“You know,” I ventured, “in some cultures, it isn’t that huge of a deal for a mother to have kids and maintain a job, because children aren’t raised in a nuclear family. The extended family raises the children. In such a condition, then, it would be possible for the parents to work but still maintain a stable and balanced home and social life for all of the children involved.”
“Your mom and I weren’t any spring chickens when we had you.”
Translation: Thanks, but no. That’s okay. I kind of detest the idea of having to use all of my breaks throughout the day to pump so my mom can feed the baby the next day. I’m not going to be a business Amazon Woman. Beside, Wonder Woman was assassinated putting groceries away in her own kitchen, so professional Amazon Women have a pretty sorry track record when it comes to basic survival skills. I’m still not sure why Wonder Woman went shopping in her superheroine costume, either, so their basic sanity might be questionable, too.
On the other hand, the idea of slogging through years of school and starting a career only to dump it so I can have kids is a bit disheartening too. Not the having kids part, mind you. The school part. Just in case you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m kind of tired of school. I need more lives to get everything done, or I need to be able to download information directly into my brain a la Joss Whedon’s techeads. This would also give the bonus of not having to plan things out in advance to satisfy someone when you know that, in reality, you have a 30-70 chance of actually sticking to that plan. Definitely not worth the effort, in my book.
We finish our coffee and walk out, taking a detour through the gardens before we wind back to our car, my dad busy on the phone. There are two macaws in the garden. They must have their wings clipped, because there is nothing containing them to their perch. They barely pay any attention to the people wandering by, instead nuzzling each other and taking turns cleaning the feathers on the back of each other’s necks. Which reminds me—I don’t have a boyfriend.
“Still a moot point then,” I mutter to myself, watching the birds. I’m just as likely not to get into a permanent relationship as I am to get into one, so why am I planning around it? My dad ends his call and we climb into the car.
“You know,” I begin, “I’m still thinking about working in China for a year. I do have a friend in Hong Kong.”
“That’s a long way,” my dad muses.
“It’s only for a year.”
One short year, yes. But it would be a new place, new things, and best of all…no school.
I like this idea.
I read an article on this same topic (of trying to be Wonder Woman) several years ago and it struck a cord. It nearly made me jump up and down with excitement that someone had actually put my thoughts into beautiful words, but I was at an airport at the time, so it was best to keep my hyperactive muse to myself. Despite that, I would highly recommend reading Barnard College President Deborah Spar’s article on the matter. You can find it here: http://www.glamour.com/inspired/2013/08/why-women-cant-have-it-all-according-to-barnard-college-president-debora-l-spar