The Women I Know: A Response to “I Look Down On Young Women With Husbands And Kids And I’m Not Sorry.”

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There’s a blog post that’s been shared over the last half a month or so now titled “I Look Down On Young Women With Husbands And Kids And I’m Not Sorry.”  The writer of this post makes a lot of bold statements, many of which I find laughable because they are just so different from the way I think.  But they are her opinions, and she is entitled to them.  I have to address one though – the one that stands out the most to me: “You will never have the time, energy, freedom or mobility to be exceptional if you have a husband and kids.”
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I feel good offering an opinion about this because I’ve been two types of women.  I’ve been the independent backpacking across Europe.  The 24 year old rolling her eyes at baby shower games and wondering why there isn’t more alcohol.  The young professional willing to leave a job I loved because a different agency offered a better title and more responsibility (and pay).  Before my relationship with my husband got very serious, I honestly didn’t think I wanted to have children.
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I’ve also been the woman I am now.  And regarding her comment about what is necessary for a women to be exceptional, one thing is clear…I know some women she doesn’t know.
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 – I know a woman who is director level at a successful business, has a husband and two kids, and still makes time to volunteer to help those less fortunate.
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 – I know a woman who raises two children.  ON HER OWN.  She also happens to be VP of a company.
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 – I know a woman who is a teacher, a single mom to two children – one of whom has special needs, and the other who has been offered amazing scholarships to prestigious schools, where she’s thinking of majoring in genetics.  Tell me that woman hasn’t done something exceptional. She has touched so many lives, the effects of which will carry on long after she has retired.
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 – I know a woman who had an incredible career, but chose to give it up to take care of her children at home so her husband could follow his ambitions and feed his soul.  If you tell me that “anyone” could put three people in front of themselves, well…lets just say, I’d like to see you do it.
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 – I know a woman who cried a million tears because she couldn’t accomplish what the writer so ignorantly calls the “super easy task” of getting knocked up.  She wiped her eyes, took matters into her and her husbands own hands, and now has now given a wonderful life to a child who needed her through adoption.  Exceptional.
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I think what the writer is misunderstanding most is the meaning of the word “hard” when stay at home moms/parents (or any parent) say it is hard.  Yes anyone can cook lunch.  Yes anyone can do laundry.  It’s not the functionality of these tasks that is hard – it’s the mental application it takes to do it day after day and, as I said, putting someone else before yourself.
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I have a career I love.  I also work a reduced schedule, so some weekdays I can be home with my daughter.  On the days I work, if I want a cup of coffee, I go get it.  If I need to make a quick phone-call, I make it.  If I want to go to the bathroom, I go do it – and no one watches me.  I regularly get the self-satisfaction that comes with a successful campaign or killer client presentation.  When I eat lunch, I don’t have to sing songs to try and bribe my dining partner to eat, and my coworkers can use words to tell me what they think or why they’re upset.  These simple pleasures don’t trump the time I have home with my daughter, but are my work days “easier”? Yeah.
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I also know awesome women who don’t want to have children.  Their life accomplishments will be different than mine, and that is perfectly fine.  I don’t think it’s bad, I don’t think it’s good, it’s just different – we’re all allowed to have our own priorities, and what a boring world it would be if we weren’t.
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That said, the things that make my life the most extraordinary wouldn’t be if I weren’t married with a child (and one on the way).  The smile on my daughter’s face when she comes toddling into our bedroom in the morning.  The feel of her cheek against my lips when I kiss her after getting home from work in the evening.  The contented joy of a glass of wine with my husband at the end of a long day.  The overwhelming feeling of love that washes over me when I watch the two of them dance in the living room.  These things don’t matter to everyone, and that’s fine.  But they make my life exceptional.
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And you know, now that I’ve written this, I find that I’m quite glad the original post was written.  It has inspired me to call out people who I think are exceptional that I might not have otherwise.  I hope they read this.
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4 responses to “The Women I Know: A Response to “I Look Down On Young Women With Husbands And Kids And I’m Not Sorry.”

  1. Maryellyn

    I think of you as an exceptional woman and am so proud you are my daughter!

  2. Nicole Newfield

    I love this! As you say, I too know some women she does not know:)

  3. Thanks Mom and Nicole! I appreciate you both more than you know 🙂

  4. Amanda

    This is a beautiful post from an exceptional woman! Thanks for sharing such grace ❤

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