We all know that the dreaded question is asked of all women at a certain age, when are you going to have children (it’s never are you going to have children, but that’s for another post). Recently I was having a conversation which somehow turned to me and my partner having children in the future. I was slightly caught off guard because it’s not something we’re planning on for a few years, until were both settled with secure incomes and our own home (we’re currently living with family while we get on our feet after university). Even so, our company were adamant that I would be leaving work and my career to care and raise our children, while he goes and earns the money to support us.
Yeah. You read that right.
I couldn’t hide my shock at being told this. When asked why I have to be the one to stay at home/ give the most care I was simply told it’s because I’d give birth to them. Well…that’s what maternity leave is for. It simply wasn’t accepted that my partner, who I’d trust with my life, should look after our children, nor should I be the one to support us (even though we’ve discussed this in the past and will make the decision .
I’m one of those women who has known she’s wanted children since her teens. I love kids, I love my friends kids and I’d love to be a Mum someday. BUT that’s not all I want to be, I love my job and I’m excited about my career and where it can go for me. I want to be able to travel and work my butt off in something that I’m passionate about. Neither of these are either/or situations. I’m lucky that I work with two wonderful women who have balanced a child and a job.
I feel like there are too many people who think that gender stereotypes are the way it should be and the way it should stay. We’re in 2016! As I’ve said time and time again Feminism is about making a choice. My Mum, Aunt and Nanna all raised their kids at home and that was their choice and it made them happy. I know people who’s Mum’s worked full time, who worked part time. None of these situations did their children any harm. We guilt mothers who go out to work, because in societies eyes once you’re a mother that’s your only identity. Likewise mothers who stay at home to raise their children are deemed ‘unfeminist’ by some, which is total BS. We need to make sure women have the right to choose in both a social and economic way.
I’m not planning on having a child for years but I know right now that having a child won’t automatically stop my career. I fully intend to work, because ultimately I’ve worked hard and in the next few years I intend to work even harder. There should be choice for women AND men. I refuse to chose between one and the other. I refuse to put the pressure on my partner to be the breadwinner and refuse to be pressured myself.
Have you had similar things said to you?