Thursday, October 18, 2007

Newsflash: Motherhood Plus Two Careers is Hard!

It has been said about women, "You can have it all, but not all at one time." Ain't it the truth!

This is especially true of the way God has designed the seasons of women's lives. We were given our infancy and childhood to prepare us for life, our young adult years to bear children (while we're fertile) and raise them, our middle age years to regain some freedom while still being there when our now-grown children need us, and our old age to share the life wisdom we've gained with our loved ones, even as we prepare to leave them.

When you stick with that program, it makes so much sense (as does everything else God designed). But when you start messing with it, life gets considerably more difficult. Pursue a full-time career in your 20s and 30s, and when you finally get around to having kids in your 40s you find that your body won't cooperate. Have the kids when you're young, but take on college and a full-time job while they're toddlers, and your kids show the result of not having you around much. A lot of this is just common sense.

But some people, even very intelligent people, are short on common sense. They're the people who want things on their own terms, but tend to complain an awful lot once they get what they want. Case in point: Rosa Brooks. In today's L.A. Times, Ms. Brooks complains that modern motherhood is just too hard, too much work, too much to expect of her or anyone:

Of course, it's virtually impossible for parents to hold down two full-time paying jobs and also manage the full-time job of modern intensive parenting. Something has to give -- and much of the time, it's still the woman's free time, or even her career, that goes.

How's that for a news flash? Having kids and raising them means you have to give up some of your free time. You think? And if you insist on having your kids after establishing a career that you want to maintain, it's going to be hard. Good grief, that's just common sense (there's that concept again). But as usual, we have to place blame somewhere, and Ms. Brooks does that:

What to do? In the long run, the workplace needs to be more flexible to accommodate parents -- both women and men -- who value the making of families as well as the making of money.

So it's the workplace's fault that Ms. Brooks chose to have not one but two careers (she is a columnist for the L.A. Times and a law professor) in addition to being a mother of a preschooler. Well, at least now we know who to blame for Ms. Brooks' hardships.

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