Monday, September 2, 2013

Career, Dream, Stay-home-mum

I am tired of hearing people proclaiming that mothers should give up their career and stay home to take care of the kids.

You probably will say, “Grace, you are not even a mother yet. You are not in the position to talk about this. You don’t even have kids”.

I don’t care. I am a woman. I can talk about women thing.

There are many discussions and arguments out there on whether women have kids should stay home or continue on their career path. The conclusions of these debates are depended on your backgrounds, your beliefs, and your choices. As for Mormon women, the seemingly, and the most acceptable answer is to be a stay-home-mum. Most articles regarding to this difficult life decision convey a message that there are only two choices: be a stay-home-mum or be a rebel. But take a close look of these articles, they are telling women who are facing this dilemma to think that there is nothing else out there for them besides being a stay-home-mum. Once these women make the decision, the only thing left in their lives is to take care of their kids, stuck at home and do chores. This is not right. These are not the only thing that a woman can do for the rest of her life.

Let me be clear here, there is nothing wrong to be a stay-home-mum or to work full time/part time and take care kids at the same time. No shame or guilt should be involved in your own personal choices. You are responsible to your choice and you know what the best is for you and for your family. My thought on this whole argument is, “Please do not let the word ‘career’ scares and occupies you. When you are dying, you will probably say to yourself ‘I wish I have followed my dream/passion’, rather than ‘I wish I have sacrificed more on my career/job’”.

The society has done a good job in decorating the word “career”. Everyone seems to be urged to find the “dream job” and build their career ever since they were young. When I was in high school, we have to choose either the Art Stream or the Science Stream. For those who choose Science Stream, they are more elite because they will probably be able to get a more professional job, just to name a few, doctors, business person, auditors etc. For those who choose the Art Stream, like me, are put into the category of “the Lost Sheep”. Since I am a Cultural Studies major, I have been asked frequently “So… what are you going to do with your major? What kind of jobs you are going to get?” My reply is “I don’t, I don’t really care what job I am going to get, but I love my major. It’s my passion for life. I have a job that support my daily expenses and I continue to try my best to do what I am passionate about. ”

It sounds a bit out of topic here, but what I want to say to women who are in the dilemma of choosing in between being a stay-home-mum or continuing on the career path, please do not let the word “career” deceive you. You may have to give up your job in order to spend more time to take care of your kids, but you do not have to sacrifice your dream to fulfill that role. Please do not mix up “career” and “dream”. To a certain degree, career is a word that constraints our capacity and ability to fulfill our dreams and develop our talents.

It doesn’t matter how you call it, your dream/your passion/your goal in life. If you are passionate about taking care of kids, go for it! If you are passionate about feminist issues, go for it! If you dream to be a doctor, go for it! I believe we all have something we want to do, some goals that we want to achieve in our lives. Please do not let the world tell you that you have to give up whatever you are doing in order to take care of your kids.


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