But...getting that puppy was an enormous life lesson to me. It changed our family - without wanting to be over-dramatic - it was like that moment in 'Anne of Green Gables' where Marilla Cuthbert said that the reason they were sent an orphan girl was because He knew they needed her. We didn't know we needed a dog until he became a part of our lives and now - we are richer for it. And I love him. As in LOVE him.
|via elsa may, photograph by william waldron|
- Being a working mother meant I was a good role model for my kids; particularly my daughter (I suspect this was a feminist notion; I studied feminism at University but I wonder if I have a slightly warped idea of how it can apply in real life).
- I would have interesting things to talk to my husband about.
- I would maintain my career and achieve professional progression.
- I was using my education.
- I was using my brain.
- I was financially independent; I had the ability to earn money.
- It got me out the house.
- My mum did it (I think this is a crucial point...)
- It meant I didn't have too much time on my hands.
- I was not 'just' a housewife....eeek!
I saw absolutely no reason why I shouldn't work, albeit part time, after my children were born. I cherished my job, I worked tirelessly year after year, getting promoted and keeping up a professional reputation in my field. I rushed everywhere as I was always on borrowed time and got so used to living this way that frankly, whenever anyone questioned me I would be defensive. In early posts on this blog I write about how much I enjoy working and I can sense the defiance in my voice; I would have gone to the ends of the earth to protect that status quo.
So fast forward a few years. What changed? What gentle persuasion formed a now opposing view? How is it that now I look back and think: what on earth was I doing all those years?! Was I brainwashed? Was it naivety? Is this an age thing? Does approaching forty mean that life starts to make sense in a way it never did before? Or is it that underneath it all, I realised that there was such a cost to my choice of working. Women can do anything and everything; it's just that in doing everything you exhaust yourself to the point of delirium. And who gains?
Of course there is a financial reality and in many cases there's no choice. I look back on career counselling at school and wonder how we ever thought it was so easy as choosing a career and pursuing it. For me it was a series of little things that finally led me to working with the law and I look back and realise I never really chose that path. It chose me.
I definitely don't regret it, I'm just curious that I never really understood the drive in me to work. Even when working stopped working. One to ponder. Funny how life goes...I am not sure that in years to come I will follow a life choice that has such far-reaching consequences without giving it more thought...