The balancing act of work, raising a family and following your dreams is a tough one. Do you ever feel like no matter how hard you’re pushing- it’s never enough? If so, you are not alone. Women are constantly under the pressures of society and carrying guilt whenever they feel like they cannot live up to the ideal standards. This important article that was recently featured in Refinery 29, speaks to this universal conversation.
I have three kids. I work. I have a husband who works. As a rule, I feel that I’m failing either my work or my family. I know I’m not alone. I’ve made a point to talk about it with the women in my life. Now it feels time to write about it.
These feelings didn’t start when I had kids. Most of my life I’ve struggled to believe my voice is important. It wasn’t until I went to college (an all-women’s university) that I truly found feminism and finally recognized my strength. But, later in law school, I was still plagued by the thought that I didn’t belong, that I was a fraud. With motherhood, though, I finally truly found the mettle to be unapologetically vocal.
When I became a mother, I found the intersection of feminism and ferocity — a fearlessness that comes with loving someone more than yourself. Indeed, thanks in large to feminism, I feel entitled to a life that doesn’t exclusively revolve around my children, and as a result, I don’t begrudge my kids for depriving me of things I want to do. That said, all this constant questioning of myself and my value, turned to guilt when I became a mom. Somehow, it seemed that my husband felt entitled to go out and work, provide for the family, and chase his success. Generally, men are raised with this sense of entitlement. In fact, they are commanded to go out and provide. Every dinner I miss, every school performance, every first word unheard, plagues me. I feel guilty when I take on new work (I’m freelance), and guilty when I blow off work to be with my kids. Ya can’t win. And the crazy thing is, most mothers feel this way when we finally open up and admit it.
A while back, my husband and I had some friends over for dinner. I sat next to my girlfriend who is an established actress. We talked about our summer plans and what our kids were going to do to stay busy. She told me that her husband, also an actor, would be doing a play abroad, and that she would be going with him and the kids. She was struggling with whether she should take a job that had been offered to her, and was feeling guilt about both parents working. Read the entire article!