At a party last weekend, four of us women got to talking. We were all over 50. Two of us were childless and two were mothers of grown children. O. is 60-something. She had a difficult childhood and felt she would not be a good mother. Her husband didn’t want children. She went to work at a young age, eventually making a wonderful career designing movie sets in Hollywood. As she moved through her childbearing years, those around her said, “Oh, she’s a career girl.” The mothers would shake their heads, implying that there was something sinful about choosing career over children.
T. and D. both had kids, but they both worked, too. After their divorces, they had no choice. T. noted, “Does anyone really think I grew up wanting to be a single mom to two boys and work my fingers to the bone sewing costumes? Come on.”
I sighed. I had no kids, but I too was divorced at a young age and grateful I had a job to turn to. After I remarried, I kept working. “I would love to have my mother’s life. I’d love to be a housewife,” I said. We all laughed. None of us had that option. We always needed to work. Even when my stepson lived with us and my husband had a good job, I worked outside the home, struggling to juggle everything at once.
Am I a career gal? Are you? Did you choose work over children? I didn’t. I just ended up with one and not the other. Whether we have children or not, why shouldn’t our work be something we love to do? And why don’t people look down on men who are devoted to their jobs?
What do you think?