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How do we measure a woman?

I have been reading the book “Mommy Wars” by Leslie Morgan Steiner. I’m lazy now. I’ll put a link to it later, for now just look it up. She also has a column called On Balance that I am happily finding that I enjoy.

I was disappointed at first because it seemed to be that the essays were from paid writers living on the east coast without a clue as to what financial difficulty is. Steiner is one of these women, and her introduction was what bothered me at first and has bothered me the most about the book. I have read more, and while I found a slightly larger variety in experience, there were still only a couple who have truly known financial difficulty or have a religious background. I resent the idea that going to church every week is a sign of being a submissive housewife. I am very irritated that Steiner thinks women like me have “… a breezy Carol Brady belief that everything will always turn out fiiine. ”

What she didn’t seem to have gotten at the time she wrote that introduction is that some women stay at home as a matter of moral conviction that has nothing to do with yes-dearing our husband and everything to do with being a good mother.  

It isn’t that I trust that everything will turn out fine, or that I have faith that my husband will always be there.  My peace comes from knowing that I will be strong enough to overcome all the difficulties that might occur throughout my life and marriage.

My strength is not measured by how much money I make or how much political power I have. Those things are fickle measures and dissolve easily. It is measured by how well I do under difficult circumstances. My independence is not about my personal financial status but my abilities and my self confidence. Life is easier because I don’t have to be both mother and provider, but I could do it if I needed to.

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One comment

  1. Very good points!! I especially love the last paragraph, it sums everything up wonderfully. I think that being a present mother will be worth a lot more in the long run than any worldly gain and that is the biggest reason I decided to stay at home with my kids.

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