That’s exactly how I feel right now, confronted as I am by a very common dilemma in our modern world — work or family. As I’ve aged I’ve come to confront a very inconvenient truth — I can no long multi-task as well as I used to (or thought I could). My focus isn’t easily divided, and when it is, everything suffers.
So here I am, facing the potential (still a way off mind you) of being an economic support to my family, or an unpaid supporter of those around me. One job offers pay, benefits, status… the other offers everything else.
Thanks to the women’s movement I’ve been bombarded from an early age with the idea that I am capable of earning… I’m just as good as a man — therefore faced with the same challenges as the breadwinner of the house. Many people would say I have a responsibility to help out the family in this way. To make things less of a struggle. Maybe save a bit. Ease my husband’s burden.
The fact that I won’t earn as much as a man who does my job is not supposed to bother me.
Women still have a long way to go in terms of what matters. And just to be clear, I’m not the least put down when you men hold doors for me, or give me your place on a lifeboat. I’m far more offended when you pretend there isn’t a salary gap or a glass ceiling. When you treat me like all I can be is a wife… a mother.
But I digress… back to the issue at hand. I’m struggling now with the idea of which is worse… leaving my husband to shoulder the financial burden on his own, which certainly comes with its own share of stress and worry. Or contribute to the earnings of the household, but not be around or accessible when my children (or other family members) need my help.