Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Our Mother's lied to us!

When I was younger, oh so much younger, I thought that I could have it all. I fearlessly wanted to try a dozen different professions, experience different cultures and travel the world. One of my favorite literary lines is from Little Women when a lawyer tells Jo that she should have been a lawyer and she responds, "I should have been a great many things." I will admit that I was always disappointed that she settled down to raise boys in a boys home. As sweet and well suited for Jo, as Fredrick was, I wanted her to be more, do more. In reality I know I'm projecting my own disappointments in my own choices and circumstances onto Jo. Sorry Jo.

Growing up my mother always told me I could do anything I wanted--I could have it all. Most moms of my generations told their daughters similar things. We were told that we could choose. I'm not knocking this. I am very fortunate that I can work outside the home if I so choose to do so and for the most part people aren't going to judge me for that choice. 

But do we really have a choice? The truth is, that you can't have it all. As progressive as we are as a society women still get paid only 78% of what their male counter part does. This pay equity has barely budged in nearly a decade and in some states the gap is even as wide as 68%! (Pay Equity). This pay equity gap means that often it is just more feasible financially for a woman to stay home than it is for her partner. 

For women who do work outside the home it is almost worst because as progressive as our society is, moms still, in general, carry the weight of child rearing. So after putting in long hours at their job, suffering bone crushing guilt over having someone else watch their kids, they have to go home and be mom and wife. It makes me tired just thinking about it. I'm not ignoring you awesome stay-at-home Dad's out there. You rock! 

For my family, it wasn't until my youngest was in a mothers day out program that I finally got to catch my breath and think about what I wanted for myself. After reflecting on my situation I realized that I was burnt out as a fundraiser (part or full time). I didn't want to keep doing a job that I had sort of just fallen into. I knew what I wanted but never thought I could make this dream a reality. I wanted to be a writer! It had been my secret wish, my dream, for as long as I can remember. 

So I took a chance to be that fearless girl again. I made sacrifices with time and money and wrote a book. Over 1,000 people now have it in their homes. I made it happen by hard work and sheer will. It was hard but oh so worth it. I know that I can't have it all, but I can have some.

A thank you shout out to all the women who came before me to fight for the rights that I sometimes take for granted.  

What have you as a woman over come? What have you done that you never thought was possible? What odds did you defy? Men, how have you worked to help your wife or daughter in their pursuit for their passions? 


KM Hodge is the author of The Syndicate Series. Book #1, Seasons is available on Amazon. 
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