I’ve been surprised by how many women have found my blog by searching “ambivalent about motherhood” or “ambivalent about pregnancy” into a search engine.
I’ve been overwhelmed by how many women are going through the ambivalence I felt when I first got pregnant. And how many of us are curious about how we’ve all moved forward since we first posted.
So here is my update:
My son turned 4 this year. He’s a happy healthy thriving little boy who looks like my father and like Mzee’s mother. He’s got a lot of my strong willed personality. I like him. As a person. I find him a fascinating little person in his own right. I find his likes interesting and his dislikes fascinating. He asks for what he wants and speaks truths as he sees them.
Its been a challenge to balance my growing career with being a wife and mother.
But as Sheryl Sandberg says, the most important career decision a woman makes is in the choice of her life partner. I’ve got an amazingly supportive husband who agreed to leave his well paying corporate job and move to a different country with me so I could focus on growing my work. Its been a year since the international move and all is well.
But we’ve also had to have serious negotiations about our roles in the family.
I think our marriage is very gender unconventional but thats because of our personalities.
I’m impatient and brash, he’s patient and very nurturing. So he does the things about parenting that need the patience and I do the things about parenting that need mixing up. I take our son out and about into the world with me when we’re running errands. When he’s with his Dad they stay home. Dad is the one to read him a story and put him to bed.
The price I pay for that is when he’s got a boo boo, he runs to Dad first. Its hard sometimes but I also know that Dad has put in the work and I don’t begrudge him. We play different roles in our son’s life.
But I’ve also had to learn to balance my career zeal with my time with family. One of my resolutions for this year is to be at home and present more. I won’t work from home. I leave work at work and I don’t work the insane hours I enjoyed working before having my son. I’m enjoying it actually. But I know i’m enjoying it because its a decision I’ve made and not one forced on my by society’s conventions.
We’ve also had a challenge getting other people to accept the roles we’ve built in our marriage. Women especially are the meanest. Women are the most staunch defenders of conventional gender roles. It blows my mind.
I’m still a work in progress. My family is still a work in progress.
And in the last few months my hubby and I have been debating whether to try and have another child!