothe and love the baby and J) and complete control of how I spend my time. I can write, pursue the arts, study, dream, travel. It’s like being a stay at home mom gave me the freedom all those “career women” are looking for.

The struggle as a mom is to be an efficient manager of my time, get the right priorities, put God first in my pursuits and to figure out which project I want to do first!

Here are some things that I’ve been reading/looking at, that are filling my time recently:

Relevant Magazine: I’m still not sure about this publication. I actually stole a copy from a church to bring it home and read some more about. Their website has interesting content and I enjoy reading the variety of things they talk about. I really like reading things like Drunken Nights and Easter Morning’s, The Pitfalls of Worship Music.  I like that they interview and talk to people who aren’t christians like this excerpt from an interview with Jack White.

Burn Magazine: I’ll be honest. I’ve been perusing the Pioneer Woman’s Flickr stream just a little to long. I started playing around more in photoshop, post processing pictures beyond recognition (which is all fine and good I guess) and then I stumbeled on to this site and I cried. I cried over The Rape of A Nation, Deep Roots, Fresh Cut, and Foreshadow. Not because of the subject matter, but because those photographs were honest, well done and communicating something more- relying on the message and the heart rather than the photoshop. I felt like a child playing dress up when I saw those pictures. I also decided to start a project on photographing women breastfeeding in public places. If you are a breastfeeding mom in the greater D.C., Baltimore or Pittsburgh area and would be willing to be photographed- let me know!

KnockKnock: Fun and interesting graphic design office products. If I was still working I’d be trying to order from them instead of boring old Office Max. (Although Georgetown’s pen restriction is a little harsh). It’s not “inspiring” so much as it is “awesome”.

Creative Organizing: This blog seems action packed with great organization tips. I’m enjoying her ideas and really still dream of a heaven where the house cleans itself.

Pregnancy Clinic: I had so many misconceptions about these “baby savers” before I started training as a counselor here. Misconceptions that have been utterly smashed. I feel like this training class has really stretched me as a person in very healthy ways. It’s given words to some of my thoughts, forced me to think through some of my positions (not about abortion) and really given me practical tools to use in everyday situations (see my communication series on here). My training ends at the end of this month and I’m expecting even more challanges as I move into actually counseling women. At one day a week this is the perfect out of the house time for me.

Photoshop: Just because I’m quitting the over processed doesn’t mean I quit photoshop (or GIMP since that’s really what I use) but I’m really using this “vintage” coloring technique a lot in my photos. I’m also trying to learn more about tonal relationships and good black and white pictures…but I am still searching for information since everytime I type “black and white tonal relationships” into google I just end up with a lot of interracial dating information. If anyone can point me somewhere that would be swell! I linked to Gimp…because it’s for the poor man like me. This picture is my first attempt. I liked the tree.

Isaiah: In the swirl of debating with my newly ultra conservative christian BFF, finding a new church to attend, and random run ins with my in laws (mostly because I can’t keep my big mouth shut)- the studying remains the heart of my spiritual walk. I rarely talk about what I’m studying…kind of like you don’t talk very much about sex in your marriage…but I wish I had a bible study to go and talk about this book with. It took me two weeks to get through the first chapter- I’m going to be here for several years but I think that’s okay. If you’ve never read it- try it! I linked the title to Blue Letter Bible, which is a very hand tool to use for looking up words (you know, if you don’t feel like breaking out the Strongs).

Lily Of The Chesapeake: Normally I’d be reading something but I’ve been working on this craptastic young adult novel as much as I can. Thankfully my very old friend (old is in we’ve known each other from summer camp as kids not old as in age) is kindly submitting her brain to be a beta reader for me. Otherwise I’d have no motiviation to keep going (or think clearly). What’s it about? Please don’t ask, or else you might see how much Dawson’s Creek affected my life without me ever knowing. I’ve been watching Chesapeake Stories, Throw It Down Girls, and a lot of Dallas Friday footage.

Speaking of Dawson’s Creek: I was actually to young to watch this show when it was on TV. I saw one episode, caught the gist of the Joey-Dawson relationship and fell in love with that premise forever. I also might have wanted to buy a pair of white shorts and a blue shirt so I could be as pretty as Joey. I was eleven…Joey was my role model for being a teenager. Anyways, I’m watching it for the first time thanks to Netflix. J is watching it with me. Shhh, don’t tell. It’s helping me understand J’s wardrobe when we first met.

Anyways- can we have a new women’s liberation? Where we are freed from boring jobs and mindless commuting to stay at home and have fun growing alongside our kids?

Disclaimer: Insert the follwing disclaimer on how I understand not everyone can stay home, the role of women’s rights in history, etc. etc. etc. Just know I’m not trying to offend- just loving where I’m at!

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  • You know I used to think this same way. But, the thing is it is different when you have the choice to be a stay at home mom or a working mom. I would not want to be in a place where I had no choice but to stay home and care for kids. I like being able to decide for myself whether I want to have a career or not. I wouldn’t want to be stuck with my only option being to be supported by my husband. I like having choices.

  • Patty, I think that was the point of the woman’s lib movement, to give women a choice. I think it’s kind of turned into a monster though, because I CHOSE to be a SAHM, and I get a lot of flack from career women. I’ve been told that I have no ambition, and that I’m short-sighted and a few have come within a hair’s breadth of calling me lazy. And it’s frustrating. I feel that everyone has the choice to choose form themselves, so if that’s what they want, fine, they just need to allow me my choice.

    But now we have the choice, and that’s the important part. I’m grateful for our grandmothers for that.

  • I love that we have choice. I guess I kind of have the best of both worlds because I have a part time out-of-home job and I also do some work from home to I get to do the work I enjoy while spending time with my family. I adore my job and I am a much happier and better mother when I am juggling work with home life than when I am at home full time – just ask my family 😀 – but I’m very glad that the choice is there now and I have respect for every mother’s own decision because no two families are the same 🙂

  • I love being a SAHM. But I also juggle that with blogging and a graphic design business. Granted, it is sometimes difficult to get my work done being home all of the time, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. I don’t want someone else raising my children and instilling values that I don’t agree with. I have the best of both worlds and I love it.