Dear Amy Glass,
Congratulations on a viral article. I hope you met your goal of writing something shocking enough that people read it and share it. It pains me to write a response to you, but you are begging for more attention, so here you go.
I am assuming you do not have children. If you do, I am sorry you have not opened your mind enough to appreciate them. If you ever do have children, I hope you will realize that no one considers it an “accomplishment” to get married or to have children. It is a celebration of life and family. We aren’t celebrating these women being able to get pregnant or “finding someone to walk down the aisle with.” We are celebrating their happiness. It may be easy for some women to get married or get pregnant, but why should that mean it isn’t a happy occasion? It is also easy to work, so why should we congratulate women for getting a new job, but not for becoming a mother or a wife? It is just as easy to get married and have kids as it is to NOT get married or have kids, but to have a job.
I am a full-time working woman. I work so I can help provide for my child, my husband, and myself. When I come home from work, I am a mother. When I am at work, I AM STILL A MOTHER. And I can assure you, there is no paying job that can compare to the intensity of being a parent. The time I spend at work is easier than the time I spend at home, but much less satisfying. I often tell myself that if I were to die today, my work would easily replace me, just like they would replace anyone else. My family could not! If I could take a few years to enjoy my children full-time without a job outside the house, I would put my career temporarily aside and take that opportunity in a heartbeat. I think there are few who wouldn’t. And I am talking about fathers, too. It is wrong to generalize that all mothers want to be home with their children but that no fathers do. If you are talking about trying to keep men and women on equal footing, you need to stop assuming that all women and all men are the same.
“You will never have the time, energy, freedom, or mobility to be exceptional if you have a husband and kids.”
Hmm, okay. So since I’m already married and have one child, should I just give up on everything else now? No. I have a few names for you:
Marie Curie – Two-time Nobel Prize Winner. Famed chemist and physicist. Two children.
J.K. Rowling – Author of the popular “Harry Potter” book series, part of which was written while she was a single mother. Three children.
Sacagawea – Served as interpreter and guide for Lewis and Clark with a newborn strapped to her back.
Are women like these less than exceptional because they are wives or mothers? What do you consider exceptional anyway? Are the only women worthy of being deemed “exceptional” those with successful careers? If this is what you believe, I feel sorry for you.
Here is what I believe: If I never make a six-figure salary, never discover or invent anything, or never change the foundation of a Fortune 500 company, I will still feel accomplished. I will have raised children who are proud of who they are, whether they are stay-at-home parents or corporate big shots. I will instill in them the notion that they can become whoever they want to be and the sky is their limit, and in my book, THAT is exceptional.
*For those who haven’t read the Amy Glass article the author is referring to – I Look Down on Young Women With Husbands and Kids and I’m Not Sorry.