My husband and I were in a local restaurant the other night (a very nice restaurant, that I frequent... frequently) and it was late we were the only customers. As will sometimes happen, this created an opportunity for the staff to strike up conversation amongst themselves while cleaning up. We were not talking and so it was that I heard every word of this conversation and am confident that I didn't misunderstand. There were three girls with zero male input. I would guess they were in their early to mid 20's.
Girl #1 said that her boyfriend wanted to get married and that she was not willing as she was confident that he wanted to have children and it was important to him that she stay home. She said that she would never do that as her time was more important than that and she was too intelligent to waste herself that way.
Girl #2 said that she wouldn't mind being a stay at home mom but knew that she would have to join some committees and non-profit organizations to keep her mind working as there is no way that she could just sit at home like that watching children like some daycare worker.
As Girl #3 piped up, you cannot imagine how I hoped that she would be different... but she was not. She said that she would love to have the freedom of being a stay at home wife but not if there were children involved. She was working for her degree and had no intention of wasting all that work just to get stuck with the kids while he got to have a fulfilling career and accomplishments.
Oh how I wish it had ended there but it did not. They then proceeded to talk about how that was a job for women who weren't educated or creative enough to do anything more. They laughed and joked about how sad it would be to have so little self respect or prospects. I wish I could say that I stood up and set them straight... but instead I sat there trying not to cry.
They were saying so many of the things that I feel. Most days of being a stay at home mom make me feel like my brain is turning into mush. Picking up the same toys, washing the same dishes, folding the same laundry while my goal is to keep life fun and challenging for everyone else... but me. I know that what I am doing is important but I don't feel important most of the time. It was so hard to listen to other women say these things. I think if it had been men I would have been in their face in 5 seconds flat.
Why is that?
Who taught them these things?
How do we stop it before my daughters grow up?