More Debate About Career and Family

Before reading The Ten Year Nap, I didn’t spend a lot of time thinking about the balance between building my career and raising a family. It’s not time for me to starting stressing about that now. I’m busy enough stressing about my current job, where I’m living next and what I’m doing this coming weekend.

However, now that I am reading The Ten Year Nap, I’ve noticed more and more how often this debate comes up. Just yesterday I was skimming my Google Reader when this headline jumped out at me: Kids Vs. Career: “As A Generation We Were Bred Not To Prioritize Finding A Husband And Having A Family.” The blog Jezebel was criticizing an article in the Times Online that says in part:

I don’t think my single friends are on their own because they are too picky. I think it is because as a generation we were bred not to prioritise finding a husband and having a family. Unlike generations of females before us, we were bred to work. I was born in 1970, in the middle of women’s lib. My mother and her peers were conscious-raising and feminist.

They fought hard to be able to work, to be taken seriously as equals to men. Having been raised in the domestic confines of the 1950s, they battled to free themselves and others from the expectation that a woman’s lot was in the home…

No one, not my family or my teachers, ever said, “Oh yes, and by the way you might want to be a wife and mother too.” They were so determined we would follow a new, egalitarian, modern path that the historic ambitions of generations of women — to get married and raise a family — were intentionally airbrushed from their vision of our future.

So, like the good girls we are, we set about achieving. The friends I am talking about here were my peers at school and university. Many succeeded beyond their feminist mothers’ wildest dreams. But now, and often too late, we are realising that no job will ever love you back; that the graveyards are full of important executives; that the only people you are ever irreplaceable to are your family.

While I’m not all that knowledgeable on the topic and the article raises some interesting points I guess, I’m with Jezebel. Isn’t this all a little extreme and, to be honest, smug on the part of the married writer? What would Amy Lamb of The Ten Year Nap, who chose the other end of the spectrum, have to say?


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