Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Feminine Mistake

Leslie Bennetts has penned a new book, The Feminine Mistake: Are We Giving Up Too Much? I decided to post about this today because I am feeling very grumpy about my current employment.

I don't love my job - it's boring and I am not very challenged - but it is secure and I am adequately compensated with good benefits. It is the perfect job for a having a baby. If I wasn't hoping/planning to do DE in the fall, I would be polishing up the old resume. I've decided to backburner the career and try to focus on creating family as the priority. My fantasy is not to come back to this job after cranking out a kid.

So I am wondering if I fall into the category of Feminine Mistake by down shifting professionally and holding out the fantasy of completely putting my employment on temporary pause. Bennetts defends herself in the Huffington Post. She wishes more women would read the book before going on attack. I have not read the book.

I have been self-sufficient my entire adult life, what is so wrong with full-time motherhood? Honestly, the big career is not all it is cracked up to be and I really hold no fantasy about trying to be super-human running home afterwork to my second job. I will do it out of financial necessity but I can't say that I have a burning desire to aggressively pursue career while caring for an infant.

I don't think I am missing the big picture, but then again, maybe I am.


Rachel Inbar said...

I agree with what you say about a career, in general, but I think that society doesn't recognize mothering your child as being as important as being part of the workforce. If you're lucky and you're surrounded by fairly open-minded people, you may end up with some support. Otherwise people tend to regard SAHMs as lazy and lacking ambition...

And, though I agree it shouldn't be this way, a lot of our self esteem revolves around our careers, whether we like it or not. I've been home for nearly 3 years (since I was replaced by someone who settled for 1/2 my salary) and I still need to feel that people value what I do. I only work part time (freelance) but when I do, it's actually refreshing (and good for my ego - what can I say?)

DG said...

Here in London many couples need two wages just to cover the mortgage.

But I agree with you, it's hard to see how women (and men!) can NOT down prioritise their careers when there is a little one around.

I'm lucky that I have been able to move to part-time flexible work without taking a step backwards. I really wouldn't want to be working at full pelt 5 days a week!