Saturday, January 26, 2008

Pro Choice?

"Choice" is a loaded term in our society.

"Choice" is used to shame and dismiss those who have the misfortune of being poor, uneducated, powerless. It doesn't matter that all the choices available to you are bad. Once you've made your choice, you're expected to shut up and live with it.

"Choice" is an unassailable right if you are well off. What you eat, drive, spend your money on - it's your choice and no one has the right to criticize your choice. You're entitled to your choice.

Surely there are irresponsible choices, selfish choices, stupid choices?

I'm struggling with making the right choice.

Put simply, I don't like working outside the home. I have a good job working for a cause I believe in for a very fair salary. My boss supports me and works with me to be sure that my position is fulfilling to me and allows me to use my strengths for the good of the agency.

Despite all that, I would be more happy staying home and cleaning, gardening, and cooking. The Husband and I live rather frugally and could probably afford for me to either stay home or work part time. We'd have to give up a some luxuries and save less money, but we could make ends meet. The Husband is also very supportive of me, and is encouraging me to do what makes me happiest.

If I were to make my preferred choice, I would quit my job.

I suppose I have every right to make my choice, however, why should it be a valid choice? Why should a perfectly capable person refuse to support herself? Isn't there something to be said for sucking it up and getting over my over-privileged self? By critically analyzing my own choice, might I be, by extension, judging the choices that others might make? Oh, Heaven, forfend!

Can you imagine a single mom making minimum wage or a subsistence farmer in Africa having this internal conflict? How gross are my stupid little problems? How ridiculous is it that I feel as much stress over the validity of my concerns as my actual concerns? How about another glass of wine?

Oh, thank you, I think I will.


Anonymous said...

That's what pro choice is. You make your bed and then you lie in it. Not so bad being home so your sheets will be cleaner when you do.
I would want to have minimal hours at work though, in case circumstances change. I got out of school too late to be desirable in the work force. Good thing I can work at home.

B.E.C.K. said...

Honestly? If I had a choice of working outside the home or staying home, I would stay home and not look back. Of course, there are still money-making things you can do from home, and you can set your own hours. You might not get rich doing it, but it sounds like that's not the point. I think it all depends on how you would feel being supported. If your marriage is strong and you can trust your partner, I see no reason why you shouldn't make the shift. But of course I'm biased, as I already said. ;^)

DallasAnne said...

I have to say, it was really hard to quit my job. I felt like it was part of my identity. I mean, now I am in this "homemaker" bucket and I'm like "That's not who I am! I'm much more!" But I guess it doesn't matter what people think... I do see their eyes glaze over though when I tell them I stay at home.
I love it and our family life is a heck of a lot calmer... just the trips are less cool and my couch is a hand-me-down from my in-laws and my husband drives an 8 year old car and we don't have cable...
It is a tough decision! Good luck!