True Feminism

I’ve seen a couple of articles now lately on mothers leaving their children.  Here is the latest.  Opinion:  Why there are more walk-away moms. It makes me sad.  I wonder if our view of feminism was re-defined, if it would help women cope with motherhood, an exceptionally challenging period of life.

My framed poster of "Lunch atop a Skyscraper" reminds me daily of how tenuous each move we make really is.

My framed poster of “Lunch atop a Skyscraper” reminds me daily of how tenuous each move we make really is.

I am a medical doctor who chose to stay home with my kids and homeschool them.  I came from an exceptionally fast-paced hospitalist position (a doctor who only makes rounds in the hospital), and I loved the stimulation at work.  Conversely, at times, if I am not careful, staying home can become mundane and unrewarding.

I chose to have three children.  In a different way, they are more work than work.  But that is the choice I made.  I will not bury my head in the sand and leave them to society to raise.  The set of values I instill in them is the only part of me that will trickle down through the years to my grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  What do I want the world to know?  Not only will I shout it, I will pass it forward.

I homeschool my kids.  I indoctrinate–Laugh!  Isn’t that what homeschoolers are supposed to do?–them every day about choosing the right husband and not having kids until they’ve done everything they want to do in life.  Heck, I even tell them maybe they shouldn’t even have kids if they find some other passion to throw themselves into.

I am happy, content and completely at peace with my life.  I never stop learning and being true to myself.  I feel I, and others like me, are the TRUE FEMINISTS.  You can do what you want with your life, when you want to do it with your life, but once you DECIDE (whether advertently or inadvertently) to have kids, it all has to be rearranged and accomplished in a different way.  Sadly, but much less acknowledged, the same holds true for dads.

That is, if you want to raise kids who are emotionally, psychologically, spiritually, and physically healthy.  My goal.

YOU CANNOT DO ALL THINGS WELL.  STOP TRYING.  STOP LYING.  YOU CAN FOOL THE WORLD BUT YOU CAN’T FOOL YOURSELF.

The Face of TRUE FEMINISM is…

1.  Realizing marriage and children aren’t for all women.  Marry your career or your volunteer work.  It really is okay.  Learn to be alone and like who you are.  Did somebody say “alone”?  A feminist can be alone and not be lonely, even if she’s extroverted.

2.  Postponing children until you’ve accomplished the career you want, the salary you want, the car you want, the travel you want, and whatever else it is you want.  A feminist realizes it’s okay to think about herself first until she acquires a husband or kids who she advertantly or inadvertently brought into her life.

3.  Finding creative ways to fulfill your inner self instead of stewing about all that you wanted to achieve and now don’t have time for since you have kids and a husband.  You’re just that much more brilliant if you can do it with baggage in tow.  Do it.  Woman, are you tough enough?  A feminist is tough enough.

4.  Being okay with the fact that you enjoy staying home with the kids more than you like getting up every day to take care of patients in the hospital, but admitting you miss the left-brain stimulation for sure.  I admit–I like a clean, tidy house.  I know I am ten times better at running our house than my husband is.  A feminist isn’t afraid to conform with society’s views on women as long as they honestly reflect her own.

5.  Saying “NO” to external requests that will zap your strength and energy away from the two things that are most important:  YOU and YOUR FAMILY.  A feminist realizes she took on the committment of husband and a family but doesn’t want to LOSE herself.  So feminists aren’t afraid to say “no” to anyone about anything that stands between accomplishing peace within her soul and within her family.

6.  Acknowledging weaknesses and inferiorities within and tackling them head on to make sure they’re not clouding vision.  My pride often calls me back into medicine.  Not my desire, per se, but wanting other people to know ,”She’s a doctor, too.”  “Aaaaw.  She’s such a good doctor.”  “Can you believe it?  They’re both working doctors, and they still manage to homeschool.  How do they do it?”  A true feminist doesn’t need that.  A true feminist gets validation from WITHIN.

7.  Once children are brought into this world, desiring to raise children who are emotionally, spiritually, psychologically,and physically healthy.  And then doing what it takes to get that done.  A feminist will do what it takes to get that done.

8.  Not always conforming to other moms around you.  Maybe you WILL wear make-up.  Maybe not.  Maybe you’ll wear the same yoga pants a few days in a row.  Maybe not.  Maybe you WON’T get your kid’s hair brushed for school.  Maybe you will.  Maybe you will put them in three sports at age 7.  HOPEFULLY you WON’T.  Maybe you’ll work.  Maybe you won’t.  No matter what, you’ll consciously choose how you want to parent and live and proceed accordingly.  At times a feminist may actually even appear to be a conformist, but only if the value at hand aligns with her vision of herself and her life.

9.  Being okay with yourself.  Liking your size A cup.  And not considering a boob job.  Being okay with gray hair.  And not dying it.  Being okay with the smile lines and not getting Botox.  Accepting the fact that every woman’s body changes as she ages, but she can still be beautiful.  Grandmothers are beautiful.  A feminist longs to be a beautiful grandma.

10.  Never giving up what is hers and her right.  Including children.

Again, I say:

YOU CANNOT DO ALL THINGS WELL.  STOP TRYING.  STOP LYING.  YOU CAN FOOL THE WORLD BUT YOU CAN’T FOOL YOURSELF.

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