Thursday, September 25, 2003

(having computer problems today. Only light posting until this gets worked out.)

Women with kids with brains

Do kids and brains clash? Does every minute at the playground kill brain cells? (This is the playground. This is your brain. This is your brain at the playground. Any questions?)

I don't think that staying home with the kids has to equal a frontal lobotomy. It's all part of the mommy myth.

Let me just say that I hate the word, mommy. I never call myself that. There is something too cute about the word that just doesn't seem to fit me. It conjures up images of duckies, aprons, June Cleaver, tidy rooms, TV dinners. Most of all the word, mommy, equals martyr. Someone whose ideas and brains have been sacrificed for Junior.

But that's not what it is like out there. Women with kids have nothing to do with this "mommy" myth.

First of all, the women I know aren't all that dainty. In fact, they are a heavily tattooed group. Also, lots of navel piercing.

Second, since the average age of women with kids has risen, most had careers before hand. Many had high profile careers and significant education. Some full time moms at the local playground have PhDs. These women chose to stay home with their kids for a variety of reasons. Maybe they distrust daycare or maybe they couldn't afford daycare for two kids or maybe they just love kids. They may have sacrificed their careers, but they didn't lose all their smarts along the way. Playground talk is not just about potty training. These women read. Big time. I make sure that I've read the Times magazine and the New Yorker to keep up with the others.

Third, there a siginificant number of guys home with the kids. Stay at home dads make up at least a third of the parents at the playground around here.

Fourth, women are supplementing their income with part time work -- proofreading, social work, web design, adjuncting.

Women with kids have a great deal of insecurity about their position, because it is so low status. They get attitude from women who choose to go back to work full time. Also, sometimes these high achieving women become high achieving moms who over schedule the kids and forget to have fun.

(Sorry I can't finish this post or edit it. Computer issues. )

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