The #1 Job Where Feminism Gives Anxiety and Self-Doubt
You may already know what I’m referring to.
It’s the job where nearly everyone– celebrities, politicians, nurses, and stay-home-moms– struggles, almost from the first few minutes.
In this place,
- we feel self-doubt
- we feel pressured to do it all
- we are ill-equipped in what we do
- we have no idea how to do it
- we’re pretty sure we’re messing it up
- we have virtually no role models who have done it well
- we have a litany of role models who have abandoned it or done it poorly
- we often have to look back in history to find women who were competent in this area
- it takes discipline and self-training in order to gain confidence
- we have lost the collective “common sense” wisdom that used to be culturally acquired from mothers and extended family
- alarming rates of women are on meds because of our stress, anxiety, and lack of confidence
You know what it is.
Motherhood isn’t the only job where feminist ideas contribute to depression and anxiety, but I do think it’s the most common across society.
Far from the old-world position of honor and wonder and reverence for mothers, modern society treats pregnancy as an undesirable condition. Feminists have, for so long, belittled motherhood, the home, and homemaker, that we all, culturally, feel it’s somehow lesser.
- We use awkward, fumbly language as we talk about “getting knocked up,” or having a “baby bump.”
- Incompetence is assumed– it’s normal to hear moms say things like, “I have no idea what I’m doing!” or “I don’t know what’s going on with her lately!”
- It’s popular for teen girls & young women to claim they don’t ever want to be mothers.
- Though Mother’s Day was intended to be NOT a society-wide bowing to all mothers but a simple day when children young and old went and spent time with or took time to honor their mothers, it now carries a politically-correct obligatory honoring of all women, rather than only our own mothers. Whatever happened to each of us just quietly, thankfully honoring our own moms?
- Phrases like “Mom jeans,” “mom hips,” and “mom van,” show an innate cultural disdain for the unfashionable, lumpier body of a woman who has sacrificed her own person in order to bring new life into the world.
- We might say, “I’m just a stay-home-mom.”
And yet, the truth is: when we become mothers, we feel bowled over. Never have we felt so tired, overwhelmed, unsure of ourselves, and ill-equipped.
We thought we knew ourselves. We’re fierce. Feminist. Capable. Strong. Our moms and grandmas chanted, “I am woman; hear me roar!” This generation sings, “I am a champion; you’re gonna hear me roar!”
“I can be anything I want to be,” right?
And yet… we find that we can’t even have a little 7-pound baby without anxiety attacks, identity questions, body-issues, postpartum depression, and a previously unknown level of self-doubt.
Really?, we think. This one little baby can do all this?
THAT TIME DREW BARRYMORE SPOKE THE TRUTH
Drew Barrymore gets it, and was actually bold enough to say something that hacked off the feminists:
“I was raised in that generation of ‘women can have it all,’ and I don’t think you can. I think some things fall off the table.”
She’s right, you know. And this is what they don’t want to admit. Consider this pithy tale from the president of Barnard College:
“I was in the women’s bathroom at New York’s LaGuardia Airport. I had an hour between flights, so I rushed for the stalls. Cramming my bags against the door and pulling off my blouse, I perched on the seat, took out my little Medela pump, and began feverishly expressing my breast milk. After several minutes of whirring and fumbling, I pulled myself together and stuffed my five- weeks-postpartum belly back into my business suit.
And that’s when I realized—wryly, ironically, totally deprived of sleep—that I was experiencing the superwoman dream.
It wasn’t supposed to be this hard. Like many women, I grew up believing we were equal to men, that we could have sex whenever we wanted, children whenever we chose, and work wherever we desired. For years, as a professor at Harvard Business School, I was the only woman in a room of alpha men and still I always felt equal. … We have opportunities today—to choose our educations, careers, spouses—that would’ve stunned our grandmothers. But now we’re dazed and confused by all the choices. “
You know what Drew Barrymore is referring to by “falls off the table?” You can see it in the story above–
This woman’s TIME with her BABY. Her own time to HEAL, time to rest, and make milk for her baby, time to figure out motherhood in an unpressured way, time to enjoy the relationships God made her for without having to also leave those relationships in order to prove to everyone that she’s got a brain and can earn an income. What falls off the table is time to treat herself, and her sweet tiny one, as the frail human beings they are in these delicate moments of early motherhood.
Instead of being a superwoman powerhouse, she’s a newly postpartum mom, perched on a toilet, miles away from her baby, pumping liquid out of her body, her tummy being stuffed into a business suit as she tries to feverishly “have it all.”
Later, our honest Barrymore said,
“I didn’t really have parents, you know? And therefore the kind of parent I will be is a good, present parent. In a way, maybe that was a detriment to my youth, but it’ll be the biggest asset to my adulthood.”
Perhaps this is one of the takeaways feminism didn’t anticipate…
…that all those kids that got left behind while their moms went back to work in the “second” and “third” waves of feminism know the toll it took on their SOULS to not have a mom around, and many are committed to doing differently.
- emotional stress and anxiety
- sorting through bullying without a warm-hearted, open-armed mother to return home to
- horrifying rates of sexual abuse, rape, and molestation because of unwatched latchkey kids
- emotional fallout from divorces and angry, stress-riddled marriages
- latching on to any available adult who took the slightest interest, even if that adult was a bad example, or even abusive
- often being left to be watched by people with no vested interest or innate concern for the child (day care/group care settings)
- less family togetherness/less awareness of how to healthily *do* family
- more access to vices like cigarettes, drugs, alcohol, ouija boards, and pornography
- less “margin” when sickness, hardships, and tragedies strike, so these crises take a greater toll on each member of the family
The continual quest for career heights has a cost. And all too often, it’s the kids who pay. For those who are watching carefully, the “latchkey kid” age of the last few decades speaks to us about the simple value of presence.
So why am I raising this issue? A few reasons, really.
- Because feminism is part of the air we breathe. I think it’s valuable for us, no matter our position or station in society, to recognize the lies of our culture and counsel our hearts against swallowing ideas without sober consideration.
- Because I think kids of all ages are better off with mom at home and far too few people are saying it now. I’m so thankful to have spent these last 14 years of my life devoted to nurturing and teaching and training these 7 people. Has it been easy? No. But I believe it’s worth it. And I want to be honest with you about that.
- Because some of you reading this are wondering— Does what I do at home with my kids really matter? Won’t they be fine if I run off and pursue my dreams? I want to be a voice encouraging moms who are tempted to doubt themselves.
Mama, it MATTERS what you do with your children. Don’t buy the lies that say it doesn’t, they’ll be fine, everybody does it. Listen to your gut.
Don’t let feminism and its “lofty” aims rob you of the things that really matter in life– loving faithfulness in the relationships of your life.
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