Nod of acknowledgement.
This post brought to you by the stream of consciousness style thinking that comes from lots of unstructured time, sleeping infants, and big bird, who is still employed.
I've been thinking a lot about my plans for next year, since my place of employment is hiring soon, and I need to decide if I want my full-time job back, or if I want to keep kicking it part time. SPOILER: I'm leaning towards full time.There are lots and lots of factors in the decision, (a big one is the issue that I feel like I work 3/4 time, but only get paid 1/2 time, so might as well step it up...) but one little factor is the realization that I really like structured time. Maybe it is the ADD Adderall-junkie in me, or maybe it's just a totally normal personal preference, but I really like knowing what I am doing at any given moment during my work day. 10:43? I will be teaching 6th period. Every time. 1:49? I will be teaching 8th period. 9:18? I will be frantically running to pee between classes.
I always know I am going to be productive as hell (educating approximately 40 members of America's future, AT THE SAME TIME,) and that makes me happy. Plus, when I get home, I know how to deal with the unstructured time I have left. It's a good balance that works for me. So sometimes when I have a whole chunk of unstructured time I start to freak out. Consequently, you find yourself reading navel gazing blog posts, and wondering if this post has a point. Probably does not.
Anyway, I was discussing my work-life options with my friend, Gurr, who, incidentally, has offered me much sage advice over the years.(Today's fat pictures are tomorrow's skinny pictures, namely.) Gurr suggested that whatever I do, resist the inclination to explain my hours to people. It is none of their damn business.
Dude, I currently do this all the time and I should stop:
Random: "What do you do?"
Me: "Well I teach in a High School."
Random: "Oh, who watches the baby?"
Me: "The daycare at my school, but I only teach every other day, and we have lots of days off for Holidays and stuff, and summer vacation, which also gave me a really long maternity leave and yada yada yada I'm a good mom please don't think I am shirking my divinely-granted super special motherhood duties that make me waaaay spiritual but don't allow me to hold the Priesthood in my own church I promise I nurture the hell out of my kid.........bitch slaps self."
Sometimes, much to my chagrin (at myself, mostly,) the person responds with a "How nice! Teaching is such a great Mom job!" And I nod and smile and inwardly berate myself for throwing all my fellow sisters under the bus, because all jobs are good Mom jobs. But the same segment of society that taught me to justify my hours to prove my worth as a parent teaches people that it is okay for women to work as long as it isn't too much, or falls within the realm of "taking care of small children or the infirm." No one says being a Senator is a great Mom job, but Chelsea Clinton turned out all right.
One time someone told me I had to cut down or quit working because "once you bring children into your home you have to be around to raise them." Oh shove it. There is a big difference between someone watching my kid during the day while I work, and raising them. Likewise, I really hate the people who imply that since "Women can't have it all" I should either a.) not have kids at all, or b.) have kids but not work. I hate that this is a "woman" issue (no one tells Men they can't have it all,) and somehow the fault of feminism. Oh, feminism failed because no one managed to steal that time-changer thing from Hermione that lets you do a million things at once. Wrong. Feminism granted women (and men) the ability to create a work-life balance that suits their needs as individuals. I feel like I will get flack for this, but no one can have "it all" and that is okay. Ideally, and what feminists are still working towards, what you can have is a job you like and a family you love and thousands of choices. So stop whining about not being able to be an astronaut doctor fairy princess SAHM and get to work.
I also hate the above comment regarding raising children because no one tells this to the person who contributed the other 50% of said child's DNA. We simply do not berate men for working, or expect them to rationalize their hours to prove their worth as a parent. "Oh, I'm an investment banker, but I get two weeks off for paternity leave when my wife pops out a kid, and I have some vacation time here and there, I promise I'm a good Dad." Said no one ever.
Mitt Romney's experience working a zillion hours a week at Bain supposedly rendered him capable to save the mothereffing free-world from a fiscal cliff of death, but people wonder if Marissa Mayer is a good Mom, and want her to justify her hours running Yahoo. It's a messed up world guys.
(Don't even get me started on the SAHM's are full-time Moms and the rest of us are part-time parents because I will end you right here on the floor.)
So whether or not I go back full-time, I am not justifying my hours anymore. Consider it an informal social experiment: In regards to my career, I'm not going to do things that men aren't expected to do. So no justifying hours, or calling things "Mom jobs" or acting all apologetic for working hard. Bam. World peace.
Well, this was a bit of a rant. (I congratulated myself recently for mellowing out, and being less cranky in my advanced age, but clearly I was fooling myself.)
Don't let the door of my feminist rage hit your bum on the way out.