Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Living alone, living a lie. Here's an interesting little editorial from "Dear Prudence" writer (and Swells alum) Emily Yoffe that struck a chord with with me. You probably wouldn't think that I think much about this, or you might think that I'd agree with the flabergasted readers who decried Yoffe's suggestion of reconsidering parenthood. As a feminist and a WOSTie, perhaps I am stereotypically supposed to condemn motherhood as chaining women to the home. Perhaps I should revel in sexual liberation and professional satisfaction over spit-up and diaper rash. If you thought this about me, you'd be painfully wrong. The mere suggestion of parenthood wrankles my step-mother, sending her off on non-sensicle diatribes condemning anyone who would dare find a baby mildly attractive. Every time she does this--and it's more often than you might think--I get angry. Very angry. To me, motherhood is no longer compulsory. I do not feel that it is my obligation as a woman to reproduce. As much as I want professional satisfaction and intellectual stimulation, to me, life doesn't mean much if you don't have family to round it out. My boss put it best. She said that when she decided to have a child, and she did so relatively late in life, it was because she felt that life was "so juicy" that she wanted to share it with a new generation. Like me, she did not have a great family life growing up, but she said that she took great pleasure in watching her husband and daughter interact because she got to vicariously experience their relationship; she created the family she'd missed out on. Yoffe's editorial sums this up and illustrates why, many years from now, I hope to be a mother.

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