April 21, 2010

You Have It, Now What?

The other day I was watching a show and the question was asked, “Do women still want it all?”

Women have been raised with the ---we can have it all --- attitude. Marriage and motherhood all while maintaining a successful career. We are led to believe it is all ours for the taking. Often while we are establishing our careers, we just assume life will pause and be there waiting for us.

Now this may not be a politically correct statement, but then my little blog is a collection of my thoughts and opinions, so the risk of any repercussion or backlash from the masses is minimal --- to non existent (smile).

Personally I never wished to be equal to a man. Nor do I consider myself a feminist, at least not by today’s definition.

A few of my friends not long ago expressed regrets over selecting career over family or vice versa. We relaxed around the kitchen table (usually for our girl’s day) and tried to justify having one versus the other. For myself I decided to scale back drastically in my style of living and work from home while I raised my son. For me it was the best choice, and I must say it was far harder than any job I have held outside the home--- in my life! (Smile)

For my other friends, their careers are their top priority and they never looked back. A couple of the girls do have it all...but admitted it's almost impossible keeping it all together and functioning.

A statement made by one of my friends was “I hate that men get to enjoy the career they want, and enjoy their kids!” We sat quietly for a few moments, because we could see her tears welling up in her eyes, she was not just upset, but angry! The silence led us to believe others at the table felt the same...but didn't want to say.

After a couple more hours of talking, laughing and enjoying good food…we hugged and said goodbye until the next girls day.

Later that night I wonder to myself, as women who are we competing with? Men for the most part will never be the one to stay home with the children. It is not there role. We were created by Allah SWT with specific roles as men and women in this life. Subhan Allah these roles are beautifully and perfectly designed.

I am not saying that women should not pursue a professional career. This is their choice. While for some women these days being a housewife and/or mom isn’t the most glamorous or financially rewarding life. I love the idea of being married again one day insha'Allah. So what may not be rewarding now, as believers we understand…our true rewards come in the next life.

So the question remains, do women still want it all? That question probably will never have an absolute answer. Alhamdulillah having it all---doesn’t mean we need it all.


Mommy Apprentice said...

While I think a lot of women do want it all, there seems to be a growing population of "retro moms". I'm encountering more and more women online and in real life who value the traditional role of a mother more. It's actually refreshing!

I was raised valuing what can be deemed by some as old fashioned gender roles. I am a SAHM, although I do believe one can work outside the home and be a great mom as my mom worked once I was in middle school. I think a career and family can coexist (particularly since some do not have the option of staying home with their children full time) but it's hard hard work.

hijabandroses said...

You said it perfectly "retro mom" however we wish to label it...SAHM's have to be the most creative people on the planet!

I was raised the opposite of you. My mom was a single working mom (and had to work outside the home)and thus, wanted very much for me to follow her footsteps.

I believe its important that as women, we support one another in the decisions we make for our particular family. At the end of the day...we have to be happy with our choice.

Enjoyed your comments, and I hope to see more!

Anonymous said...

Al7amhulillah, we CAN have it all. My mum stayed home until us girls went to secondary school...but she wored: both as a SAHM as well as doing business from the home (namely, babysitting and homeschooling the little kiddies whose mum's worked during hte day *smile*).

I haven't any children myself, but since I have the education, even if I am blessed with any in the future, I cannot see myself giving up my role as a *professional* nurse---not totally. If I do have children, the plain is insha'Allah to stay with my babies, and if the nurse in me can't settle down...clinics can be opened, and private nursing are options insha'Allah.

Women can do it...we've been doing it for ages. One doesn't trump the other. We have responsibilities: our household. Sometimes our responsibilities call for us to be home (like breastfeeding the bebe)or work outside the home (bills have to be paid)...and with prayer insha'Allah we shouldn't have to give up one for the other.

We are born with our gifts that insha'Allah allow the pieces of us (mother, nurse, friend, careerwoman, teacher, etc) become a solid whole.

Ahmed Abdul Azeem(Hamid) said...

Woman was made from the rib of man,She was not created from his head to top him,Nor form his feet to be stepped upon,She was made from his side to be close to him,Near his heart to be loved by him.

hijabandroses said...

Masha Allah ahki Ahmed Abdul. You were eloquent in your reply. Insha'Allah we and women will adhere more to what is the will of our Creator.

Jazak Allah Khairan

Is-za Jelass said...

Salam wa alaykum,

I think the "having it all" concept changes depending on the culture. In US capitalist and materialistic culture we usually grow up with-in nuclear homes. It is harder to balance a career and kids in this country when you dont have a kabillion "aunties" and other relatives who are available for emotional, financial, and physical support as many families tend to enjoy overseas. It is easier to have a career and have a family, hobbies...etc when you have the support of your community.

I think Allah swt wants different for all of us, just like some Muslims women took to traveling the world as scholars and some stay at home to nurse their babies, everyone has a different path. Despite what women truly want for themselves in this world the pressure and the consequences will most likely fall on our shoulders...this is a realization that needs to be discovered when we set to embark on anything. Great post :)

hijabandroses said...

wa alaikum as'salam ukhti Is-za Jelass you touched on an excellent point! Here in the States women do not enjoy the luxury of the "aunties" and other family members available.

While many relatives would like to be of support, often times they too are either in the workforce, or in need of help themselves.

Also, the notion of "community" is becoming a thing of the past. As a society we know more about our co-workers, than our very own neighborhood.

To quote you my sister "the pressure and the consequences will most likely fall on our shoulders...this is a realization that needs to be discovered when we set to embark on anything." Jazak Allah Khairan sister, welcome and look forward to your participation insha'Allah!