Thursday, March 10, 2011

Are You a 'Career Girl'?

At a party last weekend, four of us women got to talking. We were all over 50. Two of us were childless and two were mothers of grown children. O. is 60-something. She had a difficult childhood and felt she would not be a good mother. Her husband didn't want children. She went to work at a young age, eventually making a wonderful career designing movie sets in Hollywood. As she moved through her childbearing years, those around her said, "Oh, she's a career girl." The mothers would shake their heads, implying that there was something sinful about choosing career over children.

T. and D. both had kids, but they both worked, too. After their divorces, they had no choice. T. noted, "Does anyone really think I grew up wanting to be a single mom to two boys and work my fingers to the bone sewing costumes? Come on."

I sighed. I had no kids, but I too was divorced at a young age and grateful I had a job to turn to. After I remarried, I kept working. "I would love to have my mother's life. I'd love to be a housewife," I said. We all laughed. None of us had that option. We always needed to work. Even when my stepson lived with us and my husband had a good job, I worked outside the home, struggling to juggle everything at once.

Am I a career gal? Are you? Did you choose work over children? I didn't. I just ended up with one and not the other. Whether we have children or not, why shouldn't our work be something we love to do? And why don't people look down on men who are devoted to their jobs?
What do you think?

4 comments:

Kate B said...

I would guess that some people think I am a career girl. I'm not. I would have given it all up in an instant to be a mother. But, it just never happened for me. I didn't meet "the one" until I was 40. And then we tried, but quit after my second miscarriage. Sometimes I thought my career interferred with my ability to meet the right guy. And I will always wonder if the problem getting pregnant was just my age or if there was more to it. But, I can't turn back the clock, I can only move on and make the most of what I do have - and what I have is nice too.

annajoe said...

HI again Sue,
I called Evelyn yesterday and read her your post about her and she liked it very much:) Thought I would share that with you. She had just been to the doctor and came home feeling like the belle of the ball:) She said she knew so many of the patients in the waiting room....again old students that she knew and that one person commented that at age almost 90, she was in the best shape of anyone in the office....she liked that!

Susan Murphy

Suelick said...

Wow, that's fantastic. Thank you, Susan. Have I mentioned my Aunt Edna Sousa, also childless, who lived to 100? She was amazing, too.

EscapeVelocity said...

I'm 0 for 2--my intent was to have a career (college teaching) and family, but I didn't manage to land a teaching job (very competitive market these days), and grad school kept me out of circulation during my most fertile/attractive years (I did date, but didn't feel able to settle down with someone until I knew where I was going to wind up living). So I have a job in a field I'm not really all that interested in, but which more or less pays enough to live on, and try to stay focused on my hobbies, which are more rewarding.