"Feminism wasn’t supposed to make us miserable. It was supposed to make us free; to give women the power to shape their fortunes and work for a more just world. Today, women have choices that their grandmothers could not have imagined. The challenge lies in recognizing that having choices carries the responsibility to make them wisely, striving not for perfection or the ephemeral all, but for lives and loves that matter."
- Debora Spar
Sometimes I feel like a bad feminist for enjoying my role as a mum because career prospects excite me far less. Some days I am wracked with guilt that maybe I won't live to my full potential if I don't achieve some kind of successful career. Yet on the other hand, if I dove back into work I would feel guilty about my role as a mother all the same.
Nature choose the biological greatness of women to make and feed babies, and now we have to figure out a way of integrating that with our careers and world adventures. Is it society that insists we do it all, or do we victimise ourselves?
Maybe part of the problem lies in the definition of perfection. I hate when I go for local buggy walks, and I feel embarrassed that I don't have a Phil &Ted or Maclaren push chair. But then I remind myself that Marley wouldn't know any different, and anyway, why am I letting a push chair brand belittle my skills for being a mother??
By striving for the 'ephemeral all', we are cutting ourselves short on what we already have. Why can't perfection be defined by the amount of coos, giggles and smiles your baby makes? Why can't we feel okay for the decisions we make - whether that be returning to work, not returning to work, or even for choosing not to have children at all?
We may not need to fight for our rights anymore, but we are still fighting for the rights to our dreams, whatever they may be. Women didn't spend the 20th century striving for equality only to find the end result didn't make us any happier. I don't want to let those efforts be in vain, and so I'm accepting my life for everything that it is, and everything that it is not. So long as I have a life and love that matters, this constant will always be my definition of perfect.