Tuesday, March 17, 2009

What's a girl to do?

Last night at LG, we split into girls and guys groups for prayer requests. The purpose was to be able to share more intimate needs that the group members might need prayer for. In our life group, we have 5 married couples (3 with kids, one expecting their first in Oct., and one couple still living with the monetary reality of grad school), one engaged couple, one single girl in her mid-twenties, and one single boy finishing his senior year in high school. It's actually quite a diverse group as far as where we all come from, where each of us are in our spiritual journey, and just general life experiences. So, as you would expect, we have some lively conversations about some pretty interesting stuff.

But for the women last night, there was definitely a theme to most of the prayer requests. We all just want to forget the whole feminist movement.

First, lets take the single girl (beautiful and smart by the way, if you're interested or know a guy, let me know she's quite a catch). She is just tired of being single. She so wants to get to the point in her life where she has someone she can depend on to be there and to feel safe and secure. (These are my words, not hers. I'm taking some liberties in analyzing what I think she's searching for.) She wants a man who can care for her. I know it's very hard for her to admit. She's a very independent woman. Like I said, she's smart, beautiful, very ambitious, she's one of those people who you honestly don't worry about too much. You know that she can handle herself. But there deep within, no matter how much drive and self-motivation, she still feels the need to have a companion. I think for many young single girls, this is their secret shame. Our culture has done so much with the feminist movement. "Independent women" is what our culture tells us to be. We don't need no stinking guys in our lives. We can do it all. We can live by ourselves and not depend on the care and concern of some man. Any girl who admits to needing a man in her life is often characterized as being weak and needy. Therefore, for a girl to admit that she needs a man is a big step for a lot of us. Believe me, I used to hate the fact that I was so dependent on Stanton for so much. I hated that this one persons opinion could mean so much to me. I had worked so hard to develop my self-confidence to the point where I didn't care what people thought. I tried to put up so many barriers that had to be broken.

Next, let's consider the married gals with children and the one expecting in October. We were all trying to figure out how to balance work and raising children. Can we afford to quit and stay at home and just raise the babies? Of course, we all probably could quit and stay at home, but it would mean a drastic change in our way of living. So, are we making a mistake by sacrificing our time with our kids in order to make money to provide some of the nicer things for them? Before the whole feminist movement, this wasn't really even an issue. The wife stayed home and was a homemaker. Now the wife not only has cook, clean, and raise the kids, she also has to work 40 hours a week and bring home some bacon. And it's not the men who are telling us to do the cooking, cleaning, child rearing, and work a full time job. I honestly think that we as women are wired to do the first 3, and then our pride tells us we must do the fourth. I feel guilty no matter what I do now. When I'm at work, I feel I should be at home. When I'm at home enjoying my family I think I should be working. It never stops, and I just start to feel inadequate at both aspects.

And last, we have the married girl with a grad student husband and the engaged one. These two are just trying to figure it all out. How can they make it work. Where are their lives going to be a year from now? How about 3 years? 5 years? I can almost guarantee, they're going to go through something similar to those of us in the married with children category. They are both teachers now, elementary level. So obviously they love kids, and undoubtedly hope to have their own some day. But will they feel they need to give up teaching and enriching the lives of 25-30 students at a time to feel that they can provide the love and attention for their own children? Is that being selfish to only worry about your own children? Will they push through, keep their jobs, and end up overwhelmed by children at the end of the day?

Don't get me wrong, I am glad that women have the right to vote and are thought of as intelligent human beings and all that. I just think when it comes to women in the workforce, the feminist culture looks down on those women who make the choice to stay at home with the kids and let their husbands take care of the financial needs. And I truly think that it causes many, many women a tremendous amount of grief to try to do it all. The shift to having women working has caused a gigantic shift in family dynamics as a whole, and I can't say that society has greatly benefitted from the shift.

The young 17-year-old Brandi would never believe this crazy talk would come from her own brain. The 17-year-old Brandi would say thats what daycares are for. The 17-year-old Brandi wanted to be an actuary who flew around the country working hard to make millions of dollars so she could have vacation homes. The 17-year-old Brandi would never-ever understand the relief and freedom that come with Ephesians 5:22. And now here I sit, ten years later wondering - Is it dumb to just be Dr. Mom? ... If I stay at home, will I truly be satisfied? ... Can I handle being a stay at home mom? ... Can I let go of all I've worked for my whole life, just for family? ... If I don't work haven't I just wasted the past 10 years of my life? ...

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